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What is the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA)?
The Federal Employers’ Liability Act allows railroad workers engaged in interstate commerce to sue their employers for injuries resulting from negligence, failure to provide safety training or equipment, or violations of the Safety Appliance Act or the Boiler Inspection Act. To successfully sue your employer under the FELA, you need to prove that you have been injured on the job because of NEGLIGENCE on the part of your employer.
Unlike worker’s compensation cases, under the FELA, a railroader has the right to a jury trial heard in a regular circuit court. This provides the injured railroader with access to recover the full measure of damages to which they are entitled. In other words, if the railroader can prove negligence, he or she can recover pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, their full wage loss and benefits, and their future wage loss or impairment of earning capacity.
As a result, FELA cases tend to be worth more than worker’s compensation cases. The railroads know this and hire experts early on to try and minimize the value of their employees’ cases.
The railroads are extremely successful in pressuring employees not to turn in an injury, especially a reportable, lost-time traumatic injury. Once an injury is turned in, a claims representative tries hard to manipulate an employee’s medical care and to obtain a written statement, all in an effort to minimize the employee’s case.
You need to KNOW YOUR RIGHTS.
YOU GET TO CHOOSE YOUR OWN DOCTOR.
YOU SHOULD NOT GIVE A RECORDED STATEMENT.