FELA: Federal Employers' Liability Act

Posted By FELA Attorney || 31-May-2012

The Federal Employers' Liability Act, also referred to as the FELA, is an important piece of legislation for railroad workers. It was originally enacted in 1906, but was found unconstitutional before being enacted against two years later by Congress. It serves to protect the rights of railroad workers that have been injured on the job, providing compensation if they are able to prove that they have been injured due to negligence of the railroad company.

With the onset of railroad use, many individuals that were employed faced injury and even death. The number continued to climb and workers were left uncovered by workers' compensation and left to pay the expense on their own. Many were put out of the job due to the extent of harm they faced and without compensation struggled to meet their basic needs. Changes have been made to the legislation today to fit the current necessities and through the FELA, many have gained compensation to cover the costs of their injuries, emotional damage and the loss of income when they can no longer work. Compensation through this act is not given as automatically as workers' compensation and proof will need to be given that displays it was the fault of the railroad company that was at least partially to blame for the incident.

The court will look at comparative negligence to determine the amount of liability each party had in the injury occurring. An injury can be physical harm that comes while on the job or can even be an illness such as exposure to toxic solvents that many workers have sought cases for. This act continues to be amended and has been thousands of times, making it even more difficult to understand how to correctly go about seeking compensation through it. Learn more about the act by clicking here. Are you a railroad worker that was hurt while at work or as a result of your work? Call our office today to speak with a FELA lawyer about your injury.