Conditions on trains and at railroad yards are some of the most perilous of any workplace. For decades, railroad companies have been working to create a safe atmosphere for employees and safe conditions for residents at railroad crossings.
However, safe conditions do not always occur, or are not always effective, and the result can be tragic. If you or a family member suffered injury while working for a railroad company, you may be entitled to compensation. Find out more during a free consultation with Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter: (407) 712-7300.
History of Railroads
The 1880s to the 1920s were considered the golden age of railroads. During this time, the network of railroad tracks and train services in America expanded about six times its prior size. With this expansion, there was an inevitable increase in the number of employees who sustained injuries ranging from minor to fatal.
Because workers’ compensation was not in place at this time, many employees could not protect their employees.
To address this growing problem, Congress passed the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). This federal law applies specifically to railroad workers whose employers are involved in interstate commerce.
Unlike workers compensation, FELA claims are federal lawsuits where you are required to prove that your injury was caused either partially or completely by your employer. Examples of negligence include:
- Using defective equipment
- Setting unsafe policies
- Not taking the proper steps to correct unsafe working conditions
- Improper maintenance of equipment and/or rails
- Poor decisions or inattention by other employees or supervisors
The damages awarded in FELA suits are much higher than workers’ compensation benefits.
FELA and Work-Related Death Claims
If your loved one was killed in a railroad accident, survivors are entitled to collect all of the damages that the death caused. These include:
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of ability to earn future wages
- Compensation for the loss of a spouse, parent or other loved one
FELA law allows you to file a railroad accident claim, even if you were partially to blame for the accident. But keep in mind that if the jury in your case decides that you are at a percentage of fault for your injury, your compensation amount may be reduced based on your share of fault.
If you have been injured while working for a railroad company, the Orlando personal injury lawyers at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter are here for you. We have investigated and litigated hundreds of personal injury claims. Call (407) 712-7300 or complete the form on this page to arrange a free case review.