When railroad workers in Connecticut and around the country are injured in an on-the-job accident, they are covered by Federal Employers Liability Act rather than a state workers’ compensation program. FELA coverage, like workers’ compensation, helps injured workers financially while they are unable to earn a paycheck, but railroad workers seeking benefits must satisfy a requirement that workers injured in other sectors do not. Negligence is not generally taken into consideration when workers’ compensation claims are evaluated, but it is of crucial importance in FELA claims.
This is because FELA benefits are only paid when injured workers can establish that their employers acted negligently in some way. The amount they receive is also reduced according to their share of the fault. Because of this, FELA claims are often contested fiercely by railroad companies. FELA claims are a complex area of the law, which is why injured railroad workers may be wise to seek out attorneys with previous experience in this area.
Attorneys with knowledge of the FELA process could explain that claims are more likely to be successful when it can be established that employers failed to follow safety protocols laid down by federal laws like the Locomotive Inspection Act. In these situations, the doctrine of strict liability applies and workers are not required to prove negligence.
In addition to helping workers gather the evidence needed to show that their employers failed to provide them with a safe working environment, attorneys could explain the steps involved in pursuing a claim and how long the process usually takes. They could also point out that FELA claims must be filed within three years of the date of the injury. If you are a railroad worker who was injured on the job or would like to learn more about this subject, please visit our page dealing with FELA claims.