Indiana FELA Attorney

In the early days of the railroads, farmers often had problems with livestock being killed or wounded on tracks running through their land. In a chapter of a book, History of Eugene Township (1963), by Harold L. O’Donnell, the author quotes an Indiana farmer who fancied himself a poet. The farmer wrote to a railroad claims agent:

“My razorback strolled down your track,

A week ago today.

Your #29 came down the line,

And snuffed his life away.

You can't blame me; the hog you see,

Slipped through a cattle gate;

So kindly pen a check for ten,

The debt to liquidate.”

Shortly thereafter, the claims agent replied:

“Old #29 came down the line,

And killed your hog, we know;

But razorbacks on railroad tracks,

Quite often meet with woe.

Therefore, my friend, we cannot send,

The check for which you pine,

Just plant the dead; place o'er his head;

'Here lies a foolish swine.’”

Dangerous Work

It was not only hogs, however, who met up with misfortune on the rails. Railroad workers, from those pounding in the spikes to the engineers in the locomotives, faced a life of grueling work and frequent danger.

In the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s, railroads expanded rapidly across the young nation. Following the wagon trains, the rails opened the west to pioneers and prospectors alike. Towns clustered along the tracks as they extended westward. The railroad workers laying the tracks and working the trains often met with misfortune, from working with heavy equipment and breaking through inhospitable terrain.

When railroad expansion was going full throttle, injuries and deaths among the workers rose at a frightening pace. Between 1889 and 1920, railroad use increased 600 percent. Deaths and injuries among the workers grew at such an alarming rate, a public outcry arose for Congress to pass a law protecting the railroad workers. In 1908, the number of injured was 281,645 and killed was 12,000.

FELA: Indiana Railroad Workers

Pressure from the public, the railway workers’ labor unions and even President Theodore Roosevelt prevailed upon Congress to pass the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) of 1908. The set of laws protected the workers who were not covered by workmen’s compensation.

FELA made the railroad companies responsible for reimbursing railroad workers and their families for injuries and deaths occurring on the job.

Seeking the help of an Indiana FELA attorney is as important today as in the early days of railroad building, protecting workers who often suffer from injuries. Common injuries might include:

  • Crushing injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Injuries to the joints
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Dismemberment and disfigurement
  • Injuries from exposure to toxic fumes and poisonous substances

Compensation includes coverage of medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of present and future wages.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a railroad accident, it is important to have the help of a FELA lawyer, experienced in the complexities of FELA laws. Our lawyers would be pleased to offer you a free consultation to discuss the particulars of your case. Contact an Indiana FELA attorney today.