As many people know, injured railroad workers are not entitled to workers’ compensation. An injured railroader’s rights to compensation are found in the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). There are several differences between Worker’s Compensation and the FELA. First, workers’ compensation is a “no fault” system. This means workers do not have to show an employer’s negligence caused the injury. Under the FELA, the injured railroad worker must show that the employer’s negligence contributed to the injury. Second, workers’ compensation cases are rarely decided by juries, while FELA cases are often decided by juries. Third, workers’ compensation covers most workers, while the FELA covers most railroad workers.
The FELA requires railroads to provide employees with a reasonably safe place to work, safe equipment, and adequate training. If a railroad fails to provide a reasonably safe place to work, the railroad is held responsible. An injured railroad worker is entitled to lost wages, decreased earning power, lost medical benefits, medical expenses, disfigurement, and past and future pain and suffering. Congress passed the FELA in 1908 to help railroad workers seek compensation for injuries sustained as a result of their employer’s negligence. Today the lawyers at Doran & Murphy continue to represent railroad workers and their families. If you were injured at work on the railroad and need help getting compensation, please call us at 1-800-374-2144 or contact us through email.