Many different hazards in railyards and on trains can lead to railroad workers getting hurt. But dangerous conditions also exist outside the confines of directly work-related tasks. More specifically, if you suffer injury in a car wreck while on shift performing railroad work, you may still be eligible to seek benefits through the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) just as you would for another type of workplace incident. Railroad worker on-the-job motor vehicle accidents in New York can make for complicated legal claims, especially if fault for the wreck in question is unclear. A qualified railroad injury lawyer could offer guidance and support throughout the process of pursuing financial compensation, whether it involves a FELA claim or a separate civil lawsuit against a negligent third party.
Are Railroad Employers Liable for Car Wrecks?
New York’s workers’ compensation system allows workers in other industries to recover for on-the-job injuries regardless of fault for the inciting incident. Railroad workers injured on the job, however, do not get worker’s compensation benefits. Railroad workers must recover for work-related injuries through the FELA and must be able to prove negligence by their railroad employer. Additionally, they must also be able to establish a causal connection between their employer’s negligence and the damages for which they are seeking compensation.
FELA only applies to injuries sustained in the course of normal employment, which might seem on the surface like it rules out claims over car accidents that occur around worksites. However, if a railroad worker gets into a wreck because another employee was reckless or careless behind the wheel, or because of a component malfunction in a company-owned vehicle, it can be considered a “work-related” accident. It may be possible to hold a negligent third party liable for a collision that occurs on or near a railroad worksite. For example, a non-company-affiliated driver who ran a red light or sped through an intersection may be liable for the resulting accident. Only a qualified FELA attorney can determine all the parties that may be liable in an accident such as this. A consultation with a FELA attorney can address all of the possible grounds for claims or litigation following a railroad worker on-the-job motor vehicle accident in New York.
Seeking Maximum Compensation for Damages
One of FELA’s primary advantages over workers’ compensation is that there are no limits to the kinds of damages successful claimants can seek compensation for. Since employers are not automatically liable for workplace accidents under FELA like they would be in a workers’ comp system, recovery through FELA claims works basically like any personal injury lawsuit. In other words, compensation may be available for both economic and non-economic losses.
Following an on-the-job motor vehicle accident, an injured railroad worker in New York may be able to hold their negligent employer or a negligent third party accountable not only for medical expenses and loss of work income but also subjective forms of harm like physical pain and suffering and lost enjoyment of life. Additionally, surviving family members of railroad workers who lose their lives in incidents like this may be able to seek benefits of their own through the FELA’s wrongful death provision with help from legal counsel.
New York Railroad Attorneys Could Help Railroad Workers Injured in On-the-Job Motor Vehicle Accidents
Although trains and related machinery are certainly the most common source of vehicular injuries in railyards, they are not the only method of transportation that could lead to a railroad worker getting hurt. Depending on your unique circumstances, you may be able to seek compensation through the FELA for a job-related auto accident if it involves employer-owned property or an employer-affiliated individual.
Achieving successful financial recovery after this kind of incident often takes assistance from seasoned legal counsel. Call today to discuss railroad worker on-the-job motor vehicle accidents in New York with a qualified legal professional.