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FELA is the Federal Employer�s Liability Act and is a Federal law addressing railroad workers injury compensation. Trainmen and railway workers suffering job-related injuries do not have worker's compensation insurance. Instead, trainmen and employees of railroads are able to recovery for injuries only if they can show fault on behalf of a railway employee or the railroad.
FELA is a broad law that courts construe liberally in order to fulfill Congress's intent to protect railroad employees. The standard for proving liability under the Federal Employer�s Liability Act has been described as "significantly lighter than it would be in an ordinary negligence case." Though every case is different, jury awards for damages under FELA frequently range from $500,000 and $2,000,000 where an injury is shown to be permanent. This is often the case because railroad work is quite hazardous and injuries to rail workers are more common and more severe than for other occupations.
One example of a recent FELA recovery is an action against Grand Trunk & Western railroad where the trainman had both legs amputated due to a train accident. The jury in that case awarded $7,000,000 in compensation for his damages, which were obviously incredibly severe and included past and future pain, suffering and disability, past and future lost earning capacity, and past and future medical expenses.
Railroads do not simply rollover and settle FELA cases fairly when damages are so high. Typically, the railroad or its insurer will initially try to control the trainman's medical treatment, directing them to railroad friendly doctors. Then the railroad or its insurance company will try to get a quick settlement, which may appear substantial but most assuredly fails to fully and fairly compensate for all recoverable damages. If the railroad employee is wise enough to hire an experienced FELA lawyer, then the railroad too will hire defense lawyers to do whatever they can to deter the claim and limit damages.
In order to avoid a recovery, railroad attorneys will typically try to get evidence in order to try and influence a jury. The railroad lawyers will primarily try to show:
|First, that the railroad was not negligent; and|
|Second, that the railroad did not cause this employee's injury (e.g. it was pre-existing). Both negligence and cause must be proven in order to recover any damages for the railroad employee.|
Next, in order to reduce the railroad worker's recovery, a railroad attorney will typically try to convince a jury:
|That even if the railroad was negligent and caused the injury, the railroad employee is at fault for their injury.|
Jury verdicts reveal however that jurors are rightfully skeptical of railroad a defense lawyer who argues that a trainman was negligent for simply doing his job or doing what his supervisor told him to do. FELA personal injury lawyers help this country's 250,000 railroad workers to get them full and fair compensation and by arguing against the often frivolous defenses put up by defense attorneys and the railroads.
In order for railroad workers to obtain full and fair recovery in a FELA case, injury attorneys with experience in such cases are necessary. Our firm has experience with such cases and is happy to discuss your case with you.
Wisconsin Railroads links:
|Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad|
|Canadian National Railroad (Wisconsin Central)|
|Escanaba & Lake Superior Railroad (E&LS)|
|Wisconsin Central (see Canadian National)|
|Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Co. (WSOR) (Milwaukee Road, Chicago & Northwestern, Wisconsin & Calumet tracks)|
|Teamsters Rail Conference|
|Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET)|
|Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWE)|
|Teamsters Canada Rail Conference|
|United Transportation Union (UTU)|
Wisconsin FELA cases and FELA injuries outside Wisconsin. All inquiries are free and without obligation.
If you wish to know whether the firm can help with a FELA personal injury or wrongful death case, please call (262) 785-0802 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Wisconsin lawyers may only practice law in Wisconsin. However, Wisconsin attorneys may however work at no added fee or expense with co-counsel outside Wisconsin and/or may be admitted to practice on a temporary basis outside Wisconsin. Thus, the firm may help with