FELA Accidents

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While railroad work can be rewarding, it can also pose grave risks to the workers hired to operate and maintain the nation’s railways. Not only can you be exposed to immediate injuries ranging from broken bones to brain damage, but you can be exposed to dangerous and toxic substances that can make you sick many years later. If you have been injured because of railroad work you performed, seeking damages can be confusing and overwhelming for you and your family. A FELA railroad accident lawyer can help you successfully seek compensation that you deserve after an injury.

At Studinski Law, LLC, we understand that every injury is unique, and it can be a long and difficult road to recovery. We have helped many families seek damages after accidents, and we understand the legal process that railroad workers face when seeking compensation. To speak with a qualified Wisconsin FELA railroad accident lawyer today, call us at (715) 343-2850.

What is the Federal Employers’ Liability Act?

The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) is a federal law put in place to provide compensation for work related injuries and wrongful death to railroad workers and their families. FELA allows for railroad workers to recover for work injuries. This law, in part, establishes what railroad companies are required to do to protect their employees, and it allows the employee to file claims against the railroad when the employee is injured. FELA requires railroad companies to do the following:

  • Inspect the work environment to make sure that it is free of hazards to workers
  • Provide reasonably safe equipment, tools, and devices
  • Provide adequate training, supervision, assistance, and help to employees in their job functions
  • Ensure workers are safe from harmful intentional acts of others
  • Enforce safety rules and regulations
  • Prevent unreasonable work quotas

When considering a FELA action, it is very important to note the statute of limitations for FELA suits. We strongly urge that you consult with a motor vehicle accident lawyer immediately for a specific analysis of the statute of limitations in your case. Generally, the law states that a FELA lawsuit must be filed within three years from the day that the cause of action occurred. If you are suffering from a disease with an uncertain date of injury, then the statute is to begin running when the effect of the disease is discovered. It is important to contact your FELA attorney immediately if you think that your injuries may be covered by FELA law.

Proving Your FELA Claim

Unlike workers’ compensation which is a “no-fault” process, you must prove fault in your FELA suit against your employer. Your FELA lawyer can help you show that the railroad was negligent, and because of this negligence you have been injured. While every FELA action is unique, we must show the following three things to be successful:

  1. The accident occurred in the scope of your work as an employee of the railroad. This does not necessarily mean that you have to be on property owned by the railroad, but simply that you were working in fulfilling your employment related duties when you were harmed.

  2. The railroad must be engaged in interstate commerce. This means that the company must not simply be confined to Wisconsin, and we can show this by demonstrating any business interests that your employer pursued in more than one state.

  3. The railroad company’s failure to provide for a safe environment is what caused your injury.

FELA actions also allow for the company to defend itself by using a comparative negligence defense. If they attempt this, they will argue that your negligence was the cause of your injury and they should therefore not have to pay. The law states that your award will be reduced by any amount that corresponds to your share in responsibility for the accident. So, if you are awarded $100,000, but are found to be 10% responsible for the injury you sustained, you will only recover $90,000. Studinski Law, LLC, understands how the courts approach liability and comparative negligence in FELA claims, and we can use our experience to help you receive compensation.

A Wisconsin Train Accident Attorney Can Help You

When you are suffering from a work-related injury you may feel overwhelmed and nervous about your financial future. FELA law might be a great option for you to seek compensation, and an attorney who understands the complexity of this federal process can help you during your recovery. With a FELA action, we can help you receive compensation for the following:

  • Past and future wage loss
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future pain, suffering, and mental anguish
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Wrongful death settlements

If you would like to speak with a qualified and experienced lawyer about your options, call us at Studinski Law, LLC, today at (715) 343-2850.

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