FELA Lawyer - Railroad Worker Accident Attorney
Railroad work is inherently dangerous. Numerous railroad workers every year suffer injuries or illnesses because of their occupation. For this reason, FELA was created to provide much-needed compensation and benefits.
If you’ve suffered harm while working on the railroad, The Joel Bieber Firm can help.
What Does FELA Mean, and Who Does It Protect?
Between 1889 and 1920, railroad use in the United States increased dramatically. With this increase, dangers to railroad workers became even more of an issue. To deal with this problem, the government passed the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA).
Standard employee compensation laws don’t protect railroad workers. Under FELA, railroad workers can seek compensation for injuries suffered while on the job.
Many compare FELA to workers’ compensation. But while the two share some similarities, a fundamental difference sets them apart.
Under workers’ compensation, injured workers don’t need to show that their employers were at-fault for their accidents and injuries. However, under FELA, employees must establish employer negligence and show how it caused their harm.
For this and other reasons, FELA claims can be challenging to navigate. Fortunately, a FELA lawyer has the knowledge and skills to manage your claim and help reach the best possible resolution.
Types of Injuries FELA Covers
Railroad work is dangerous, and railroad workers are constantly at risk of suffering various injuries. FELA is designed to cover four types of injuries:
Workplace accidents often cause traumatic injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Amputation injuries
- Internal injuries
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may require substantial medical care and time off from work.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
Railroad work can also result in cumulative injuries, which are injuries resulting from repeated movement and stress on the body. Examples include:
- Back injuries
- Joint injuries
- Carpal tunnel
- Hearing loss
Repetitive motion injuries often affect your ability to work in your current position, which may require a change of position.
Working on the railroad means regular exposure to toxic chemicals and other harmful substances. Sufficient exposure can cause the development of particularly serious conditions, including:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Brain damage
- Reproductive system disorders
- Renal system diseases
Many of the medical conditions railroad work causes are life-altering or result in death.
Aggravation of Pre-Existing Conditions
Railroad work can be hard on the body. Consequently, if you have a pre-existing condition, your work may only worsen it. These conditions could include everything from back and joint problems to heart and respiratory issues.
Regardless of the type of injury or condition you sustain while on the job, it’s best to discuss your situation with a qualified FELA lawyer.
Proving Employer Liability
One of the most significant parts of a FELA claim is proving employer liability and establishing a connection between their liability and your injury or illness.
Generally, you must establish that you are or were an employee of the railroad, that the injury or illness occurred or was aggravated during the course of your employment, and that your harm or condition happened as a result of the railroad company’s negligence.
A railroad company can be negligent in many ways. Often, however, negligence involves a failure to:
- Provide or maintain a safe workplace
- Properly train and educate employees
- Supply safe, well-maintained tools and equipment
- Provide the manpower needed
It can be difficult to prove a railroad company’s negligence, but it’s a crucial piece of the puzzle when filing a FELA claim. A FELA lawyer can help gather the evidence and documentation you need to successfully prove your employer’s negligence and obtain compensation benefits.
Compensation Under FELA
Compensation for your injuries or illness under FELA can be extensive. With a successful FELA claim, you may be able to receive the following:
- Past and future lost wages
- Past and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Several factors help determine how much you may be eligible to receive from your FELA claim, including:
- The type of injury or illness
- The severity of your injury or condition
- Whether you’ll be able to return to work, and if so, in what capacity
- How much time you’ve lost at work
- Whether your injury or illness is a result of the railroad company’s violation of any laws or regulations
Your FELA lawyer will take these and other details into consideration when calculating the value of your claim. You can rely on them to do whatever is necessary to get you a fair resolution.
Statute of Limitations for FELA Claims
The statute of limitations for FELA claims is set forth by federal law since claims are brought under the provisions of a federal act. A statute of limitations is a law limiting the time you have to file a claim.
If you opt to file a FELA claim, you have a maximum of three years to do so. The three-year time clock starts on the date of your injury or initial diagnosis. Any legal action taken after the expiration of the statute of limitations is likely to be denied, which could leave you stuck paying medical expenses and other costs on your own.
Don’t let this happen to you. Seek the aid of a knowledgeable FELA lawyer and get the help you deserve.
Get Assistance from the FELA Lawyers at The Joel Bieber Firm
The veteran legal team at The Joel Bieber Firm has extensive experience aiding railroad workers in pursuing justice and fair monetary recovery for their injuries and illnesses. We understand the frustration that comes with work-related injuries, and we’re ready to do everything in our power to help make it right.
Contact one of our offices today to schedule a consultation and discuss how we can support your FELA claim.