I am sorry to hear about your accident at the railroad. Although the rail industry today is much smaller than in decades past, there are still high numbers of railroad workers injured on the job. In general, railroad workers have a higher risk of injury on the job than most other occupations.
The railroad industry has a special program which is designed to compensate injured railroad workers. It is different than the workers’ compensation program. The railroad’s program is called the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). It was created at the beginning of the 1900s by the federal government. It was established to be able to pay railroad workers for their injuries above and beyond what regular workers’ compensation provided to injured workers. The railroads were responsible for high numbers of employee injuries and deaths, and as a result the government decided that the railroads must be responsible for paying for these injuries.
FELA is different from workers’ compensation. Under FELA, in order to make a recovery, the employee must be able to prove that the employer was at least partially responsible for the accident. Under workers’ compensation, the employee does not have to prove fault. Under FELA, employees can recover money for their pain and suffering – under workers’ compensation, injured employees are not awarded anything for pain and suffering. Normally compensation to the injured employee is higher under FELA than under normal workers’ compensation laws.
FELA applies only to the railroad industry, and therefore is a unique set of laws. It’s important that all injured railroad employees have legal representation in their FELA case. This is particularly important since the employee must be able to prove that the employer was negligent in some way.If you have been injured on the job at a railroad, you should know that you have legal rights. You should speak with an attorney who can help educate you on those rights. If you are in the Houston area, call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 855-947-0707. You can call us to schedule a free consultation, or visit us on our Facebook page to learn more.