The railroad industry used to be one of the most dangerous in the United States. To help address the unacceptable rate of rail worker injuries and fatalities, congress passed the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) in 1908. Among other things, FELA provides a federally-protected legal remedy to railroad workers injured as a consequence of an employer negligence. In this blog post, our Brazoria County railroad accident attorney explains the most important things to know about the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA).
Four Things to Know About the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA)
- FELA Requires Covered Employers to Provide a Reasonably Safe Workplace
First and foremost, FELA sets strict safety standards for railroad industry employers. All businesses and organizations covered by the federal law are required to provide a reasonably safe work environment for their employees. What constitutes “reasonable safeness” depends on the specific circumstances. Though, importantly, FELA makes it a question for a jury.
- Railroad Workers Can Hold an Employer Liable for Injuries Caused by Negligence
If you are a railroad worker who was injured on the job, you may have a claim under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act. That being said, liability under FELA is not automatic. To hold an employer legally responsible under the statute, an injured railroad worker must prove negligence. Specifically, this requires proving the following key elements:
- The railroad employer failed to provide a reasonably safe work environment;
- The failure to take adequate care was the proximate cause of the employee’s injuries; and
- The employee suffered actual harm in the accident.
- Workers Can Recover Financial Compensation for the Full Extent of their Damages
One of the most important things to know about FELA is that the law allows an injured railroad worker to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic losses. If you are a Texas rail industry worker who was injured because of employer negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation for:
- Medical bills and related expenses;
- Loss of current and future wages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Permanent scarring or impairment.
- Three Year Statute of Limitations to Bring a Claim Under FELA
All FELA claims are subject to a strict statute of limitations. An injured rail worker must file their claim before the deadline passes. FELA imposes a three year statute of limitations for railroad employee injury claims. If you were hurt in a specific incident, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit under FELA. If you suffered an occupational disease, you have three years from the date your illness/impairment was or should have been discovered.
Call Our Brazoria County Railroad Accident Lawyers Today
At the Kolodny Law Firm, our Texas railroad accident injury attorneys are strong, experienced advocates for victims and their families. If you have any questions about the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), we can help. Contact us today to get your free, confidential appointment with a skilled attorney. We represent railroad accident victims throughout Brazoria County, including in Alvin, Angleton, Pearland, Lake Jackson, West Columbia, and Brookside Village.