Working for the railroad in Alabama and anywhere else in the country is a dangerous job. There are so many different injuries you could suffer that can put you out of work for an extended period, preventing you from providing for your family. In 1908, the United States Congress passed the Federal Employees Liability Act (FELA), which protects railroad workers who suffer injuries while working on the railroad. FELA is a form of workers’ compensation benefits for railroad workers and is different from traditional workers’ compensation.
Serious injuries railroad workers can suffer on the job
There’s no shortage of serious injuries a railroad worker can suffer on the job. These injuries can change your life in an instant. Railroad workers can receive benefits from FELA for any of the following injuries:
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Lacerations that cause disfigurement
- Damage to the spinal cord and/or paralysis
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), there were 3,855 railroad worker injuries in 2018 and 17 railroad worker deaths. 2018 was the deadliest year for railroad workers since 2011, when 21 workers died on the job. Since 2000, the deadliest year for railroad worker deaths was 2006 when 26 workers died.
In short, FELA was created to help close the gap for railroad workers when it came to receiving benefits for injuries suffered on the job. Every common carrier is required to take part in FELA if it operates in interstate commerce. A worker injured on the railroad can seek compensation under FELA for the following:
- Physical pain
- Medical expenses
- Mental anguish
- Loss of earning capability
- Physical impairment
Reasons to use an attorney for a FELA claim
As with any type of injury claim, you should always consult an attorney when filing a FELA claim. In order to find success with a FELA claim, you must prove that the railroad was liable for the injuries you suffered. This means that you will need to show there was a known hazardous condition present that the railroad failed to correct, or that the railroad was responsible in some other way for your injuries.
An attorney will investigate the incident that led to your injuries so that a strong case can be built against the railroad. The investigation will include the collection of evidence, including pictures and videos from the scene of the accident as well as witness statements. You need to focus on rehabbing your injuries and not looking for ways to prove the railroad was liable for your injuries.
If your case reaches the trial stage your attorney will be able to explain everything to you clearly. An attorney will prepare you for questioning by the attorney representing the railroad and will make sure you know how to handle yourself in front of a judge. How you act during a trial can play a big role in the outcome of your case.
The Mezrano Law Firm proudly represents Alabama railroad workers who suffer injuries on the job. If the railroad you work for fails to repair hazardous items and you suffer an injury, you can file a claim under FELA. We have offices in Birmingham, Florence, Gadsden, Mobile, Montgomery, and Tuscaloosa to better serve our clients. Call us today at 205-206-6300 or complete a contact form to schedule a consultation today.