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Chicago FELA Lawyer

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.

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

The Chicago, IL, personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC proudly represent injured railroad employees across Illinois.

Contingency Fee Agreement

As with all our injury cases, our workers' compensation attorneys handle FELA claims on a contingency fee basis. Our Chicago railroad injury law firm only receives a legal fee when we successfully recover compensation to resolve your claim.

In Chicago, Illinois, train companies employ railroad workers, including Union Pacific Railroad, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), Canadian National, CSX, Norfolk Southern, and the Metra commuter transit system.

Illinois Injured Railroad worker lawyer

Legal Protection for Injured Railroad Workers Under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA)

Congress enacted FELA to compensate railroad workers injured on the job in Illinois and other states.

The federal government passed the Act in 1908. The United States Government created FELA as an exclusive remedy to fully compensate employees for their injuries with more than the benefits received through regular workers' compensation.

Because of the high incidence of injury and death in railroad work, the government determined that a separate entity should be created to provide compensation and protect employees hurt at work.

Illinois Injured Railroad worker lawyers

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 worker's compensation laws in several ways.

Unlike workers' compensation, where fault for a workplace injury is irrelevant, railroad workers must prove negligence. However, proving negligence or at least partial fault of their employer or fellow employee can be challenging.

Damages in a FELA case are often higher in value than under workers' comp. Proving negligence could help recover damages, including lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering as determined by a jury.

Under Illinois' worker's compensation law, railroad workers injured at work would be limited in their financial recovery based upon the statutory compensation limits under worker's comp.

Since plaintiffs should prove negligence, retaining a Chicago FELA attorney who fully understands the legalities involved in railroad worker injury and damages, FELA claims can make a significant difference in the amount of FELA compensation injured employees receive from a jury.

Illinois FELA Injured Railroad worker lawyer

Frequent Causes of Railroad Worker Injuries

Many mishaps that injure rail employees do not happen in train accidents or derailments but instead involve duties performed during the average workday. As a result, train crash accidents account for a small percentage of railroad injuries, although they may be more severe.

Some of the most common causes of railroad worker injury are:

  • Falls: Most serious injuries caused by falling happen when the injured worker is walking and trips or stumbles over some obstacle
  • Hearing damage: From experiencing elevated noise levels over long periods
  • Collision: Trauma sustained from driving or riding in other motor vehicles, such as trucks or forklifts
  • Overexertion injuries: Result from heavy lifting, lining switches, and applying the hand-brakes
  • Asbestos exposure: The railroad company could be liable for damages if the employee injured on the job was exposed to the toxic materials that caused asbestosis or mesothelioma
Railroad worker injury lawyer statistics

Common Types of Illinois Railroad Worker Accidents

Thousands of railroad employees are involved in workplace mishaps and accidents yearly. These railroad accidents take a physical, financial, and emotional toll.

These incidents occur on the railroad tracks, in the yards, or on the train. The most common types of railroad negligence FELA claims filed under FELA law include:

  • Overexertion: Overexertion accidents for workers harmed when put in tough situations like lifting too much or leaning too far to reach something.
  • Equipment: Equipment and tools are complex and dangerous. Even with proper training and supervision, an incident can arise.
  • Trains: Trains, cars, and other vehicles trigger railroad accidents for rail workers. Employees are frequently crushed, sideswiped, run over, or harmed at work.
  • Noise/Fumes: Railroad companies don't properly contain dangerous fumes and noises. These failures cause permanent damage to employees' lungs, ears, and other parts of their bodies. So our personal injury law office is aggressively prosecuting diesel exhaust cancer lawsuits on behalf of injured workers.
FELA Railroad worker death attorney

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

A worker injured 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 FELA (45 USCA) applies pure comparative negligence to filing FELA claims where the worker's own percentage of negligence is applied to the value of their interstate commerce claim. (See CSX Transp., Inc. v. McBride, 564 U.S. 685)

The doctrine of pure comparative fault used in FELA cases differs from the traditional doctrine of comparative fault. Under pure comparative fault, an injured worker 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 recover compensation.

Illinois FELA Injured Railroad worker lawyers

Proving a Railroad's Negligence As Responsible for a FELA Accident

Under FELA law, injured railroad workers have the burden of demonstrating that the railroad company's negligence was responsible for their workplace injury. Expert witnesses can be instructive in establishing how an employer's negligence resulted in unsafe working conditions.

Many FELA claims allege employer/company negligence, like the failure to:

  • Provide a safe working environment with sufficient equipment and follow safety standards
  • Provide adequate training
  • Assist workers in ensuring safety
  • Keep the work environment free from hazards and other dangers

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

What Are the Most Common FELA Injuries?

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

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

Each Chicago railroad 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 and suffering and lost wages? If so, our Cook County FELA attorneys can discuss your options to recover compensation by filing a FELA claim on a contingency fee basis.

Railway workers recognize our Chicago, IL, law office as a trusted law firm committed to injured railroad workers' rights.

Free Case Evaluation

Call our Chicago FELA lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation when injured through someone else's negligence.

We've helped clients recover millions of dollars in compensation and damages for their pain and suffering through financial settlements and look forward to doing the same for you.

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

Call for a free consultation with experienced FELA lawyers about railroad injuries and other related practice areas.


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
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 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
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