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Frequently Asked Questions about FELA
Q: What is FELA?
A: FELA stands for the Federal Employers' Liability Act. FELA provides that common carriers by railroad that are engaged in interstate commerce must provide employees with reasonably safe workplaces, tools and equipment. If railroads fail to do so, they can be held liable for damages for employee injuries or death caused by that failure.
Q: I'm a railroad worker and I was injured on the job. Can I recover damages for my injuries from my employer?
A: Under FELA, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries if you can establish that your injury occurred while you were working within the scope of your employment with the railroad; your employment furthered the railroad's interstate transportation business; the railroad was negligent; and the railroad's negligence in some way caused your injury.
If you were injured while working for a railroad engaged in interstate commerce, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA). If you have questions about holding your employer liable under FELA, contact our firm to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney.
Derzon & Menard, S.C.
Experienced Lawyers Handling Wisconsin FELA Claims
Working for the railroad is dangerous. In fact, thousands of such workers are seriously injured or killed each year in on-the-job accidents.
At Derzon & Menard, we fight to protect the rights and interests of injured railroad workers throughout the state of Wisconsin. Our lawyers understand the subtleties and nuances of the Federal Employer's Liability Act (the federal law that governs these cases) and have had extensive experience and success with FELA claims for previous clients. They are here and ready to fight for you too.For a general overview of the rail industry's workers' compensation system and how FELA claims are handled - we encourage you to read the articles provided below. For more specific information - please contact us directly instead.
FELA - An Overview
The Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) created a cause of action for damages for injuries or death caused by the negligence of a common carrier by railroad engaging in interstate or foreign commerce. FELA is a remedial statute that is liberally construed by courts. It supersedes common law and state laws that cover the liability of railroads for injuries to employees who work in interstate commerce. If you are a railroad employee who was injured on the job or if a family member died while working for a common carrier by railroad, you may have a claim for damages under FELA. An attorney at Derzon & Menard, S.C in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who has experience handling FELA cases can evaluate your situation.
Railroads' Duties under FELA
When Congress enacted the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) for the protection of railroad workers nationwide, it not only created a system in which injured workers could recover compensation for their injuries, it also established a duty for railroads to provide employees with a reasonably safe workplace. This duty is non-delegable. If you are a railroad worker who was injured on the job, or if a family member who worked for a railroad died in an accident at work, it is important to speak to an attorney.
FELA and Workplace Safety Regulations
One of the easiest ways to prove that a railroad company is liable for your injuries under FELA is to establish that your injuries were caused by the railroad's violation of some federal workplace safety regulation that protects railroad employees. One such law is the Federal Railroad Safety Authorization Act of 1994. In addition, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety standards and regulations apply to work done by railroad employees. An experienced FELA attorney can determine which workplace safety regulations are applicable to your case.
FELA Lawsuit Chronology
If you are a railroad employee and you were injured on the job, you may be a little unsure of what to expect when you file a claim under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA). A lawsuit is complicated, and it can be full of unpleasant surprises and frustrating delays. While every lawsuit is different, there are some general similarities common to all civil suits, including FELA claims. This article provides a chronology of how a lawsuit generally proceeds. An experienced FELA attorney can explain these steps in greater detail and guide you through the process.
FELA - What To Do If You Are Injured
The events that occur immediately after any workplace injury are often the most critical to the rights of the injured employee, and claims under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) are no different. If you or a loved one was injured while employed as a railroad worker, speak to a FELA attorney to learn the steps and precautions you should take after the incident to ensure that the right to recover compensation under FELA is not compromised.
FELA Resource Links
Federal Railroad Administration
National Transportation Safety Board
National Labor Relations Board
Association of American Railroads
US Department of Labor