If you are employed in the railroad industry and were injured in a work-related accident, you may be able to recover compensation through the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA).
At Simien & Simien, our Louisiana FELA lawyers will provide you with valuable legal experience established through more than three decades of experience as an accomplished personal injury law firm. As a prospective client, we will provide you a free, no obligation consultation to review your claim. From there, we can determine if you are entitled to compensation and legal action. Our services are always provided at no upfront cost and we only charge you if we reach a fair outcome for your claim.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form to consult with a Louisiana FELA lawyer today.
What is FELA?
FELA is a U.S. federal law enacted by Congress in 1908 in response to the constant workplace dangers in the railroad industry.
Because railroad workers are typically not covered by traditional workers’ compensation insurance, FELA enables injured workers and their families to file lawsuits against the railroad company to recover damages, or compensation, for injuries caused by a company’s negligence. Unlike workers’ compensation, which is a no-fault system, railroad companies can be held liable for injuries caused by negligence.
Under FELA, railroad companies are legally obligated to abide by workplace safety standards that ensure the safety of all employees.
If a railroad fails to ensure the safety of its workers, or if a worker is injured because of another worker’s actions, the company will be responsible for any injuries that may result. This also includes employees whose primary duties are not performed in or around trains, such as a railroad company’s office-based staff.
Because these types of cases require a lawsuit filed in state or federal court, you need an experienced Louisiana FELA lawyer who is well-versed in this law and understands how to recover the compensation you need.
Our Louisiana Federal Employers’ Liability Act lawyers can help you build a strong claim on your behalf and gather the evidence needed to prove that negligence caused your injuries.
Call (800) 374-8422 to speak with a Louisiana FELA lawyer today.
When is a Railroad Company Liable Under FELA?
The basis of a FELA claim revolves around the fact that a railroad company failed to provide a safe workplace.
This requires definitive proof showing the company failed in its duty to ensure safety and that that failure in some way contributed to the worker’s injuries.
FELA requires railroad companies to:
- Provide a reasonably safe work environment, equipment, tools and safety devices
- Regularly inspect the work environment to ensure it is safe and free of hazards
- Provide sufficient training, supervision, assistance and help to employees in their job functions
- Warn employees of any unsafe conditions and hazards, even in situations where the employee should be aware of the inherent danger
- Enforce safety rules and regulations
- Prevent the practice of unreasonable work quotas
A railroad company is often liable under FELA for an injury or death if it or one of its employees failed to follow these standards. If an employee was injured because of this violation, his or her employer would be liable for negligence under FELA standards.
In order to hold a railroad company liable for a worker’s on-the-job injury, the worker must prove that the company’s negligence contributed to his or her injury.
Although workers have the burden of proving that a company was negligent, the degree of fault that FELA requires you to prove is significantly lower than what is normally required for negligence claims.
This is often referred to as “featherweight” burden of proof and provides an advantage to railroad employees.
A worker bringing a claim under FELA must only prove that negligence played any part – no matter how small – in causing his or her injury.
Unlike traditional personal injury claims that require proof that the at-fault party’s negligence was the main cause of the injury, FELA claims can be filed even if the company was only partially responsible for the injury.
To prove negligence, you must show that:
- The railroad company failed to meet its duty to keep workers safe.
- The railroad company or its negligent employee failed to act as a reasonable and prudent person would have under similar circumstances.
Comparative Negligence in FELA Claims
Even if you were partly responsible for causing your injury, you will be able to recover compensation for losses related to your injury based on the standard of comparative negligence.
Under this standard, the negligence of all involved parties, including the injured worker and the railroad, will be considered when determining the amount of compensation that can be recovered.
If the railroad worker was partially responsible for his or her injury, his or her compensation will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault. However, he or she will still be able to recover compensation for the percentage of the railroad’s fault.
For example, if a court finds that you were 30 percent responsible for causing your injuries, your compensation award will be reduced by 30 percent. If you were awarded $100,000, your compensation will be reduced by 30 percent to $70,000.
Our Louisiana FELA attorneys will work to ensure you are not blamed for any level of fault you are not responsible for. We will build a case that accurately reflects your actions and those of the at-fault party, helping you to recover the maximum compensation you deserve.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form for legal help filing a FELA claim in Louisiana.
