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Injured railroad worker? You have rights

As a Chicago railroad worker, you know that there are constant hazards that you have to watch out for while on the job. In the early days of railroading, the occupation was so dangerous that the United States eventually passed the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) in 1908. The Act is still in place and provides protections for thousands of railroad employees and their families. In general, FELA provides a legal option for recovering medical expenses and lost wages that result from rail workers' injuries.

If you have suffered a work-related injury, FELA gives you the option of filing a claim with your employer, the railroad company itself or taking your case to a federal or state court. In addition, FELA also sets the standards for working conditions, employer liability and employee safety. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a railroad worker, you might be entitled to compensation through FELA. To find out more about FELA, read below.

Liability

In most workers' compensation laws, there is a no-fault system where the employee is not liable for a work-related injury or illness, nor is the employer. When you file a claim under FELA, you will have to prove that another person or entity was at fault for your injuries. For example, you might need to sue the railroad company, its employees or possibly even a manufacturer that produced equipment you were working with at the time.

Compensation

If you win your FELA case, the defendant might have to compensate you for your past and future wages, past and future medical expenses, and even past and future pain, suffering, and overall mental and emotional distress. If you have lost a loved one due to a work-related accident, you might receive compensation to lessen the resulting financial losses.

Comparative negligence

In many cases, a railroad employer that is facing a lawsuit from an injured employee under FELA will invoke a comparative negligence defense. This means that the employer will claim that the employee contributed, at least in part, to his or her own injuries. In other words, if your injuries resulted from your own negligence, your employer might be able to pass part of the blame to you and pay a lesser amount in damages.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury while working on a railroad, you might be able to file a claim for compensation under FELA. Be sure you take the time to learn about your rights as a railroad employee so that you can successfully fight for the compensation you deserve.

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