people working on a railroad track

When you sustain an injury while working on the railroads, you may think recovering compensation for the medical bills you’ve incurred is as simple as reporting the accident to a supervisor, filing a form, and receiving a check. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. You will likely have to go through a lengthy and frustrating process to receive the funds you deserve. In many instances, the railroad will use common defenses to avoid facing liability for their negligence and your subsequent injury. As such, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with these claims to help prepare yourself. The following blog explores what you should know and why having a FELA lawyer on your side through this process is critical.

What Injuries Can Arise From Work on a Railroad?

Unfortunately, there are several injuries you can sustain while working on the railroad. While some of these are simply the result of strenuous work, others directly result from employer negligence. Whether they fail to create a safe work environment, do not properly train new employees, or do not repair or update old equipment, workers can suffer as a result.

Common injuries railroad employees often endure include the following:

  • Broken bones
  • Strains and sprains
  • Repetitive stress injuries (RSI)
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Neck and spinal cord damage
  • Burns
  • Electrocution
  • Crush injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Amputation or limb loss

What Common Defenses Will the Company Use to Protect Itself?

If you’ve sustained an injury and wish to hold the company liable for their negligence and contribution to the accident, they will likely use one of many excuses in an attempt to defend themselves.

Most commonly, they will blame someone else for the accident. It’s not uncommon to shift liability to someone like an independent contractor. However, once they are hired by the railroad company to perform a job, the railroad can become liable for the actions of the independent contractor as they are an extension of the company.

Additionally, the railroad company may try to claim you were directly responsible for the accident. They may claim that, under comparative negligence, you do not have a claim to funds because the accident was caused by your negligence and disregard for safety.

Finally, the railroad may claim they shouldn’t be held liable because they were unaware of the dangers. Companies are responsible when they knew or should have known the dangers. It is their duty to workers to provide a safe environment and ensure workspaces are safe and free from hazards.

How Can an Attorney Help Me Recover Compensation?

When you are hurt and the railroad makes claims to avoid liability, ensuring you have an experienced Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) lawyer to represent you is critical. Unfortunately, navigating this process on your own can be incredibly complex. As the plaintiff, you must fulfill the burden of proof showing that the company was negligent in order to recover compensation. The likelihood of receiving a favorable outcome if you do not have an attorney is low, so it’s in your best interest to obtain legal representation.

At Doran & Murphy, our dedicated legal team understands the legal complexities of this matter. As such, our firm will do everything we can to fight for the justice and compensation you are entitled to. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you through these times.