If you have worked on a railroad in your life, you are probably more aware of the hazards of the job, and of trains in general, than the average person. Likewise, if you have a loved one who works on the railways, you have probably heard accounts of near-accidents and enough stories to cause you at least a modicum of concern as your loved one goes off to work each day. It was because of these hazards that Congress green-lit the Federal Employers Liability Act more than a century ago in an attempt to protect the railroad workers.
One goal of FELA is to hold railroad companies to a standard of protection for their employees. Even so, it is important to note that FELA is dissimilar to workers’ compensation in that an injured worker does need to prove negligence on the part of a railroad, an associated equipment manufacturer or employees of the railroad. If someone is hurt in almost any way while at work for a railroad company, they can file a claim under FELA. If a railroad company violates any of these standards, they can result in a determination of liability. The standards laid out by FELA are as follows:
- To prevent employees from working to meet unrealistic quotas.
- To protect workers from intentionally harmful behavior brought on by others.
- Provide a safe environment to work.
- Regularly inspect the working environment to remove any potential hazards.
- Uphold all safety regulations.
If a company has, in the past, been found to be in violation of any of these standards, establishing the case for liability can be considerably easier. Although, establishing negligence on the part of the railroad company or its affiliates is typically simpler than other liability cases. Even if the injured worker was negligent enough to hold some blame for the injury, that will only factor in as a percentage and the total award will be deducted from accordingly.
If you were injured while at work for a railroad company or if you have lost a loved one due to a train accident, you may have a strong case for compensation. An Ohio car accident attorney who is knowledgeable in train accidents and liability cases may be able to help you with a FELA claim.