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Do you understand your rights as a railroad employer?

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2022 | Firm News

It is impossible to underestimate the importance of railroad workers in supporting the livelihood of millions of people and the transfer of goods and services over great distances every day. Unfortunately, as a railroad services employer, your company may be responsible for significant damages resulting from a railroad employee’s injuries.

These are answers to questions you may have about the Federal Employers’ Liability Act.

What types of injuries does FELA cover?

FELA is a version of workers’ compensation covering transportation services workers, including railroad employees. It ensures damages for :

  • Injuries from falls, lacerations and other accidents
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Worsening of pre-existing conditions while performing a job
  • Occupational diseases, including lung disease and cancers
  • Accidental death

What damages could your company be responsible for paying under the FELA?

The FELA covers injured federal transportation workers’ medical treatment, lost wages, and short or long-term disability, whether their injuries happen on a train or another worksite. It also covers physical pain, emotional suffering, and loss of future wages. Finally, injured railroad workers and their families can sue employers for additional damages. However, under comparative negligence laws, your company may be only partially responsible for workers’ injuries.

What is necessary for proving comparative negligence?

Federal transportation workers assume the burden of proving another’s responsibility for their injuries. For example, they must provide evidence of your company’s failure to provide a safe work environment, a supervisor’s judgment errors, or knowing use of defective machine parts. However, if your company is in gross violation of federal safety measures, a worker’s burden of proof is much lighter.

Under the FELA, railroad workers must file claims within three years of their injuries or illness detection. Protecting your company from extensive liability means anticipating potential dangers and taking every allegation seriously.