Peruse any list of top-ranked dangerous jobs in Connecticut (or the entire nation, for that matter) and you’ll likely find railroad work included. If you’re a railroad employee, your employer has hopefully provided proper training and equipment to keep you as safe as possible on the job. Your employer has also hopefully kept you informed regarding any potential hazards or regulation changes that impact your duties.
If you suffer injury on the job, you will go through various processes to report the incident to the appropriate officials. If your employer’s negligence was a causal factor in your injury, then you’ll also want to make sure you clearly understand the Federal Employers Liability Act and how it may affect your situation. FELA is an injured railroad worker’s sole means for pursuing recovery against an employer who failed to fulfill safety obligations to help keep the employee safe at work.
FELA came to be more than century ago. As with most federal laws, it is complex and those without specific litigation background may feel confused when trying to navigate the process. If your work-related injury involves employer negligence, the following information regarding FELA may be useful to you:
- This law allows injured railroad workers to seek compensation for damages against negligent employers.
- Such cases are filed in state courts; however, all states are bound to federal statutes related to FELA. This creates uniformity among the FELA process in all 50 states.
- There is often a vast range of differences between jury awards in FELA litigation regarding similar worker injuries and accidents.
- Many workers injured in past incidents say their supervisors tried to persuade them not to file injury reports so as to avoid the FELA process.
- If your own negligence contributed to the accident that caused your injury, you may be at risk for losing some or all of your monetary award. Because of this, some lobbyists have tried to convince Congress to scrap FELA and replace it with a no-fault program, similar to workers’ compensation.
As it stands, FELA has proved durable since 1908 when lawmakers enacted it under President Theodore Roosevelt’s administration. You can take comfort in knowing that you do not have to go it alone when seeking a jury verdict against your employer regarding a workplace injury on a Connecticut railroad. There are support networks in place to assist you at every phase of your journey.