If you recently got hurt in an auto accident while on shift as a railroad employee, your options for seeking civil recovery may vary depending on the specific circumstances leading up to that incident. You may be able to hold your railroad employer liable for harm their negligence caused you while you were performing work-related tasks, or a third party may bear responsibility for your damages. Either way, recovering fair compensation after railroad worker on-the-job motor vehicle accidents in Ohio can be difficult without assistance from knowledgeable legal counsel. A seasoned railroad accident lawyer could be a critical source of legal expertise and advice from start to finish of your claim, whether it falls under the jurisdiction of federal law meant to protect railroad workers hurt while working or under state civil law.
What Damages Could Be Recoverable?
Unlike workers’ compensation, which employees in most other industries use to recover for work-related injuries and illnesses, the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) that covers injuries to railroad workers does not set limits on the types of damages a claimant can seek recovery. As a result, a comprehensive claim following a railroad worker on-the-job motor vehicle accident in Ohio may demand compensation for both economic and non-economic forms of harm, including:
- Past and future expenses for medical care and related services, like prescription drugs
- Lost wages and lost future earning capacity
- Personal impacts of permanent disability or disfigurement, such as loss of consortium with a spouse
- Physical pain from accident-related injuries
As with personal injury cases, though, comparative fault by an injured railroad worker could reduce the amount of compensation available to them through a FELA claim. This means that a railroad claimant who may have been partially at fault for an accident is not barred from recovery, but his or her compensation may be reduced by his or her percentage of fault. Generally, the jury in a FELA claim will ultimately make a determination about the percentage of fault—if any—a claimant bears for causing or exacerbating their own injuries. Any award may be reduced based on that percentage. Representation from a seasoned railroad accident lawyer is often crucial to fighting allegations of comparative negligence in the interest of maximizing compensation.
Pursuing Compensation Through a FELA Claim
Any type of work-related accident in or around a railyard could justify recovery through a FELA claim if an employer’s negligence – even in part – led to the incident in question. In the case of on-the-job motor vehicle accidents impacting Ohio railroad workers, this may involve specifically proving negligent vehicle operation by a railroad employee, negligent vehicle maintenance by an employer, or even failure to ensure only qualified employees operated company vehicles.
Federal law sets a filing deadline of three years on FELA claims, meaning that prospective claimants must formally begin the process of seeking compensation no later than three years after discovering that their injuries stemmed from their employer’s negligence. Qualified legal counsel could offer further clarification about these and other elements of this unique means for seeking financial recovery after a car wreck.
Seek Help with an Ohio Railroad Worker On-the-Job Motor Vehicle Accident Claim
Whether you have grounds to file a FELA claim, seek compensation through third-party litigation, or both, the steps you take following a car crash related to your work as a railroad employee may be crucial to preserving your long-term best interests. Both means of seeking recovery allow recovery for numerous types of damages, but only if you can establish negligence by the defendant in your claim, whether that is your railroad employer or an unaffiliated third party.
You should think twice before proceeding with your case without dedicated legal representation. Call today to speak with an attorney about legal options following railroad worker on-the-job motor vehicle accidents in Ohio.