U.S. railroads continue to be a critical means of transportation in this country. In addition to transporting goods far and wide, trains also provide passenger transportation to many each year. As such, railroad workers are of paramount important to the continued success of this important transportation system in the U.S. In recognition of both the important services provided by railroad workers and the fact that being a railroad worker can be an inherently dangerous occupation, particularly when there is any negligence in the workplace, there has been federal legislation passed to help injured railroad workers recover compensation for the harm they have suffered.
Railroad Worker Injuries
Under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), railroad employees have the right to recover damages from their employer for job related injuries cause by negligence on the railroad’s part. In other words, railroad negligence, and that of its agents and employees which results in employee injury or death results in liability exposure. The resulting of cause of action can be brought in either state or federal court.
There are certain things that will need to be established in order for an injured railroad worker to recover compensation under the FELA. Primarily, the injured worker must be able to substantiate the claim that the railroad was negligent and that the negligence was the cause or contributing factor in the injury sustained by the worker. You see, the railroad is legally obligated to provide its workers with a reasonably safe work environment. When that work environment proves to be unsafe, this is likely to be considered negligence. So, if there are unsafe workplace practices occurring, the railroad will likely be found negligent and liable for any injuries that result from such unsafe practices.
FELA claimants, however, must be aware of the fact that the FELA does provide that railroad workers must use due care to help ensure their own safety. Failure to exercise due care may result in the injured worker being found contributorily negligent in causing the resulting injuries. This may impact the injured workers right to recover compensation.
If you are a railroad worker who has been injured on the job, you need to be aware of the fact that time is of the essence in bringing any claim under the FELA. The statute of limitations on these kinds of claims is three years from the time of the accident that resulted in the injuries. Failing to file before that three years is up will likely result in you being barred from bringing your claim at all.
If you are successful in bringing your FELA case, damages will be awarded accordingly. The bulk of these damages will be compensatory in nature as they are intended to compensate you from the harm you have suffered due to railroad negligence. Damages available under the FELA include:
- Cost of past and future medical care
- Loss of past and future wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys
If you are a railroad worker who has been injured in a workplace accident, do not hesitate to get in touch with the dedicated team at Cooper, Schall & Levy. We will begin immediately working on pursuing your right to monetary recovery for the harm you have suffered. Contact us today.