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Do you know your rights under FELA?

If you are a railroad worker, it's important that you know and understand the rights that you have under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). Hopefully, you will never need to make a claim, but if you do, this knowledge can help you successfully resolve it.

Below is some important information for railroad workers.

Your rights under FELA

Because of the provisions of FELA, those who work on the railroad are entitled to safe workplaces. They also are given the right to file suit against their employers if they are killed or injured on the job due to negligence.

Under FELA, railroad employers must:

  • Exercise reasonable care to keep workers safe
  • Provide reasonably safe workplaces
  • Establish safe work methods
  • Give workers the safety devices, tools and equipment they need to carry out their duties
  • Properly train workers to do their jobs
  • Assist employees to enable them to work safely
  • Establish and enforce safety rules and protocols
  • Regularly inspect the job site for safety hazards

In some circumstances, despite the safety policies and procedures that are in place, workers may still get hurt or even killed on the railroad. In those instances, the worker or their surviving family members may take legal action when negligence was the cause of the injury or death.

There is one major difference between typical workers' comp benefits and those offered under FELA.

Comparative negligence principles are applied. What that means in layman's terms is that the one alleging the negligence must prove their case in court. This is where retaining an attorney familiar with FELA laws can be of vital assistance.

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