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What Is a FELA Claim?

Over 3000 railroad workers were injured on the job in 2021. What if you become one of those injured?

Working on the railroad all the livelong day is a dangerous job no matter what your role is, whether you’re a freight handler or a locomotive engineer.

No one likes to think about becoming injured, or worse, dying. Especially on the job. In an industry like rail transportation, it’s important to know exactly what you are entitled to if you do become injured.

Luckily, Congress has protected the rights of railroad workers through the Federal Employer’s Liability Act, commonly known as FELA. If you do suffer a railroad injury, knowing how to handle the FELA claims process is an important first step toward getting what you deserve.

Here’s everything you need to know about a FELA claim.

What Is a FELA Claim?

On the surface, a FELA claim looks like a typical workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation claims, however, don’t require the worker to prove negligence on the part of the employer.

In the FELA claim process, the injured employee has to show negligence from the employer. Not only that, they have to prove that the railroad injury occurred as a result of that negligence.

FELA claims require more proof than a typical workers’ compensation claim. The potential for damage compensation is higher also.

What Do I Need to Do to Prove Negligence?

As said before, it is up to the employee to prove that the railroad was negligent. Railroads are large, vast organizations, and as such, have plenty of potential breaking points that could lead to negligence.

There are four categories that a FELA claim typically falls under:

  • Failure to create and sustain satisfactory workplace safety
  • Lack of proper employee training
  • Inadequate tools and equipment
  • Lack of manpower

Plenty of acts fall under these four categories. If you’re unsure about whether or not an act may have been negligent, you should get in contact with a railroad injury lawyer. They’ll be able to help you figure out whether or not you have a case.

Are There Any FELA Claim Limitations?

There is a statute of limitations on when you can submit a FELA claim. Since the act was passed by Congress, the time limit statute is set in Federal law. From the time that you suffered your railroad injury, you have three years to begin your lawsuit.

What if you are suffering from something that doesn’t have an exact start date, cancer from prolonged exposure to fumes? In that case, the typical start date is set to when you knew that your injury is work related.

You Have Rights as a Railroad Employee

If you have suffered a railroad injury, you have the right to receive damages. By submitting a FELA claim, you can get the settlement you deserve. While you have to prove negligence and there is a statute of limitations, you can still get compensation for your workplace injury.

If you’re looking to learn more about business, health, travel, or plenty of other topics, take a look at some of our other articles.

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