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Virginia Railroad Accidents
Virginia Railroad Accidents

I am here to help you in your time of need.- Will Dudley

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Attorneys Experienced at Assisting Clients in Virginia Railroad Accidents

Severe injuries suffered by rail yard workers and train crews deserve compensation

Rail yards and rail lines are tough places to work, requiring determination and focus. Large freight cars, locomotive engines, heavy machinery, dangerous obstacles, and sometimes, grueling conditions create a number of significant hazards for those who make their living on the railroads. The potential for serious injury is very high, and if you have been hurt, you need the maximum compensation that you are entitled to. We also litigate cases for workplace-related illnesses that come from exposure to dangerous chemicals and substances.

At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, we fight for rail workers to get them back to where they were before their accident. If you have been injured or suffer from medical problems related to work on a railroad in Virginia, we can help.

What is FELA?

The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) was passed by Congress in 1908 to protect the rights of people employed by rail companies and rail yards who were injured on the job. Under this act, you are allowed to sue a rail company for a railroad accident and seek compensation for your injuries if it is found the company did not provide a safe working environment. You can be compensated for:

  • Past and future lost wages and benefits
  • Medical expenses and treatment
  • Scar and disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent and temporary disability

Most railroad jobs require workers to be able to lift certain amounts. If you are permanently unable to perform your duties due to a railroad work-related illness or injury, you have a permanent disability. In this case, we will fight for you to receive a full recovery for this disqualification, which will provide you with lost wages for the rest of your railroad career. 

The family of a railroad worker who dies as a result of injuries or a medical condition sustained on the job may file a lawsuit for wrongful death against the company. FELA wrongful damages include the economic loss of wages of your husband for the rest of his career and compensation for his conscious pain from the injury until his death.

What kinds of injuries are covered under FELA?

You can seek compensation under FELA for preventable injuries caused by unsafe conditions or defective equipment. If you have been hurt by heavy railroad equipment or poor conditions at rail yards in places like Norfolk, Newport News or Richmond, you may be eligible for legal recovery under the law. Unlike workers’ compensation, FELA requires that the railroad company or its employees be at fault for a railroad worker accident through failure to provide a safe place to work.

It is also important to remember that under federal law, you cannot be disciplined or face retaliation for reporting unsafe working conditions or seeking medical treatment. The Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) 49 U.S.C. §20109 prevents any railroad company from discharging, demoting, suspending, reprimanding or in some way discriminating against an employee who provides information regarding a violation of safety rules reporting an injury or testifying in a FELA case.

Attorneys helping clients with railroad crossing accidents

Virginia has a number of important railroad towns with tracks extending throughout the state, westward into coal country, and northward into the DC metro area. These lines are important to the state’s economy but often run through areas where highway grade crossings are poorly maintained, poorly marked and kept in an unsafe condition. If you or a family member has been injured at one of these crossings, particularly as a passenger in a car or truck hit by a train, the railroad company may be responsible for your injuries. We file suits and make claims against any railroad company, such as:

  • CSXT
  • Amtrak
  • Norfolk Southern
  • Short lines like the Buckingham Branch
  • Commuter rail lines

To discuss the options in your specific circumstances, just give us a call. 

Contact our firm for a free initial consultation if you have been hurt in Virginia by a railroad accident

The Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers railroad law team protects the rights of individuals who have suffered accidents on railroads in Virginia and elsewhere. Our partner, John Cooper, has chaired the FELA Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice and its Railroad Law Section, and remains a widely recognized advocate for workers’ rights in the field of rail and train accidents. Our firm offers contingency fees, so you will not receive a bill until you are compensated. 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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