Legally Reviewed by:

Jonathan Rosenfeld

March 2, 2023

Over $400 Million worth of case results

Awarded The Best Lawyer in 2024 by U.S. News

Nationally Recognized in Legal Community

Railroad workers have a higher risk of injury than most other occupations. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2017, there were thirteen work-related deaths per 100 full-time rail employees, an issue that every Chicago FELA lawyer at our firm hopes to mitigate.

Considering that the railroad industry is relatively small, employing around 200,000 workers nationwide, the risk of railroad worker injury is statistically very high. Federal Employers Liability Act covers employees in the railroad industry and outlines their rights and obligations after a serious injury at work.

Speak With A Chicago Fela Lawyer Today

The Chicago, IL, personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC proudly represent injured railroad employees across Illinois. Call now for a free consultation with one of our experienced Fela lawyers.

Chicago FELA Lawyer

Congress enacted FELA [1] to compensate injured railroad workers injured in Illinois and other states.

The government passed the Act in 1908. The United States Government created FELA as an exclusive remedy to compensate employees with more than regular injury benefits.

Workers’ compensation insurance policies cover employees in most other industries. In all states, workers’ comp provides similar benefits no matter how the worker’s injuries occurred in the workplace. But unlike workers’ comp insurance, the FELA benefit program is based on a fault-based system where injured railroad workers must prove the employer’s negligence is responsible for the accident or incident.

Critical Differences Between FELA and Workers Compensation Law

Lawmakers decided that the burden of bearing this risk should be passed on to the railroad companies through FELA. FELA differs from standard Illinois workers’ comp laws in several ways.

Unlike workers’ comp, where fault for an injury in the workplace is irrelevant, railroad workers must prove negligence caused their damages. To prove negligence or at least partial fault of their employer or another employee is challenging.

Damages in a FELA suit are often higher in value than under workers’ comp. If negligence is proven, you could recover damages, including lost wages, ongoing medical costs, mounting medical bills, pain, and suffering, as determined by a jury. Under Illinois’ workers’ compensation law, injured workers hurt at work would be limited in their financial recovery based upon the statutory compensation limits under worker’s comp.

Since plaintiffs must prove negligence, retaining a Chicago FELA attorney who understands the legalities involved in railroad injury and damages, FELA claims can significantly affect the amount of FELA compensation an injured railroad worker can receive.

Statute of Limitations

Additionally, FELA claims must be filed within three years of the discovery of the injury and its cause to fall within the statute of limitations.

Illinois FELA Injured Railroad Worker Lawyer For Employees Injured on the Job

Frequent Causes of Injuries

Many mishaps that injure rail employees do not happen in railroad accidents or train derailments but instead involve duties performed during the average workday. Train crash railroad accidents are a small percentage of railroad injuries, albeit more severe. Some of the most common causes of injured worker damages include:

  • Falls: Most injuries from falling happen when the injured worker is walking and trips or stumbles
  • Exposure to Asbestos: The railroad company could be liable for damages if the employee hurt on the job was exposed to toxic materials causing asbestosis or mesothelioma
Railroad worker injury lawyer statistics

What If a Chicago Railroad Employee is Partially Responsible for an Accident?

A railroad worker hurt on the job in a railroad mishap could bring a Chicago FELA claim if they were partially responsible for their accident. The Federal Employers Liability Act (45 USCA) applies comparative negligent standards to filing claims related to FELA, where the worker’s percentage of negligence is applied to the value of their interstate commerce claim. (See CSX Transp., Inc. v. McBride, 564 U.S. 685)

The pure comparative fault doctrine used in FELA scenarios differs from the traditional doctrine of comparative fault. Under pure comparative fault, a worker hurt on the job partially responsible for an accident can still pursue a FELA claim. Any victim and surviving spouse can file a claim in state or federal court to obtain compensation.

Proving a Railroad Company’s Negligence As Responsible for a FELA Accident

Under FELA law, injured workers must demonstrate that the railroad company’s negligence was responsible for their work-related injury. Many of these FELA claims allege employer/company negligence, such as the failure to:

  • Provide a safe working environment with sufficient equipment and follow safety standards
  • Provide adequate training
  • Assist workers in ensuring the safety

An experienced attorney can assist you with establishing other employee/employer negligence.

FELA Railroad worker death attorney

What Are the Most Common FELA Injuries?

The most frequent injuries that railroad workers suffer in the workplace include:

  • Lung damage
  • Head injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Back/neck injuries
  • Burn injuries
  • Scarring
  • Amputations
  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Electrocution

Trust the Chicago FELA Attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers for Railroad Worker Accident Claims

Each Chicago railroad worker accident lawyer from our law firm is experienced in handling railroad employee injury legal issues throughout Illinois. Were you or a family member injured while working for a railroad and experienced pain, suffering, and lost wages? If so, our Cook County attorneys can discuss your options to obtain compensation by filing a FELA claim on a contingency fee basis.

Call our Illinois FELA lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation when injured by someone else’s negligence. Our team has helped clients recover millions of dollars in compensation and damages for their pain and suffering through financial settlements.

Let our Chicago railroad injury lawyers talk to you about your FELA claim through a confidential attorney-client relationship. Speak with experienced lawyers about your railroad injuries today.

Resources: [1] U.S. Government Accountability Office

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

- Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

- Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

- Giulia

This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

- Daniel Kaim

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

- Lisa
Free Consultation (888) 424-5757