What YOU Need to Know: How to Avoid Becoming a Railroad Injury Victim
New Orleans is a vital interchange point. Several railroad lines roll through the state, including passenger and freight lines. This includes six of the seven Class I railroads and several short lines.
Many locals work closely with or on these railways. With so much activity, there is bound to be injuries. If you are a railroad worker, you’ll need an experienced railroad injuries lawyer to help you sort through the complicated issues surrounding FELA regulations.
Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys has everything you need to know about FELA, railroad injuries, and what you can do if you become a victim.
What Is FELA?
Railroad workers labor in a dangerous work environment filled with numerous safety hazards. Congress passed the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) in 1908 to protect railroad workers employed in Louisiana and around the nation. FELA provides a system for legal recovery when railroad workers are injured on the job, similar to workers’ compensation claims.
However, this is the only similarity between the two systems. Unlike workers’ compensation claims, in FELA claims, you must prove your employer was negligent, and this negligence caused your injury. FELA also sets forth a uniform liability standard specifically for railroad workers to cover working conditions and employee safety.
Common Causes of Railroad Injury
Railroad accidents can occur for many reasons. The top reason for railroad injuries is the railroad company’s failure to provide a reasonably safe workplace.
Injuries may also occur due to derailments, crossing accidents, remote control issues, unexpected coupling accidents, walkway hazards, improperly loaded vehicles, faulty communications, unsafe lifting or hoisting practices, and violations of operating or safety rules.
In order to prove liability, you must show that the defendant was negligent and this negligence played some role, no matter how small, in causing your injury. The defendant will probably be the railway itself or its employees. Typically, a negligent act falls into one of several categories. These include failing to:
- Provide a reasonably safe work environment, equipment, and tools.
- Create, maintain, and enforce sufficient workplace safety rules.
- Provide appropriate supervision and assistance with job functions.
- Provide appropriate safety equipment and devices.
- Inspect workplace to ensure it’s free of hazards.
- Provide adequate manpower.
- Properly train employees.
Just know that navigating a railroad injury claim can be difficult. A railway injuries lawyer can make all the difference in organizing and also understanding your case.
Better Your Chances of Winning
To ensure a better chance of winning your case, there are several important steps you should take, including:
- Obtain immediate medical treatment. You’re not required to see the company doctor, but if you do, follow up with your own doctor for an unbiased medical evaluation.
- Fill out an injury report with your supervisor as soon as possible, and keep a copy for yourself. Also, note any unsafe conditions or other issues that contributed to your accident.
- Take photographs of the unsafe working conditions and your injuries.
- Get contact information for co-workers or others who witnessed the accident.
- Keep accurate records of your financial losses, including lost wages, medical expenses, and also other out-of-pocket expenses.
- Finally, contact an experienced railroad injuries lawyer.
However, after you’ve suffered an injury, taking the steps above are the last things on your mind. At Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys, our legal team is willing to maintain your case for you so that you can focus on recovering from any injuries. We work to help you receive the fullest compensation amount possible.
Compensation for Injuries
The damages you can recover through FELA claims are quite extensive and can include compensation for:
- Past and future lost wages.
- Past and future costs for medical treatment.
- Pain and suffering.
- Mental distress and emotional suffering.
- Permanent partial or full disability.
- Loss of earning capacity.
In fact, even if you were partially to blame for the accident, you can still pursue a claim and collect damages. However, the determined percentage of your fault may lower the amount of damages you can recover.
Additionally, if a railroad injury results in a wrongful death, the surviving spouse and/or children can still receive compensation.
It is also important to note that there are time limits to filing these types of injury claims. The statute of limitations to file is three years from the date of your injury or the date of the discovery of your injury.
Hire a Top Railroad Injuries Lawyer
If you’ve suffered an injury while employed as a railroad worker, an experienced railroad injuries lawyer at Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys can tell you whether you have a viable case. We understand FELA regulations and also offer free consultations with no fee unless we win your case. Visit our office from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., use our online LiveChat, or call us 24/7 at (504) 345-1111, or fill out our online form.
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.