Railroading is very dangerous work — it is physically and mentally demanding. The work constantly surrounds employees with equipment weighing several thousand tons. Equipment that is unforgiving and deadly if not operated correctly or properly maintained. Many railroaders have died or been severely injured because equipment was improperly operated or maintained. In addition, railroaders are required to work in all kinds of weather at all times of the day and night. Frequently, railroaders work miles from any type of help or medical assistance.

The Federal Employer’s Liability Act was passed by Congress in the 1903 for the benefit and protection of railroad employees and their families. Under the FELA, every railroad in the U.S. has a non-delegable duty to provide its employees with a safe place in which to work. The railroad’s duty extends to all times and places of employment. It includes the track, rail cars, locomotives, industries, transport vans, buildings and tools and equipment. The railroad cannot put this responsibility on any other person or entity, including the employee.

Most importantly, railroad employees do not have nor are they entitled to receive any type of Worker’s Compensation benefits. Just because a railroader gets hurt on the job, does not mean that the railroader is automatically entitled to compensation. Instead, the railroader must prove that the railroad was negligent, i.e., it did something that it should not have done or failed to do something that it should have done. Additionally, one of the defenses to the FELA is that the injured employee was at fault. The railroad can offer any evidence that the injured worker did something they were not supposed to do or failed to do something that they were supposed to do.

The FELA can be tricky to apply and having the wrong attorney, especially an attorney unfamiliar with the FELA or who has never handled an FELA case can cost you dearly. We have handled and tried to verdict FELA cases in many different states for every craft of railroader including, trainmen, conductors, engineers, brakemen, track inspectors, welders, clerks and section gangs. In addition, we have handled FELA cases against CSX (CSX Transportation, Inc.; Winston-Salem Southbound Railroad); Norfolk Southern (Norfolk Southern Railway Company); AMTRAK (National Passenger Railroad Corporation); FEC (Florida East Coast Railway); Metra (Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation), and; BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad).

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What is an Injury Accident Plan?

No one likes to think about the unthinkable. It is not pleasant to consider what might happen if you or a family member were involved in an incident and were rendered unconscious or incapacitated. Worse yet, what if you were killed? Unfortunately, the unthinkable happens to someone each day. Disaster can and will strike.

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