Unlike state laws that provide workers compensation for employees, railroad workers are covered under a different law known as the Federal Employers Liability Act, or FELA for short. For railroad workers who are hurt on the job, the law provides a mechanism of recovery.
The law is somewhat different from typical state workers compensation where the employer’s fault in the cause of the claim is not really an issue. However, under FELA claims, an injured employee has to prove that the railroad was negligent and that such negligence was the cause of the injuries to the railroad worker. Under the federal law, the railroad must provide a reasonably safe place to work, equipment, safety devices and tools. They are required to see that safety regulations and policy are enforced and to provide adequate training and supervision in employee duties. Further, they must see that the work areas are free from dangerous conditions and have other duties to the manner of work conducted by railroad workers.
Claims under FELA for railroad workers can include amounts for the costs of past and future medical treatment, wage loss and for pain and suffering.
If the injury results in death of a railroad worker, FELA provides a basis for claim by a surviving spouse and dependent children.
If you are injured in a railroad accident as an employee, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to review your claim and to determine what benefits and courses of action you may take under FELA.