What is FELA?

Passing Train on the Tracks

The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), passed by Congress in 1908, is a federal statute that protects employers from the dangers and risks existing in the railroad industry. Under FELA, railroad employees can recover compensatory, punitive, and general damages such as lost wages and benefits, medical expenses, decreased earning power, and pain and suffering.

All railroad workers are covered under the FELA in case any personal injuries and/or disabilities occur at the workplace. In a FELA claim, an injured laborer must prove that they have sustained injuries due to the negligence of the railroad carrier.

What Types of Injuries and Illnesses Does FELA Cover?

The FELA covers catastrophic, traumatic, and cumulative injuries, as well as occupational diseases for all injuries that occurred at the railway.

  • Catastrophic injuries are severe damages that are often permanent, such as serious harm to the spinal cord, brain, or neck.
  • Traumatic injuries are damages that can prolong disability or death. Serious wounds, broken bones, and sprains are a few examples of traumatic injuries.
  • Cumulative injuries are caused by repetitive movements that lead to excessive and continuous pain over an extended length of time. Examples include carpal tunnel syndrome or plantar fasciitis.
  • Occupational illnesses can be considered any work-related disease. A few examples include dermatitis, hearing loss, cancer, and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

If the railroad violated any safety statutes or regulations that contributed to your personal injury or illness, you will be protected and covered under the FELA. Even if you are 99 percent at-fault for your injury at your place of work, the railroad is still responsible due to the contributory negligence rule.

In order for your claim to be valid, you must file before the three-year statute of limitations ends. To prevent missing this three-year period, it is best to report an injury and contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Contact Us Today to Learn More About the Impact of FELA Regulations

Job-related injuries are very common in the railroad industry. If you or a loved one have been injured while working, you may benefit from contacting a qualified attorney. Railroad worker injury claims differ from other workplace injury claims and the attorneys at Goldstein and Bashner can use their knowledge of this specific area of law to strengthen your case. Schedule a consultation by calling today and get started on your claim.

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