The Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) was passed by Congress in1908 before there were workers' compensation laws in place. FELA protects injured railroad workers by putting them in a favorable position in terms of pursuing financial compensation for their injuries, allowing them to file a lawsuit against their employer for negligence.
Due to the fact that FELA provides immeasurable benefits for railroad workers, workers and their unions continue to exempt themselves from compensation laws in many states. If you were injured in a railroad accident, you should contact a Northern Kentucky personal injury attorney without delay.
The Federal Employers' Liability Act
Today, the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) remains the sole remedy in an action brought by a railroad worker against his employer. In general, these lawsuits under the FELA can be brought in either the state or federal courts. Although workers' compensation laws for other industries are restricted to recovering economic losses, the FELA is more generous to railroad employees by allowing them recover additional damages such as lost income, loss of future income, compensation for pain and suffering, in addition to payment for the employee's reduced ability to earn a living due to the injuries sustained.
Since working in the railroad industry is perceived to be inherently dangerous, the FELA upholds railroad companies to the highest standards of railroad safety. These statutory duties demand that the railroad company exercises reasonable care to provide a safe working environment. The duties go on to include maintaining a reasonably safe rail track, locomotives, cars, machinery, roadbed, tools, and any other equipment the employees may use in the everyday course of their job with the railroad.
Northern Kentucky FELA Attorney
Fortunately, the defense that the employee "assumed the risk of injury" does not prevent an employee from recovery, nor does negligence of a fellow employee. Railroad accidents can cause serious, catastrophic injuries for railroad workers and employees. Railroad companies have an obligation under the FELA to keep the work environment safe and prevent the risk of undue harm to their employees.
Tragically, when these companies fail to take the necessary precautions, workers can sustain serious on-the-job injuries or exposure to hazardous chemicals. If you were injured in a railroad accident, or if your loved one died during the course of their work, attorney Robert Roper can provide you with aggressive legal support during this difficult time in your life. To learn more about your rights to monetary compensation under the FELA, please contact the firm today.