Railroad work is a serious risk. Possible injuries range from minor bruises to severe brain trauma and even death. For those who survive railroad work accidents, there may be long-term effects that come with time such as pain or paralysis.
The Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) is a federal statute specifically intended to cover railroad employees who are injured on the job. However, understanding how the statute of limitations works for a FELA claim is important. It could potentially mean the difference between a successful case and not being able to file a claim at all.
Our seasoned railroad injury attorneys at Roven Camp in Texas have years of combined experience in handling FELA claims. If you or a loved one have been injured while working on the railroad, we may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve. In this article, we will discuss the statute of limitations for a FELA claim and how our team at Roven Camp in Houston can help.
What is FELA?
The Federal Employers’ Liability Act, or FELA, is a United States law that provides employees of railroads with a remedy for injuries suffered as a result of their employment. The law was enacted in 1908 to provide certain protections to railroad employees.
FELA applies to all employees of railroads, including those who work on trains, in train yards, or along railroad rights-of-way. It may also cover independent contractors who work for railroads, if the railroad exercises substantial control over the independent contractor’s work.
Under FELA, railroad employees may file a lawsuit against their employer for any injury or illness that arises out of their employment. This includes injuries that occur as a result of defective equipment or negligence on the part of the railroad. It also includes injuries that occur as a result of exposure to toxic substances at the workplace, such as asbestos (which causes mesothelioma and many other forms of cancer), diesel exhaust, and chemical exposures.
Our Texas-based legal team at Roven Camp can provide more information about FELA and how it may apply to your case.
FELA Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is a time limit within which legal proceedings must be commenced.
This means that potential plaintiffs have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit after an accident has occurred. The length of time may vary depending on the type of case and injury.
The statute of limitations for a FELA claim is three years from the date the employee knew, or should have known, that he or she was injured and that the injury was caused by working at the railroad. This means that injured railroad workers have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
However, in the case of some occupationally related disease, such as cancer caused by exposure to toxic substances, this timeline may be extended based upon the date the employee “discovered” the injury (sometimes referred to as the discovery rule). In most cases, this is the date the employee was diagnosed with a work-related disease.
It is important to understand the statute of limitations for a FELA claim because if a potential plaintiff does not file a lawsuit within the allotted time frame, they may be barred from doing so entirely. This could result in them being unable to recover any compensation for their injuries, no matter how serious they may be.
What To Do Immediately After You're Injured in Houston, Texas, or Elsewhere
If you have been injured in a railroad accident, it is important to take the following steps as soon as possible:
- Get medical attention. This is the most important thing you can do after an accident. Make sure you receive treatment for any injuries you may have sustained.
- Contact an attorney at Roven Camp in Texas. It is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. An attorney can help you understand your rights and may be able to help you file a lawsuit.
- Keep track of your expenses. Keep track of all the expenses you incur as a result of the accident, including medical bills, transportation costs, and lost wages. This information may be helpful when filing a lawsuit.
- Gather evidence. If possible, try to gather evidence from the accident scene, including photos or videos. This evidence may be helpful when filing a lawsuit.
- Speak to witnesses. If there are any witnesses to the injury, make sure to get their contact information. These witnesses may be able to provide valuable information.
Contact Roven Camp Today
If you’ve been injured in a railroad accident in Texas or anywhere throughout the U.S., it’s important to understand your legal rights and options. Waiting too long to file a claim may result in the inability to recover damages for your injuries.
If you’re considering filing a FELA claim, it’s important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
At Roven Camp, we understand the complex nature of these cases and are ready to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to get started.