Railroad Worker Injury:

FELA

FELA is the Federal Employers Liability Act, passed in 1908, to provide particular protection and compensation for railroad employees. FELA set up and continues to provide a legal system, similar to Workers’ Compensation, by which railroad workers can protect their rights and recover damages if they are injured or become ill while working in interstate commerce. It also provides employers with a uniform standard of liability with regard to workplace conditions and employee safety. Unlike Workers’ Compensation, which is a no-fault system, FELA requires the injured party to prove negligence on the part of the railroad before receiving full compensation and as a consequence, FELA compensation is usually considerably greater than Workers’ Compensation. FELA governs all railroad claims, even those made by individuals who do not work in or around the trains.

In order to recover damages, FELA requires that a railroad worker prove one or more of the following:

  • The injury to the worker is the result of negligence or carelessness on the part of an officer, agent or employee of the railroad
  • The worker’s injury is caused by a defect in one of the railroad cars, engines, appliances, machinery, track, roadbed, or any other kind of railroad equipment
  • The worker is hurt as a result of a railroad violation of a relevant federal or state safety statute

 

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