Injured Railroad Workers Bringing Claims Under FELA
The law protects you when you suffer injuries under certain circumstances. When you are injured through no fault of your own, you bring a personal injury claim. When you are injured at work, you file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. What happens when you are injured while working on a railroad?
Railroad workers who have been injured are not covered by state workers’ compensation programs. For over a century, they have been covered by the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), which applies to physical injuries on the railroad. If you have been injured, call Towe & Fitzpatrick, PLLC, in Missoula at 406-203-5148 for a free consultation.
Since 1995, Jamie Towe has represented railroad workers in numerous FELA cases at trial and in appeals. He has litigated on behalf of workers from railroads that do business in Montana and throughout the country, including BNSF, Union Pacific, Montana Rail Link (MRL) and Watco’s smaller railroad companies such as the Mission Mountain Railroad.
Frequently Asked Questions About FELA
FELA is a liability-based system where potentially both the railroad’s and the worker’s negligence are at issue. There are also additional potential claims under different Montana and federal laws for workers who have been harassed for reporting injuries or safety issues.
Below are a few FAQs about FELA claims.
- What do I do after an injury? Medical attention should be your priority, but it is also important to report the injury and contact an attorney. As in other personal injury situations, never give a written or recorded statement without an attorney. Document as much as possible, including names and addresses of witnesses. Take photos with your cellphone if you can.
- Do I have to use the railroad’s recommended doctor? No, you should seek the medical attention of your choosing.
- Are there any time limitations? Yes, each law has a different statute of limitations, and each presents different issues and recoverable items of damage. Therefore, it is important to contact an attorney immediately who is well-versed in and experienced with the nuances of the laws as well as the tactics used by railroads to defeat claims.
- Am I entitled to the same benefits as workers’ compensation? As it is a fault-based system, you are entitled to damages similar to those available through a personal injury lawsuit. These are often greater than under traditional workers’ compensation laws.
Still Have Questions? Contact Us For A Free Initial Consultation.
If you have been injured, we can help you understand your rights and file a claim under FELA. Schedule your free consultation with an attorney by calling us at 406-203-5148 or sending us an email. We represent injured workers statewide and do not charge fees unless we win your case.