Montana residents who are employed by railroad companies are protected under the Federal Employers Liability Act if they are injured while they are working on the job. This law differs from state workers’ compensation laws, however. Under FELA, people are required to prove that the railroad company was negligent and caused their injuries as a result.
FELA covers nearly all employees of railroads, including those whose jobs don’t involve working on trains or tracks such as office staff. People must also be able to prove that the railroad was negligent in some manner that caused their injuries. However, the required negligence can be very slight, which is known as featherweight negligence.
Railroads often argue that injured victims were partially or totally at fault in their accidents. When injured workers are also negligent, their awards will be reduced by the percentages of fault that are attributed to them under the rule of comparative negligence. If workers are killed, their families may recover damages by filing FELA claims.
Railroad worker injuries that are caused by the negligence of the railroads may be compensable under FELA. People who are injured while they are working for railroads might want to consult with personal injury attorneys who are experienced in handling FELA claims. The attorneys may understand the complexities of the law and the proof requirements that their clients will have. They may then work to build strong cases so that their clients are likelier to be able to reach fair settlements. If a settlement is not forthcoming, the attorneys may instead fight for their clients through a jury trial.