Railroad workers who are injured on the job do not go through the same workers’ compensation process as other injured workers. The Federal Employees Liability Act (FELA) governs liability for railroad worker injuries. Under FELA, an injured railroad worker has the right to sue his or her employer for damages. If you have been injured while working in the railroad industry, it’s important to hire an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable about FELA lawsuits. Railroad workers often receive less compensation than they deserve for their injuries because they do not get the proper legal advice.
FELA Versus State Workers’ Compensation Laws
In most workers’ compensation cases that are governed by state law, the employee is entitled to the same level of benefits regardless of who is at fault for the injury. That is not true in FELA cases. In successful FELA claims, the employee must show that the employer failed to provide a safe workplace and that some amount of employer negligence contributed to the employee’s injury. The employer does not have to be solely negligent for the accident in order to be liable. Only partial negligence is required. Damages are assessed based on the level of employer negligence.
Successful FELA lawsuits typically pay significantly more than would be available through state workers’ compensation benefits. Damages are available for past and future wage loss, medical treatment and pain and suffering. In addition, those who file FELA claims are entitled to a trial by jury in any city in which the railroad does business. At Ankin Law Office, we are familiar with all of the complexities of FELA lawsuits, and our attorneys are highly experienced in handling these cases. If you have been injured on your railroad job, contact us for a free consultation immediately. We operate throughout Illinois including Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, McHenry, LaSalle, Kankakee, McLean and Peoria counties. There are statutes of limitations on FELA lawsuits, and time is of the essence.