Who Pays for Medical Treatment After a Railroad Injury?

laptop in a hand with phrase railroad InjuriesEvery year, countless railroad workers face the risks and uncertainties of their industry, enduring harsh working conditions, and in unfortunate instances, sustaining injuries. But what happens after the injury? Who’s responsible for covering the costs of you medical treatment? 

Railroad Injuries

Railroad jobs, while essential to our transportation and economy, are accompanied by an array of risks. Given the nature of the industry, a vast range of injuries can occur, each with its own set of challenges and medical requirements. 

Here’s a list of common railroad injuries that necessitate medical treatment.

  • Broken or Fractured Bones
  • Burns
  • Respiratory Illnesses
  • Head and Brain Injuries
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Hearing Loss
  • Repetitive Stress Injuries
  • Amputations
  • Exposure to Harmful Chemicals
  • PTSD and Mental Health Issues

When confronted with these misfortunes, it’s essential to understand where the responsibility for payment of medical treatment lies. Enter the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) – a pivotal piece of legislation that has been protecting the rights of injured railroad workers for over a century.

Understanding the FELA Claims Process

The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), codified at 45 U.S.C. § 51-60, offers a distinct approach from traditional workers’ compensation systems. While most workers’ compensation programs operate on a no-fault basis, FELA shifts the burden onto the injured railroad worker to demonstrate negligence on the part of their employer.

In concrete terms, a worker seeking benefits under FELA must provide evidence that the railroad company’s negligence, be it total or partial, was a causative factor in their injury. Such negligence can manifest in various ways, such as:

  • Malfunctioning or improperly maintained equipment. For example, a brake system on a train might fail due to poor maintenance, leading to a collision and subsequent injuries to the workers.
  • Lack of adequate training provided to the employees. Suppose a worker is assigned to operate a piece of machinery without the proper training and ends up getting injured. This could be a clear case of negligence on the company’s part.
  • The existence of inherently unsafe or hazardous working conditions. Consider a scenario where workers are consistently exposed to harmful chemicals without adequate safety gear, leading to health complications.

Initiating a FELA claim involves the injured party formally filing a complaint against the implicated railroad company. Success hinges on their ability to convincingly show that the company’s negligence played a role in the injury sustained. Given the intricacies of the law and the burden of proof required, potential claimants often seek experienced legal representation to navigate this process effectively.

If you are not a railroad worker and you are injured in a railroad accident, you may still be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses. However, you will need to prove that the railroad was negligent. This can be difficult to do without the help of an experienced railroad injury lawyer.

Determining Settlement Amounts

Settlement amounts in railroad injury cases are determined by a combination of specific factors. Primarily, the amount hinges on:

Injury Severity: More severe injuries typically result in higher settlements due to the extensive medical care and potential long-term effects they impose.

Company’s Negligence: The degree to which the railroad company was negligent plays a pivotal role. Greater negligence often translates to higher compensation.

Medical and Rehabilitation Costs: Direct expenses, from immediate medical treatments to prolonged rehabilitation, factor into the settlement calculation.

Cases involving significant injuries, such as shoulder or back injuries, frequently result in substantial settlements. This is attributed to the lasting impact they have on an individual’s capacity to work and overall quality of life.

Seeking Legal Assistance

Railroad injuries, with their unique legal landscape, require specialized knowledge. Cahill & Perry, P.C. Attorneys at Law have been instrumental in guiding injured workers through the maze of FELA claims, ensuring they receive the compensation they rightly deserve.

If you, or someone you know, have been affected by a railroad injury, it’s crucial to act swiftly. Reach out to a dedicated railroad injury attorney who understands the intricacies of these cases. 

It’s not just about getting medical costs covered; it’s about ensuring justice is served and that workers are adequately compensated for their pain, suffering, and future uncertainties.

Don’t be left in the dark when it comes to your rights and entitlements. Take control, seek legal guidance, and pave the way for a secure and fair future.

find yourself a Railroad Law Attorney | Call 800-654-7245


If you are a railroad worker who has been injured on the job, you need a lawyer who understands the complicated FELA claims process. Find out how we can help you receive the compensation you deserve.

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Passengers And Families
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