Does FELA apply if railroad worker injuries occur in an office?

The dangers of working on a Connecticut railroad (or any other, for that matter) are widely known. Any time an engineer, conductor, lineman or other worker whose duties are typically carried out on the tracks shows up for work, there is a risk for personal injury. Injured workers are protected by the Federal Employers Liability Act, passed in 1908. What about railroad worker injuries that occur in an office, however; does FELA still apply?

Long ago, the system often acted against railroad workers who were injured on the job. FELA was enacted to protect injured railway employees so they might seek justice and legal accountability against any employers whose negligence caused their injuries. The central requirement necessary to be fulfilled to be eligible to file a FELA claim is that the injury itself must have occurred on the job. The law does not say the injury had to have taken place on a locomotive or anywhere along the tracks; therefore, a railroad worker injured on the job in an office would still be protected by FELA.

FELA differs from workers’ compensation in several ways. The most significant difference, of course, is that employees filing claims under workers’ compensation are able to collect benefits regardless of whether their employers were negligent. In a FELA claim, on the other hand, the injured worker must provide evidence of an employer’s negligence.

Railroad accidents (either on the tracks or in an office) often involve violations of safety regulations. Evidence that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or Federal Railroad Administration issued citations for violation/s of safety standards can help substantiate a worker’s FELA claim. A Connecticut attorney experienced in railroad litigation can provide guidance and support to any injured worker preparing to navigate the system.

Source: Findlaw, “Railroad Worker Injuries / FELA-FAQ“, Accessed on Dec. 12, 2017

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