Kansas FELA Attorneys

In its early years of railroad building, Kansas saw the expansion of the rails go hand in hand with population growth and new settlements. The federal government granted charters for a railroad line for the price of one dollar. And, anyone could buy a charter. As for means to build the line, this came from the federal government also.

Railroad promoters persuaded the government to grant land to the railroads in the expectation that it could charge double the cost of the land near the tracks once the settlers arrived.

Between 1868 and 1873, railroads were built at a furious pace, stretching west to the Pacific Ocean, joining the coasts, with connecting lines spreading everywhere and bringing settlements along with them. Kansas was right in the middle of this great expansion.

During the Civil War, the Atchison and Topeka Railroad company did little building. In 1863, however:

  • The Atchison and Topeka became the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe
  • The government of Kansas gave the company a land grant of three million acres on the condition it reach the western state border in ten years

As the deadline approached, the workers had ten months to complete 283 miles of track. The tracklayers built the railroad at a frenzied rate through Hutchinson on June 24, Great Bend a month later, and faster still through the unsettled plains. They thought they had finished by December 22, when they discovered they still had four miles to go. Exhausted workers, little building material, and practically no capital made these last four miles excruciating. They arrived at the western edge of the state by December 28.

Race to Completion Results in Injuries and Death

Workers on this project as well as many others laying track across the country were experiencing injuries and deaths at a mounting rate. The difficult, heavy and dangerous work led to much suffering and many injuries. Injuries among the workers included:

  • Back and neck injuries
  • Broken bones and joints
  • Severe head injuries
  • Dismemberment
  • Crushing injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Illnesses due to exposure to toxic materials and fumes
  • Death

Workers also suffered much pain and lost wages, both during the time of their recovery, and in the future if they had to leave their jobs.

By the turn of the century public pressure was mounting for the federal government to pass laws protecting railroad workers. These workers were not covered by workman’s compensation. Finally in 1908, the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) passed Congress and was signed into law.

Get Legal Help for Your Railroad Injury in Kansas

Lawyers specializing in representing injured railway workers are to this day called FELA attorneys. Because of the unique and complicated railroad laws and regulations, representation by a Kansas FELA lawyer is essential to receiving the best compensation. Our Kansas FELA lawyers would be happy to give you a free consultation to explore the particulars of your case. Contact a FELA law attorney today or call (800) 773-6770.