My hometown motivates me to work hard for my client and get results.- John Cooper
Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers
Railroad Worker Accident FAQs for Claims in Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia
Answers for the injured and their loved ones from knowledgeable railroad worker accident attorneys
If you have further questions about railroad worker accidents, please contact Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers by calling us at 757.455.0077 or contact us online today to schedule a free case evaluation with John Cooper or Jim Hurley. Our lawyers have handled FELA cases across the eastern United States, from Florida to Maine, in Michigan and further west. We are ready to come to you anywhere if you are seriously hurt by a railroad company.
What is FELA?
FELA – the Federal Employers Liability Act – was passed in 1908 in response to the increasing dangers of railroad worker accidents. Under FELA, any worker who is injured while working on a railroad is entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, as long as it can be proven that the railroad was at least partially at fault for the accident.
How is a FELA claim better than workers' compensation?
Attorney John Cooper has been helping injured railroad workers and the families of those who have lost a loved one on the railroad to make a recovery for decades. FELA is only available to railroad workers and gives them better rights than they would have under workers’ compensation, but it is not a no-fault system like workers’ compensation. Railroad workers don’t qualify for workers’ compensation. FELA allows railroad workers to receive fuller damages as opposed to medical bills and some lost wages. They can receive all lost wages, future lost wages, permanent injury damage and damages for pain and suffering. Read more about the differences between the two systems of compensation here.
How is negligence proven in a railroad worker accident?
Establishing negligence on the railroad requires an investigation. Our Virginia railroad worker accident attorneys at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers work with a team of experts to gather evidence and witness testimonies relating to your accident, building a strong case on your behalf. Both John Cooper and Jim Hurley are devoted to providing you with the aggressive and personalized representation you deserve. We will take your case all the way to trial if that’s what is necessary to win the compensation you are due.
What can I collect from a FELA claim?
The damages you can collect will depend on the specifics of your railroad accident and the extent of your injuries. In many cases, you can claim compensation for all current and future medical expenses, all current and future lost wages, physical pain, and emotional distress. If you are losing your occupation, you can claim for future lost wages. You can claim for just about everything that happens to you as a result of your railroad work injury for the rest of your life.
Will any attorney be able to assist with my FELA claim?
FELA has very specific rules and regulations regarding claims. Attorneys who do not practice FELA law or typically represent injured railroad workers are likely not as prepared to handle the complexities of these cases as lawyers who have been working in this field for decades. FELA lawyers like John Cooper are familiar with the tricks that the railroad plays to fight your claim. We have seen the ways they try to manipulate workers who get hurt on the job and to harm their case. It makes sense to hire a specialized FELA injury attorney if you get hurt on the railroad.
The attorneys at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers have decades of experience helping railroad workers file FELA claims and recover maximum settlements. We know what to expect from railroad companies and how to successfully secure the compensation you need. If we accept your case, you can rest assured that your claim is in capable, experienced hands.
Is an illness considered an injury by FELA?
Some railroad worker accidents are sudden, resulting in catastrophic injuries. Others, such as railroad worker illnesses, can be brought about by repetitive stress, exposure to environmental pollutants, and toxic chemicals. All of these conditions are considered injuries and covered by FELA.
Some illness on the railroad such as mesothelioma are deadly. Mesothelioma is linked to asbestos exposure. Work in rail yards is also linked to silicosis and pulmonary problems.
Is wrongful death covered by FELA?
Yes. We have helped the family members of railroad workers who have been killed on the job. If your loved one was killed as a result of their railroad work, you have grounds to make a claim under FELA against the railroad. The main focus of the damages in a FELA case involving wrongful death is the economic losses. If a worker is 45-year-old and he has been killed, his work wages until his retirement would be recoverable. The damages include the conscious pain and suffering which is a compensable element of FELA wrongful death damages.
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.
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.
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.
Cooper Hurley awards three $2,000 college scholarships annually to high school seniors in the Tidewater and Eastern Shore areas of Virginia. Eligible students can submit an essay of 500 to 1,000 words on the subject of Distracted Driving. We established this program to aid worthy scholars and to raise awareness of the tragic consequences of distracted driving, which we encounter too often in our practice.