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Must-know information about FELA cases

What is FELA?

The Federal Employers Liability Act, or FELA, is a federal law that specifically protects railroad workers who are injured on the job. It is separate from worker’s compensation, where the employee surrenders their right to sue their employer in exchange for wage replacement and medical benefits. FELA also differs from workman’s compensation in terms of filing a claim when you get injured. In the case of workman’s compensation, the injured worker does not need to prove any fault on the part of the employer. But in a FELA case, the worker must prove that the employer failed to ensure the safety of their employees and the work environment.

We represent workers employed by:

  • Long Island Railroad (LIRR)
  • Amtrak
  • Metro North
  • Chessie Seaboard Expanded (CSX)
  • New Jersey Transit
  • Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail)

How is a railroad injury claim different from a standard injury claim?

The standard for proving negligence in a FELA, or railroad case is much lower than what it would be in a regular injury claim. If the railroad worker can establish that they were injured directly because of an unsafe condition on the job, then they have a case that can be proven. 

Some of the many FELA cases we take on:

  • Derailment
  • Boiler explosions
  • Burns
  • Electrocutions
  • Brain injuries
  • Wrongful death
  • Platform gaps
  • Improper line switching
  • Excessive train speed

If you are a railroad worker who has been injured on the job, know that you have the right to claim damages under the FELA law. A personal injury attorney can help you build your case to prove negligence on the part of the employer or another employee. Hach & Rose, LLP, has a proven track record of winning compensation for railroad workers. We won $925,000 for an Amtrak electric line employee who fell off a ladder, and $1,400,000 for a mechanic who needed neck surgery after a shuttle wagon failed.

What compensation you could receive in a prevailing personal injury claim:

  • Medical expenses
  • Emotional distress, PTSD
  • Lost wages
  • Limiting aspects of daily life

Contact a New York FELA Lawyer Today

If you were hurt in a railroad accident in New York, contact an experienced FELA lawyer at Hach & Rose, LLP to discuss your rights and legal options during a free, no-obligation consultation with our team.

FELA Cases are Negligence-Based

Whether representing injury victims or their families in wrongful death cases, New York train accident lawyers must prove negligence on the part of the railroad company. Courts base FELA cases on comparative negligence laws, which means plaintiffs may recover damages even if the court assigns a fault percentage to the plaintiff. For example, if the court determines that the plaintiff was 60 percent at fault for causing the accident, the plaintiff can still recover 40 percent of the damage amounts claimed. Recoverable damages in FELA cases include:

  • Lost wages (past, future, and insurance coverage)
  • Medical costs (past and future treatment)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental distress
  • Permanent injury
  • Scarring or disfigurement

Must Know Info: Pursuing FELA Claims

There is a new article on our Must Know Info page written by Mark Glen Sokoloff about pursuing FELA claims. It outlines the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) and points to a recent case in which attorneys with Hach & Rose, LLP were able to obtain a $1.4 million verdict on a FELA claim.

Click here to read Mr. Sokoloff’s article.

FELA statutes and railroad worker injuries

The Federal Employers Liability Act, commonly referred to as FELA, provides a way for injured railroad workers and their loved ones to recover compensation for on the job accidents by allowing these parties to take legal action against the worker’s employer. Because of FELA statutes, injured railroad workers may be able to secure compensation for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses. Learn more about these important protections by clicking here.

What is the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA)?

The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) is a federal law that was enacted in order to protect railroad employees who are injured on the job. The act was originally passed in 1908 in the wake of many injuries and deaths caused by the major railroad expansions going on at the time. Since its enactment, FELA has protected thousands of railroad employees from having to pay for medical expenses on their own. FELA allows injured railroad workers and their families to take legal action against railroad companies for negligence and unsafe working conditions. In addition to being effective at the federal level, FELA allows New York residents to take legal action at a state level.

As such, it is important to seek legal guidance from a New York law firm experienced in handling FELA cases. At the Union Law Firm, our lawyers have dedicated their careers to helping those injured on the job seek compensation from their liable employers. Give us a call today at 212-779-0057 if you are interested in our legal services.

Union Pacific Ordered to Compensate and Reinstate Fired Worker

Union Pacific has been ordered to pay $350,000 to, and reinstate, a worker who was allegedly fired after reporting a work-related injury. After reporting his injury in December of 2010, the employee was charged by Union Pacific with misuse of a company vehicle, a charge which eventually resulted in his firing. However, regulators are treating the employee as a whistleblower.

According to regulators, the injured worker had worked for Union Pacific for more than 30 years and was a “top performer” who received awards for his performance. The awarded $350,000 is intended to help cover the costs resulting from the employee’s injuries and lost wages.

Injuries resulting from railroad accidents can be devastating, taking a serious toll on a worker’s physical and financial well-being. If you’ve been injured in a railroad accident that you believe falls under FELA guidelines, contact the legal team at Hach & Rose, LLP, today by calling (212) 779-0057 and learn more about what our experienced legal team can do to help you.

Union Pacific Ordered to Pay Injured Worker $1 Million

A worker for Union Pacific whose 20 year career with the company led to the development considerable damage to his spinal discs, eventually requiring surgery, has been awarded $1 million in damages by an Illinois jury for his injury. The injuries occurred as a result of the many long hours he had put in as a track welder, bending over in awkward positions for long periods of time. Under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act, he was able to successfully pursue compensation.

The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) is a critical tool for helping injured railway workers to get the compensation they need for their losses. Unlike workers’ compensation plans, it allows workers to sue their employers for negligent actions which allow injuries to occur. If you are a railroad worker who has suffered an on the job injury, contact the FELA attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP, today at (212) 779-0057 to learn more about how we can help you in your pursuit of compensation.

Railroad Worker Accidents

Traveling by train is one of the most common and efficient forms of commuting in and around the New York City area. Between the numerous subway lines, the Long Island Rail Road, the New Jersey Transit, the Metro-North Railroad, and Amtrak, there are hundreds of railroad workers who help to make these rail lines run as they should. However, due to the inherent danger of this job, many railroaders are injured in the act of repairing, maintaining, or overseeing the trains and rail lines.

When these accidents occur, transit workers typically experience serious disruptions to their lives. For instance, they may be physically affected to the point where they can no longer perform their jobs. Additionally, they may be affected financially, as workers’ compensation insurance can only help to an extent. Lastly, they may also suffer psychological effects of their accidents, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

Fortunately for injured railroad workers, the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) is a federal law that protects railroaders and entitles them to compensation if they are injured while working. This protection applies to everyone who is employed by a railroad company that participates in interstate commerce. However, FELA only covers individuals who are actively fulfilling work-related duties at the time of the accident.

In addition, this statute mandates that New York railroad employers provide the following for their employers: a safe working environment, protection from harm by other employees, attentive supervision, safe equipment, and job training, if necessary. If any of these requirements go unfulfilled, resulting in an accident, the injured railroaders may be entitled to compensation from their employer. When pursuing compensation under FELA, New York train accident lawyers also must prove negligence on the part of the railroad company. Negligence refers to a failure to exercise the care that a reasonably sensible person would exercise in a similar circumstance.

If the case is successful, the injured railroad worker can recover compensation for the following damages:

  • Lost wages (past, future, and insurance coverage)
  • Medical costs (past and future treatment)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental distress
  • Permanent injuries
  • Scarring or disfigurement

The statue of limitations, or deadline, for taking legal action for railroad accidents is three years from the date of the accident. However, the sooner you contact our New York FELA lawyers, the sooner we can provide legal advice and investigate the accident. That being said, if you, a family member, or friend has been injured as a result of working on a railroad, please contact Hach & Rose, LLP, today.

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