Working in a railyard or in any occupation related to the operation of commercial or commuter trains can be an inherently dangerous prospect, even if you and everyone around you act as responsibly and safely as possible on the job. To make matters worse, some on-the-job injuries that railroad workers suffer do not even involve trains, but instead, motor vehicles operated or maintained by negligent third parties. If you get hurt in a car accident while performing duties related to your job as a railroad worker, you may have multiple options available to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses. However, the best way to effectively protect your rights and interests after railroad worker on-the-job motor vehicle accidents is by retaining a railroad accident attorney who has handled similar cases successfully before.
Employer Liability Versus Third-Party Liability
Instead of traditional workers’ compensation insurance, railroad workers who suffer a job-related injury or illness may seek compensation directly from their employer thanks to the Federal Employers Liability Act. So long as an injured railroad employee can prove that some form of negligence by their employer created an unsafe working environment that directly led to their injuries, they should have valid grounds for a case.
Importantly, though, a “work-related” accident does not necessarily have to occur in a railyard or on a train in order for FELA to apply. If a railroad worker gets in a car accident while being transported to or from a job site, they may be able to file a FELA claim alleging negligent operation or maintenance of the vehicle in question.
Alternatively, car accidents caused by negligent third parties could justify separate lawsuits against the responsible parties. A railroad injury lawyer could discuss what options may be available for a particular worker after an on-the-job motor vehicle wreck.
What Damages May Be Recoverable?
Since FELA claims require injured railroad workers to prove negligence of any kind by their employers, they function very similarly to traditional personal injury lawsuits in terms of recoverable damages. Unlike workers’ comp claims, which allow only limited recovery for specified economic losses, FELA claimants may be able to pursue recovery for both economic and non-economic forms of harm, including past and future loss of income, past and future bills for medical treatment, and physical and emotional pain stemming from the incident.
Furthermore, if an on-the-job motor vehicle accident leads to a railroad worker’s premature death, their surviving spouse and children may be eligible to file a FELA claim in their stead. A seasoned railroad accident attorney could alternatively help a deceased railroad worker’s parents or other close family members seek benefits through FELA, if the decedent has no surviving spouse or children.
Talk to a Railroad Accident Attorney about Motor Vehicle Crashes on the Job
When you work in an industry as dangerous as railroad transportation, it is crucial that you understand all the rights you have in the event of an on-the-job accident. Any job-related task that leads to you getting hurt including motor vehicle trips in between job-related tasks could constitute grounds for a FELA claim. A qualified railroad worker on-the-job motor vehicle accidents lawyer could provide compassionate and comprehensive guidance about your legal options. To schedule a private consultation about your circumstances, contact us today.