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How is FELA Different from Workers’ Compensation?
How is FELA Different from Workers’ Compensation?

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

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

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.  

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 Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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