The Federal Employment Liability Act or FELA functions similar to Worker's Compensation in providing benefits for workers. While the law title does not have anything to do with trains and railroads, what it actually covers are disabled railroad employees. From train operators, railroad workers, etc. the FELA covers them all.
If you are a railroad worker and you were injured because of an accident at work, here are some of the things you should consider first before filing a complaint:
- Your injuries or disability should have happened while you are on duty. As long as your injury happened at work, your complaint will be valid. Other causes of injury also include exposure to harmful substances such as asbestos.
- You are a certified employee of the railroad or train company. Even if you were injured at a railroad you would not receive FELA disability benefits if you are not an employee of the company.
- You suffered trauma injuries or excessive stress due to demanding work tasks. If an employee experiences such conditions because of his work, he may not be getting enough rest and breaks.
- You should be able to identify when you were injured, or the time that you realized you were injured. Documentation is everything in a personal injury complaint. If you cannot show how and when you got injured, all your efforts would be useless.
Once you have considered these things, you can now file a complaint against the responsible parties. Under the FELA, employers are required to pay for disability expenses of their railroad workers. With the help of an employment or personal injury attorney, you can submit your complaint to:
- The railroad company or your employer
- Your contractor
- A civil or federal court
Remember that you are only allowed a limited period of time to file such claims. Do not be discouraged if you think you are up against your own boss. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), employers should make sure that their workplace environments are safe and secured. If their employees got injured during office hours, they would be liable for the damages.
Similar to Workplace Compensation, the FELA is a federal law that protects the rights of employees. That is why employers should always put their workforce into consideration. If they are proved to be negligent in maintaining the safety of their company environment, they may face legal charges.
This article is not meant to be interpreted as a legal advice. To know the available legal options regarding your case, consult an Employment Law Attorney for more information.