Dothan Railroad Worker Injury Attorney
Railroad work – driving trains, operating signals and switches in rail yards, maintaining trains, and coordinating the activities of trains – can be physically demanding and hazardous work. Rail workers run the risk of a range of serious occupational injuries and illnesses.
Railroad workers who are injured on the job are covered by the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). Under FELA, the injured railroad worker must prove fault on the part of an employer to obtain benefits for a workplace injury.
If you are an injured railroad worker in Alabama, you face a challenge to obtaining compensation for your medical bills and other losses. You need the skilled assistance of a Dothan railroad worker injury attorney. An experienced lawyer at Gartlan Injury Law can help you build a persuasive case to recover compensation for your injuries. For knowledgeable assistance with a FELA railroad accident claim in Alabama, contact our experienced workplace injury lawyers in Dothan.
What is the Federal Employers Liability Act?
The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) has protected railroad workers since the turn of the 20th century by creating regulations for a safer workplace. FELA guarantees the right of rail workers and their families to be compensated in the event of workplace injury or death if they can prove that the railroad was responsible for their loss.
The actual text of the law provides that an injured railroad worker is entitled to compensation for injury (or their family for a death) if they can show evidence that the injury was caused, in whole or part, by the negligence of any of the officers, agents or employees of the railroad, or by reason of any defect or negligence in its cars, engines, appliances, machinery, track, roadbed or other equipment.
A railroad must provide its employees a reasonably safe place to work. To demonstrate negligence, the injured worker must prove that the railroad or an employee:
- Failed to act with due care under the circumstances the led to the injury, or
- Failed to do what a reasonable and prudent person would ordinarily have done under the circumstances, or
- Acted contrary to what a reasonable and prudent person under the existing circumstances would have done.
The FELA is the exclusive remedy for most claims a railroad employee may have against his employer. A FELA case may be brought in either federal or state court.
What is the Federal Railroad Safety Act?
The Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) was enacted in 1970 to give regulatory rights to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The FRA administers railroad safety, such as the maximum weight of rail cars, engineer qualifications, and safe operating practices. Portions of the law also protect railroad employees.
The FRSA provides employees the right to prompt medical attention if they are injured or become ill while working for the railroad. The law also says employees are entitled to compensation for injuries and losses if they are involved in accidents while on the job.
This law also protects railroad employees from wrongful termination of employment or suspension or demotion, such as for reporting hazardous conditions.
What are Common Railroad Worker Accidents and Injuries?
The railroad industry is hazardous — especially for railroad brake, signal and switch operators. The industry’s fatality rate is consistently higher than the rate for the private sector as a whole.
Not surprisingly, transportation accidents cause the most railroad worker injuries and fatalities. These include:
- Railroad vehicle-only collisions and derailments
- Railroad-nonrailroad vehicle collisions, such as collisions at crossings
- Falls in or from railroad vehicles
- Pedestrian workers struck by railroad vehicles or nonrailroad vehicles
- Highway crashes not involving trains.
Additionally, railroad workers are injured by:
- Falls to the same level or to lower levels, such as from station platforms
- Electrocution, particularly on passenger railroads, in which direct electric propulsion is more common than in freight railroads
- Struck-by accidents
- Stuck-in or crushed-by accidents, including machinery accidents
- Overexertion or bodily reaction injuries
- Exposure to toxic / hazardous materials.
Contact a Railroad Work Injury Lawyer About Compensation for a Railroad Accident
The Federal Employers Liability Act ensures an injured railroad worker’s absolute right to pursue compensation for injuries suffered on the job. To do so, it is best to obtain the services of experienced railroad worker injury attorneys. At Gartlan Injury Law in Dothan, Alabama, we can work to help the injured worker and his family qualify for the benefits that FELA provides.
The damages recoverable through a FELA claim include payment for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional suffering
- Loss of earning capacity
- Permanent partial or full disability.
A FELA plaintiff may also recover special damages for the nature and extent of a particularly serious injury and/or the emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life they have suffered.
A railroad worker who has been injured while on the job should immediately report the injury. When completing a personal injury report, the injured worker should not provide any statements beyond what the report form requires. A claim agent representing the railroad may attempt to obtain a written statement about the accident. Claims agents work to save the railroad money by keeping settlements for injuries as low as possible.
An injured railroad worker should contact an experienced Dothan railroad worker injury lawyer as soon as possible.
At Gartlan Injury Law, we can make sure your FELA claim is filed correctly and on time. We can protect your rights and respond to your employer’s inquiries regarding your claim and your rights, such as your right to see a doctor of your choice. We will also gather evidence about the accident and the full extent of your injuries to prove your right to recover maximum FELA benefits.
Get Help with Your Railroad Accident Case Today
Federal law mandates how railroad workers are to be compensated for on-the-job injuries caused by their employer’s negligence. But railroads will work to avoid expensive claims for serious injuries. Do not try to take them on alone. For help with your railroad accident claim, contact Gartlan Injury Law today. We know how devastating an injury can be, so we will never ask you to pay for a consultation. We will never make you pay an attorney fee upfront.