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FELA claims are complex, differ from workers’ comp

On Behalf of | Aug 19, 2020 | Workers' Compensation And FELA |

As an Amtrak on-board services employee, you are used to having to deal with cranky passengers. In fact, it seems like you made a dozen trips to the sleeper for one traveling family, making sure they had everything they could possibly need during the trip.

Yet, you are headed there again — this time with a pot of hot tea — at dawn. As the train is speeding out of a wooded area on the outskirts of a small town, disaster occurs.

A semitruck is stretched across the rails up ahead. While you can’t see the problem, the screaming of the brakes and the blaring of the horn alert you that there’s a problem ahead. You try to brace yourself, but to no avail. The train slams into the semitruck and the impact pitches you forward toward the sleeping car area, hot tea and all.

Getting injured on a train requires a different process than it would if you worked in almost any other industry and got hurt on the job. State workers compensation laws do not apply to railroad workers after they get injured. Instead, you must comply with the provisions of a federal statute, known as the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA).  Under the FELA, there is no legal limit on the damages you recieve.  Under most states’ workers compensation laws, you are limited in the amount of money and damgages you can receive.

We can help you file your claim. These claims can be tricky, as they are fault-based claims as opposed to typical workers’ comp claims. The railroad must be found at least partially liable for your injuries to make a successful claim. But as long as the injured worker was not 100% at fault, unlike with workers’ comp claims, they have a right to sue for damages in federal or state court.

Contact us to learn more about your rights under FELA.

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