Temple FELA Lawyer

In 1908, the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) was signed into law to benefit and protect injured railroad workers. Since then, FELA regulations have transformed the dangerous industry by creating a safer workplace and the guarantee that railroad workers and their families will be compensated for injuries and wrongful deaths due to the railroad’s negligence. If you are an injured railroad employee or lost a family member who was one, a Temple FELA lawyer may be able to help you. Reach out to Chad Jones Law today to speak with one of our skilled railroad accident attorneys.

FELA Is Not Workers’ Compensation

Although attempts have been made through the years to switch railroad employees covered under FELA to workers’ compensation, FELA remains the primary source of benefits. Both systems provide compensation for medical care, and other losses workers experience when they are injured or become ill from job-related conditions.

One of the main differences is that workers’ compensation does not assign fault; there must only be a connection between the injury and the workplace. In comparison, to utilize FELA, an injured railroad worker must prove the railroad company’s negligence was at least partly responsible for the injury. Our Temple attorneys are experienced in railroad accidents and can help injured workers better understand their rights and options under FELA.

The Elements of Negligence in a FELA Claim

In civil tort actions for injuries caused by another’s action or inaction, the injured party must prove the four elements of negligence to prevail. These elements are duty, breach, causation, and damages. A railroad company has a duty to its employees to ensure the work environment is safe. Some specific responsibilities, prescribed under FELA, include:

  • Implement and enforce safety protocols
  • Ensure workloads do not overburden employees
  • Provide assistance if a physical task dangerously strains an employee
  • Provide proper training for employees to use and maintain railroad equipment
  • Supervise all subordinate employees to ensure they are doing their jobs properly
  • Conduct regular workplace inspections to determine, rectify, and warn employees of any unsafe conditions or safety hazards

If a railroad company, through its supervisors or other employees, fails to perform any of these duties or others, a breach of duty has occurred. If the breach causes an accident and a railroad employee is injured because of it, the elements of negligence are established. Our Temple FELA attorneys can determine whether the elements of negligence are met in a railroad employee accident.

Venue for FELA Claims

FELA claims can be brought in federal or Texas state courts, although if brought in state court, they cannot be moved to federal court, according to 28 U.S.C. § 1445(a). Texas procedural rules will apply if a FELA action is brought there, but the action will be governed by federal law when it comes to the rights and duties of the parties. Thus, it is important that plaintiffs in FELA actions seek counsel from legal counsel who is familiar with state and federal laws.

Let a Temple FELA Attorney Provide Dedicated Legal Representation

Things have progressed for railroad workers since the Federal Employers’ Liability Act was implemented in 1908. Workers are now protected under safety regulations and can seek compensation if injured on the job. However, as profit-driven businesses, many railroad companies will fight these claims to avoid financial liability.

A FELA claim is complex because it relies on the common law definition of negligence, state law if brought in state court, and federal law under the United States Code. When you are injured at work as a railroad employee, you will benefit greatly by talking to an attorney familiar with the laws affecting these claims. Our Temple FELA lawyers can navigate these laws and seek compensation for your injury. Call Chad Jones Law today to discuss the details of your claim at length.