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.
For a Montana railroad worker who suffers an injury on the job, financial hardship is a real possibility. To prevent a bad situation from becoming worse, certain steps should be followed after railroad worker injuries to secure compensation. Whether the worker suffers catastrophic injuries leading to permanent disability or less severe issues causing a few days of missed work, a successful claim under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) can recover the costs of any medical care and lost wages.
Railroad workers should be aware of a May ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding pursuing damages against corporations. The 8-1 ruling, which specifically applied to two lawsuits plaintiffs had filed against a Texas railroad company in the more amenable Montana court system, placed limits on where corporations can be properly sued.
Many miles of railroad tracks crisscross Montana, and the heavy equipment involved presents daily hazards to workers. In 1908, Congress established the Federal Employers Liability Act to provide injured railroad workers and their family members with a system for recevingcompensation. Unlike workers' compensation insurance that applies to most other industries, FELA governs the process of determining liability and settlements for railroad workers.