The FELA Law

The congress of the United States found it necessary to pass special legislation to protect the rights of railroad employees injured in the performance of their work. This was necessitated by the hazardous nature of railroading. Unlike most working men and women, railroad workers do not receive Workers’ Compensation; instead, their remedy is under the Federal Employers Liability Act (F.E.L.A.).

The railroad worker is entitled to recover damages from the railroad under the act if the following conditions are satisfied:

  1. The railroad you are working for must be engaged in interstate commerce (almost all railroads are because they either cross state lines or handle interstate freight).
  2. The worker’s injury is caused, in whole or in part, by the negligence or carelessness of any railroad employee or any defective condition on railroad property or equipment. The law requires the railroad to provide its employees with a safe place to work and safe equipment to use.
  3. A lawsuit must be commenced within (3) years of the date of the accident.

Under the Federal Safety Appliance Act, railroads are responsible, without proof of negligence, for injuries caused by their failure to furnish automatic couplers, secure grab irons, ladders, steps and efficient hand brakes and air brakes.

Under the Federal Boiler Inspection Act, railroads are responsible, without proof of negligence, for injuries caused by their failure to provide locomotives which are in proper condition and safe to operate.

If your case results from the railroad’s failure to comply with the Safety Appliance Act or the Boiler Inspection Act, you cannot be charged with contributory negligence.

What is contributory negligence and when does it apply? Contributory negligence is a fault or carelessness on the part of the worker, which contributes to the happening of his or her accident.

Contact Us

For the representation you need for your railroad injury case, contact the diligent New York injury lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP, today by calling 866-LAWS-USA.

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