Compensation for Railroad Workers’ Injuries Under FELA
If a worker can prove the railroad company is liable for his or her injury or illness, he or she is entitled to compensation from the employer.
This compensation can cover many of the costs and damages associated with a variety of types of injuries that can occur in the railroad industry, including:
- Traumatic injuries, such as sprains, broken bones, and pulled or torn muscles
- Repetitive motion injuries, like carpal tunnel or tendonitis
- Occupational diseases, such as mesothelioma, hearing loss and lung cancer
- Aggravations of pre-existing injuries, such as an injury that accelerates or worsens an existing health problem within your body
Because FELA allows a claimant to take legal action against an employer, there are no limitations to the financial compensation an injured railroad worker can seek. This can include:
- 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
Unlike a workers’ compensation claim, FELA allows workers to recover compensation for pain and suffering resulting from their injuries. This often makes up a significant portion of an injured worker’s award.
In the unfortunate circumstance that a workplace injury results in the death of railroad worker, his or her surviving spouse and children can file a claim under FELA to receive compensation.
If the worker does not have a surviving spouse or children, his or her parents or close family members are entitled to file a claim.
Our Louisiana FELA lawyers will work with you to determine the compensation that accurately reflects the injury and suffering you have endured. We can review the circumstances surrounding your claim during a free consultation to discover if you are entitled to pursue legal action.
For a free consultation with a Louisiana FELA lawyer, call (800) 374-8422.
Common Railroad Injuries
Due to the dangerous work environment railroad workers are regularly exposed to, there are often severe injuries that result from work-place accidents.
Some common railroad injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Burn injuries
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Loss of limbs or dismemberment
- Crush injuries
- Herniated Discs
- Injured ligaments and Tendons
Railroad workers are highly susceptible to serious bodily injury and death whenever an accident occurs. These injuries often result in long-lasting or permanent injuries that may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
The medical bills that railroad workers often accumulate to treat their injuries are staggering and can cause serious financial despair.
This is why you will need an experienced Louisiana Federal Employers’ Liability Act lawyer who can identify when an accident was caused by the railroad’s negligence and help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Complete our Free Case Evaluation form to consult with a Louisiana FELA lawyer.
If your injuries occurred at work but were caused by another party other than your employer or any of its employees, it may be possible to file a third-party lawsuit against the other party.
A third party can include:
- The manufacturer of a defective or dangerous piece of equipment
- The manufacturer of the train or any of its parts
- The owner of a vehicle transportation service hired by the railroad company
- The supplier or owner of any dangerous material being transported by the train that injures or kills a worker
- A private contractor hired by the railroad company
It is important to note, however, that this type of lawsuit does not fall under FELA and will have to meet the requirements of a personal injury lawsuit, which requires proving that the at-fault party’s negligence directly caused your injuries.
Our experienced personal injury lawyers will investigate your claim to determine all parties that could be held liable for your injuries. We will pursue all legal options that are in your best interest.
Why Should You Hire Simien & Simien to Represent Your FELA Claim?
For nearly 30 years, our firm has represented victims of negligence throughout the state of Louisiana. This experience has provided us with the skills needed to hold negligent companies accountable for the damage caused by careless or reckless actions.
Our Louisiana FELA lawyers are licensed and admitted to handle claims and lawsuits in state and federal courts in Louisiana, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court. Several of our attorneys are also members of Baton Rouge Bar Association and the Louisiana Bar Association.
Throughout our three decades of legal experience, we have recovered billions in verdicts and settlements for our clients. We have the resources you need to bring a valid FELA claim against a railroad company that will have a team of attorneys and insurance companies representing its interests.
Call (800) 374-8422 if you need an experienced Louisiana FELA lawyer.
Contact an Accomplished Louisiana FELA Lawyer
If you or someone you love is an employee of a railroad company and has been injured or killed, contact our Louisiana FELA lawyers. We can discuss your claim during a free, no obligation consultation and discuss whether you are entitled to damages and legal action.
Our Louisiana FELA claim attorneys will provide our services for no upfront charges and only require payment if we are successful in recovering the compensation you deserve.
Call (800) 374-8422 to speak with a Louisiana FELA lawyer today.