Understand the Differences Between FELA Law for Railroad Employees and Workers’ Compensation 

Our extensive knowledge works to your advantage in railroad work injury claims

If you have been injured working at a rail yard or on a rail line, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm and expenses. Most people injured on the job turn to workers’ compensation, but if you are a railroad worker, you need to file claims through the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). Do not risk losing out on full and fair compensation by relying only on your employer’s misinformation or general knowledge of inapplicable workers' compensation; speak with a knowledgeable attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers before you file a claim. We have extensive experience helping rail workers recover damages and can explain your rights and legal options.

The limitations of workers’ compensation

Workers’ compensation in Virginia is a state-run program administered by the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. It allows non-railroad workers to be compensated for medical expenses and some lost wages relating to a job-related accident or incident in which you were injured, but it is generally not available to railroad workers.

How does FELA differ from workers’ compensation?

The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) allows an injured railroad employee to pursue a legal claim in state or federal court. Unlike workers’ comp, it is available only to employees of rail companies. One main difference is that FELA damages include pain and suffering claims. Another reason FELA is better than workers' comp is that the lost wages claimable are unlimited. 

To have a viable claim, an employee must allege that the railroad accident was due to negligence. This means an employer did not use due care in some way and that lack of due care caused the employee’s injury. It differs from workers’ comp, which only requires the injury to be job related and based on a specific incident.

FELA does not have the limitations that workers’ comp places on the maximum amount of benefits you may be eligible for. This federal law allows you to recover for past and future wages, medical expenses, disability and pain and suffering in proportion to your injuries.

Contact us to learn more about your best option for recovery in a rail worker injury or illness

Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers protects your rights if you suffered an injury while working on a rail line or in a rail yard. If you want to learn more about workers’ compensation and FELA law, our attorneys can help explain the process so you can decide which road to recovery is right for you. For a free case evaluation, contact us at 757.455.0077 or online.