Railroad workers have a long and proud history in Texas. They are the backbone of our transportation system, and their hard work keeps America moving.
Unfortunately, working on the railroad can be dangerous, and railroad workers often suffer serious injuries on the job. If you’re a railroad worker who’s been injured, you need to know your rights under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA).
Railroad workers have to be compensated for any injury sustained while on the job, so it’s important that you know your rights. When a railroad worker is injured, they’re entitled to a variety of benefits, including medical care and disability pay.
If you’re not sure what your rights are under FELA, our Houston railroad injury attorneys here at Roven Camp are here to help.
What are your rights under FELA?
The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) is a law that provides injured railroad workers with compensation for their injuries passed by Congress in 1908.
Under FELA, employees are entitled to recover damages for any injury or illness that is caused by their employer’s negligence. This includes injuries that occur as a result of exposure to hazardous materials, repetitive stress injuries, and injuries caused by unsafe working conditions.
Employees in Texas, or any other state, who are injured on the railroad are also entitled to receive medical benefits, including payment for reasonable medical expenses and compensation for the time they missed from work. In addition to these economic damages, injured employees are also entitled to receive compensation for past and future non-economic damages, such as: pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Additionally, the law provides that if an injured employee dies as a result of a workplace accident, his or her family members are entitled to file a claim for wrongful death and survivor damages on behalf of the estate of the deceased worker.
What kinds of injuries are covered by FELA in Texas?
Railroads have a legal duty to provide a safe place for its employees to work. Employees have a right to compensation for many different kinds of on-the-job injuries, including injuries caused by:
- A defective machine or equipment
- A toxic substance
- A lack of training or supervision
- A burst pipe
- A defective ladder or other safety appliance
- Slipping or tripping hazards
- An electrical hazard, and more
Injuries under FELA can be the result of negligence on the part of your employer or its agents. This includes anyone who is acting on behalf of the company at the time you were injured.
This can be someone who is directing your work, such as a supervisor or foreman, or even an outside contractor hired by the company.
Employees in Houston, or any other U.S. city, may also sue for damages if they were exposed to hazardous materials and later developed cancer due to this exposure.
How to protect your rights under FELA in Texas
To protect your rights under FELA, it is important to understand your rights and know where to find help if you are injured.
Here are some tips:
- Understand your rights. FELA provides workers with broad protections, including the right to file a lawsuit if they are injured or killed on the job.
- Know where to find help. If you are injured, it is important to seek medical attention and to contact an attorney experienced in FELA to protect your rights.
- Never sign anything. Do not sign any papers or forms given to you by your employer before speaking with an experienced FELA attorney. The only form you may be required to fill and sign is the report of personal injury.
- File the claim within the appropriate time limit. Generally speaking, railroad employees have to file a lawsuit within 3 years from the date you knew or should have known that you were injured and that your injury was caused by the Railroad.
- Record everything. If your employer tries to get you to sign any documents after an accident, don’t sign them until you have contacted an attorney to review them. Keep all records of accidents and injuries, along with the names of everyone who witnessed the accident.
- Be proactive. If you are injured on the job, contact an experienced FELA attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights under FELA. A prompt and thorough investigation into your claim is vital in putting together a strong case for recovery in court, if necessary.
Contact our Houston Railroad Injury and FELA attorneys today
In order to protect your rights, it’s important that you file a claim with the FELA office as soon as possible after a workplace accident.
At Roven Camp, our dedicated Houston attorneys know how overwhelming this all can be, which is why we are ready to do the work for you. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.