Each individual working at any type of an industry may sustain some type of injury for whatever reason. Some of these are easily treated and others may be fatal and devastating. However, some professions involve far more dangerous work than others such as construction and railroad workers. The probability of a railroad worker to be injured as a result of his job is much higher than an office worker for example. Therefore, it is important for these types of workers to fully comprehend the dangers associated with their jobs, the rules, regulations and laws that govern this profession and the ways in which workers can protect their rights and interests.
Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) of 1908
FELA is a US federal law implemented to protect and compensate railroad injured workers. This act requires railroad companies to enforce safety regulations through providing inadequate safety training and supervision and compensate a worker in case of an injury.
Injured workers are permitted to file FELA claims against their employers to recover for their damages. The companies are therefore liable to pay for the workers’ medical treatments and services, their pain and suffering resulting from the injury and finally their lost wages or their loss of earning capacity.
Worker’s Compensation vs. FELA
The system of workers’ compensation is set so that workers who get injured on the job recieve compensation for the unfortunate accident that may cause them to sustain a number of short term or long term injuries. However, it is not a perfect system that fully compensate injured workers for the pain they undergo as a result of their injuries. Therefore, FELA provides better remedies that fill the holes left by the workers’ comp system.
Under Workers’ Compensation, you will only be able to recover damages for medical treatment and receive a compensatory award.
Under FELA, you will be able to recover damages for medical treatment and services, pain and suffering, emotional distress and finally receive a compensatory award.
Types of railroad injuries
- Stuck by a moving train
- Stuck by objects during construction or repair
If you or someone you know was injured from a railroad accident, here is what you should do:
- First of all, you should make sure you obtain medical care and treatment immediately to avoid any potential fatalities that may arise later.
- Make sure to communicate your injury to the railroad
- Take photographs, videos and/or obtain those from potential witnesses
- Make sure to note the names, contact information and addresses of all witnesses of the accident
- Hire an attorney to assure your rights and interested are legally protected
- Do not provide any type of a recorded statement to anyone without discussing with your attorney