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What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered Under FELA?
What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered Under FELA?

I pride myself in helping clients through their toughest times.- Bill O’Mara

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

FELA and Your Rights to Legal Recovery 

The Federal Employers Liability Act entitles many injured rail workers to legal recovery

If you have been injured in a rail accident or suffer from a medical condition related to working for the railroad, you may be entitled to compensation through the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). The act allows you to file suit in state or federal court and seek legal recovery for any injuries or medical conditions that resulted from your railroad employment.

At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, we have extensive experience working on behalf of FELA claimants. We can help negotiate a settlement with the railroad's claims department, or take your case to trial to get you the compensation you deserve.

How much can I recover after an accident on the job at the railroad?   

Your attorney cannot predict or guarantee a result from litigation. However, there are some parts of the law that outline the factors that a favorable court decision may take into account:

  • The severity of the injury — An award of damages takes into account the seriousness of the injury you’ve suffered.
  • Whether it was the result of negligence or an unsafe working condition  A company’s failure to use due care is the basis for a negligence lawsuit. An injury caused by a violation of state or federal regulations usually signals a failure to use due care.  
  • The long-term effect of your injury or illness  A judgment for damages might consider how an injury or condition impedes your health, career and finances.
  • Whether your injury was worsened by a preexisting condition  The total award may be mitigated if the severity of the injury was due in part to a condition not related to the negligence of the company.
  • Your pain and suffering, including any future pain and suffering — Major injuries and the onset of significant illness can cause severe mental and emotional trauma. A court is permitted to consider that trauma as a factor when calculating your award.  
  • Lost earnings and benefits  A severe injury can prevent you from working for weeks, months and even years — or permanently. The income and other benefits you would have received during this period can be factored into a final award.
  • Past and future medical care — Medical care is extremely expensive, and rehabilitation following a significant incident can last for years. Our firm works to make sure your final award covers all past and future medical costs.

Many FELA cases are not settled, but fought in the courtroom.  Our firm can aggressively represent you both in the litigation process so that you receive the maximum possible amount.

FELA recovery following the death of a loved one

Dangerous working conditions sometimes force families to confront the unthinkable. If you have lost a loved one due to a railroad company’s negligence, FELA allows your family to recover damages through a personal representative like the administrator of the decedent’s estate. An award of damages for wrongful death as a result of a railroad accident takes into account:

  • Damages for pain and suffering the individual experienced before passing away
  • Medical care and funeral expenses
  • Future financial losses resulting from your loved one’s death

An action for wrongful death can be based on any form of negligence on the part of the railroad company, including instances like head-on train collisions, derailments, or amputation of a leg or arm from a rail yard accident. 

Contact us to learn more about the process for receiving compensation through FELA

At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, we draw upon our breadth and depth of knowledge of FELA law to help injured rail workers receive the compensation they’re entitled to.  Attorney John Cooper chairs the FELA Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice, offering clients a distinct advantage in their claims. We offer free case evaluations and contingency fee payments, so you do not owe us anything until you receive compensation. To schedule an appointment, contact us at 757.455.0077 or online to learn how we can help you.  

John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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