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Jonathan Rosenfeld

March 2, 2023

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Fela statute of limitations

Did you know that the Federal Employees’ Liability Act (FELA) has a statute of limitations? It does, and it’s not as long as you might expect. Most states only allow you to file suit within three years after the date of injury.

An injured worker in a railroad accident in 2020 might only be able to sue their railway employer for negligence until 2023 when the statute of limitations expires.

If you’ve been hurt on the job, you should know that the law allows you to sue your employer for damages under FELA.

However, the federal government has a FELA statute of limitations that limits how long you can sue your employer. Fortunately, we can help you figure out whether you have enough time to sue your employer.

Receive the Maximum Compensation You Deserve

You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and even pain and suffering. The personal injury lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can help with your liability claims to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.

Contact our FELA lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

What is FELA (Federal Employers Liability Act)?

The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) [1] was passed in 1908 as part of the Railway Labor Act affecting workers in the railroad industry.

The railroad workers act is a critical piece of legislation that governs the right of railroad employees injured, sickened, or killed in their employment to sue their employers for damages.

Under the Federal Employers Liability Act, employers are liable for railroad worker injuries resulting from their negligence, and employees are barred from recovering damages if they are found to be contributorily negligent.

FELA statute provides vital protection for an injured railroad employee not available under state law.

FELA Statute of Limitations

Under FELA, you have three years from when you were hurt to sue your employer for damages. If you don’t sue within that time period, your case may be dismissed, and you won’t get any compensation.

We advise injured railroad workers hurt by their employers to call our office immediately after an accident when the three-year statute of limitations begins.

FELA Statute of Limitations Period for an Injured Railroad Worker to File an Injury Lawsuit

Although the FELA laws protect defendants from facing suits many years after an event, it also creates legal solutions for injured railroad employees who want to bring a claim against their employer.

Common Railroad Accident Injuries

Railroad workers are at high risk for injury as they are constantly moving trains and equipment. The most common injuries railroad workers experience are slips, trips, and falls. Injuries can also occur from being struck by a train or equipment or from contact with an electrical current.

Injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to more serious ones, such as broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and even death.

Railroad workers who are injured on the job may be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits to help with medical expenses and lost wages.

Traumatic injuries sustained while working on the railroad are common and can often be severe. Some of the more common injuries include:

  • Bone fractures: Falling from trains or being hit by equipment can lead to severe fractures.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: Repeated use of the hands and wrists can cause this syndrome, which leads to pain, tingling, and numbness in the fingers.
  • Soft tissue injuries can include bruises, cuts, and lacerations.
  • Hearing loss: Working near loud trains can damage the eardrums over time.
  • Eye injuries: Workers can suffer injuries such as scratched corneas or blindness from flying debris or engine sparks.
  • Burns: Overexposure to heat or steam can cause serious burns.
  • Strains and sprains: Lifting heavy objects or pulling oneself into a train can lead to these injuries.
  • Back injuries: Often caused by repetitive motions or heavy lifting, back injuries can be very painful and debilitating.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders: Conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and back pain can develop over time due to the nature of the job.
  • Infections: Many employees are exposed to potential infections from working in unsanitary conditions.
  • Stress: Working under difficult or dangerous conditions can lead to high-stress levels, impacting overall health and well-being.
  • Death: Unfortunately, railroad employees face a risk of death due to their occupation’s high rates of accidents and fatalities.

Injured Railroad Workers Filing FELA Claims

Under some conditions, you can sue your employer within the three-year statute of limitations period if you’ve been injured on the job. You can only sue your employer if they were negligent in some way that led to your injury.

For example, if your employer didn’t provide proper safety equipment, and you were injured in a railroad accident, you could sue your employer for negligence. You could also sue for negligence if you were hurt by defective equipment.

To win your railroad accident case, you will need to prove that your employer’s negligence was the cause of your minor to catastrophic injuries.

An experienced FELA lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to prove your case and get the compensation you deserve.

Concerned You Might Be Out of Time For Your FELA Case?

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can take all appropriate actions to ensure your FELA lawsuit is filed on time. We can assess the statute of limitations period based on your injury date.

Plus, our FELA lawyers can represent you on contingency so you can focus on returning to work instead of paying bills.

To hear more about how we can guarantee you get the service you need, call Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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

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