Railroad workers have a higher risk of injury than most other occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fatality rate for railroad workers is over double of all other work related deaths. From January to November in 2012, there were 3,583 injury cases involving on duty employees and 15 deaths. Considering that the railroad industry is relatively small, only employing a little over 300,000 workers, the risk for injury is very high.
The Chicago FELA accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is proud to represent injured railroad workers in Illinois. If you or a loved one was injured or killing in an Illinois railroad accident--- or if you lived in Illinois or received medical treatment in the state-- contact our attorneys for a free review of your case. Our office has pursued Illinois FELA lawsuits involving:
Explanation of Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) and How it Relates to Illinois Railroad Workers
In 1908, the U.S. government created FELA as a way to compensate railroad workers for their injuries, above and beyond normal workers compensation. The U.S. government determined that a separate entity be created for the railroad worker compensation due to the large amount of injuries and deaths that working on railroad caused. It was decided that the burden of these injuries should be passed on to the railroad companies through FELA.
FELA differs from standard workers compensation for several reasons. Under worker’s compensation, it is not necessary to prove fault by the employer for an employee to make a claim. FELA is a tort-based system that differs in a few different ways over worker compensation.
- Damages awarded under FELA are often higher in value than through workers compensation.
- Damages can be awarded for pain and suffering.
- Negligence must be proved on the part of the employer; however, it is not required to prove that the employer was entirely to blame, only partially.
Due to the unique laws that apply to railroad worker injury cases through FELA, having legal representation is important for the injured worker. Since negligence must be proven, having an attorney that is educated on the legalities involved with FELA cases can make a large difference in the outcome of the awarded damages.
Common Causes Of Railroad Injuries
Many of the accidents that injure railroad workers do not happen on the trains, but instead involve other duties that are performed in the average workday. Train crash accidents are a small percentage of the injuries, although they may be more severe. Some of the top causes of injuries in 2012 were:
- Falls. The most injuries happened when a worker was walking and tripped, fell or stumbled due to some type of obstacle.
- Hearing. Damage to hearing due to noise over time was the 2nd highest single cause of injury.
- Collision. Injuries that were sustained from driving or riding in other motor vehicles such as trucks or forklifts were common.
- Overexertion. Several types of overexertion injuries were reported, such as lifting, lining switches and applying the handbrakes.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is experienced in handling FELA and railroad worker cases throughout Illinois. If you or a family member has been injured while working for a railroad, we invite you to discuss your options for compensation with our FELA accident attorneys. We offer a free consultation and do not charge a fee unless we are able to win a financial award on your behalf.
Resources for Chicago, IL Railroad Injury Victims: