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Legal Blog

Do I Need a Lawyer for a FELA Claim?

The Texas Gulf Coast contains some of the most extensive freight rail systems in the United States and is a hub for freight traffic. The Houston region alone contains fourteen mainline tracks, which provides the necessary infrastructure to ship a variety of commodities to the rest of the state and beyond. As a result, thousands of people are employed in the rail industry state-wide.

Dangers of Railroad Accidents

Unfortunately, railroads can be hazardous workplaces even for employees in non-railroad occupations. The most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that there was a total of 1,221 fatal railroad-related work injuries from 1993 to 2002. More than three-quarters of the fatal work injuries occurred on railway lines or in railway yards.

The sheer size of trains means that railroad accidents tend to result in serious injuries or death. Common railroad accident injuries include:

  • Mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injury
  • Crushed or amputated limbs
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord damage, including paralysis
  • Burns
  • Toxic chemical exposure
  • Disfiguring lacerations

What is the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA)?

In 1908, Congress enacted the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) to protect railroad workers. The law was an attempt to address the absence of safety measures for the railroad industry and to reduce the high accident rate at that time. The FELA applies to every common carrier by railroad while engaging in interstate commerce and their employees.

Under FELA, railroads have a duty to provide a reasonably safe work environment. In addition to setting safety standards for the railroad industry, the FELA provides a remedy for railroad workers who have been injured on the job due to their employers’ negligence. FELA provides the exclusive remedy for most injured railroad workers and they are generally not eligible for worker’s compensation.

Through a FELA claim, you may be able to recover compensation for your past and future:

  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Physical pain
  • Physical impairment
  • Disfigurement
  • Mental anguish

In order for a railroad worker to recover compensation under a FELA claim, the claimant must prove that the railroad was negligent in causing his or her work-related injuries. Establishing liability in a railroad accident can be complicated from a legal perspective. This is why it is important to consult with an experienced railroad accident lawyer as early as possible.

Working with a qualified railroad accident attorney after your accident, gives you the best chance at collecting and preserving valuable evidence to support your claim. At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we have four decades of experience representing injured rail workers and we can immediately begin investigating your accident to determine liability.

How an Experienced Railroad Accident Lawyer Can Help

If you have sustained work-related injuries in a railroad or train accident, we are here to help. The Houston railroad accident lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. understands how FELA claims work and how to build a strong argument in support of your case. We have secured numerous multi-million recoveries on behalf of our clients we will fight for the maximum possible recovery in your case.

We offer a free initial case evaluation and we only get paid if we obtain compensation for your injuries. Call us today at (281) 283-8500 to learn more about how we can help.