RAILROAD EMPLOYEE ON THE JOB INJURIES – FEDERAL EMPLOYERS LIABILITY ACT (FELA):
Mogab and Hughes Attorneys represent railroad employees injured on the job on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t charge you an attorney’s fee until we make a recovery for you. These cases are different from workers compensation cases. The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) is a United States federal law that protects and compensates railroaders injured on the job. It provides a much broader array of remedies than does the traditional workers’ compensation system. For the most part, workers’ compensation benefits tend to be fixed and arbitrary. Under the FELA, however, an injured railroad worker can recover all of the damages traditionally associated with a civil law suit.
A railroad employee injured on the job is entitled to a jury trial. Money damages for injuries are determined in much the same manner as in a civil damage suit and are not restricted by Statute so that a jury’s award is what the employee is entitled to. If you are injured you are entitled to recover compensatory damages. These include, past and future lost earnings, medical expenses, decreased earning power, and past and future pain and suffering.
To recover under the FELA, the injured worker must first establish some negligence on the part of the railroad. Again, this differs from workers compensation laws which do not require the employee to prove negligence. However, the amount of negligence that must be demonstrated under the FELA is slight. Essentially, the worker needs to establish that the railroad failed to provide him or her with a reasonably safe place to work.
The FELA also has provisions to deal with situations in which a worker’s own negligence may have combined with that of the railroad to bring about the injury (a principle known as “contributory negligence”). Basically, the way the law works is that if a railroad worker is found to be partly responsible for an accident, any damage award will be reduced by the workers’ contributory negligence. For example, if a jury decides that an injured worker is entitled to a total recovery of $100,000 (for lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.), but also decides that the worker was himself 25% responsible for causing the injury, the ultimate recovery by the employee would be $75,000 – the jury’s $100,000 verdict minus 25% of that amount for the employee’s own contributory negligence.
In some cases where the railroad has violated a Federal railroad safety law, such as the Safety Appliance Act or Locomotive Inspection Act, there is no reduction for contributory negligence and the railroad will be liable for all damages. Another important protection of the FELA is that it makes it a crime for a railroad to intimidate its workers from providing information about an accident to an injured employee’s attorney.
JONES ACT (SEAMEN) INJURIES
The Federal Jones Act provides a remedy to crew members for injuries or death resulting from the negligence of an owner, a master, or a fellow sailor of a vessel. It entitles members of the crew of tug boats and other vessels working in navigation on navigable rivers and lakes to have their benefits determined by a jury. The Jones Act entitles them or their survivors, to sue their employer in the event that their fellow workers or shipmasters are negligent and to receive a trial by jury. Benefits are not restricted as they are in workers compensation.
Missouri Railroad Employee (FELA) and Jones Act (Seamen) Injury Attorneys
Mogab and Hughes Attorneys handle Railroad Employee On The Job injuries – Federal Employers Liability (FELA) cases and Jones Act (Seaman) cases on a contingent basis. We are not paid unless we obtain an award for you. Call us at 314-241-4477 for a FREE CONSULTATION.