In the early 1900's, workers' compensation laws were introduced as a way to protect and compensate people who were injured on the job. The United States Congress recognized that railroad work was ultra-hazardous and passed a special law to protect railroad workers, the Federal Employers' Liability Act (F.E.L.A.). The F.E.L.A. provides that an injured railroad worker will be compensated for an injury provided that he/she can prove that the railroad's negligence caused the injury. To this day, worker compensation laws do not cover railroad workers. That is why there are jury trials for F.E.L.A. cases and not worker compensation cases.
Railroad work is still very dangerous. The injury rate for the railroad industry is 50% higher than for the rest of the economy. Railroad workers need to be sure they are protected if they ever get hurt on the job. The United States Supreme Court noted that injured railroad workers and their families often fall prey to claims adjusters eager to gain a quick settlement for the railroad.
The jury trial system for handling railroad workers' injury claims requires the services of an attorney who is familiar with the railroad industry and possesses the skill to present the case to a jury. Our firm has handled thousands of F.E.L.A. cases over the past forty years against such railroads as the Norfolk Southern CSX, Union Pacific, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Gateway Western, Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis, Illinois Central, and the Alton & Southern. We understand the nature of railroad work. We appreciate the dangers that are encountered in the workplace, and with our experience, we are able to recognize negligent conduct on the part of the railroad which entitles a worker to compensation. We have worked with outside experts from all across the United States to present our clients' cases and secure for them jury awards and settlements which will take care of them and their families for the rest of their lives.
If you or a loved one has been injured while working for a railroad, please call our office at 1-800-634-6648 for an explanation of your legal rights. Meanwhile, remember the following do's and don'ts:
Immediately report your accident to the company and your union.
Complete a personal injury report and keep a copy for yourself.
Do not give any statements other than the information in your personal injury report unless required to do so by your working agreement.
Consult with your own doctor as soon as possible and be sure to give an accurate history as to how the accident occurred.
Apply for all benefits to which you are entitled.
Keep a list of all witnesses to your accident.
Keep copies of all medical reports and bills.
Protect your job security by cooperating with your union.
Consult with us as soon as possible for additional information regarding your claim.
Terrence V. O' Leary
Robert W. Bosslet, Jr.