Missouri FELA Attorneys

The first railway in Missouri was a five-mile track running between Richmond to a place on the Missouri River opposite Lexington. The railway was built in a couple of years and finished by 1851. Constructed entirely of wood, the rails were sawed oak and the crossties hewn oak; it cost $1,500 per mile to lay the track. That same year, iron rails were also laid in the state.

A Day of Celebration Turns Tragic

Four years after those first rails were laid, there was a day of celebration. It was Nov. 1, 1855. The Pacific Railroad was being built to reach across the country from St. Louis, Missouri, to the Pacific Ocean. On that opening day of the railroad, the festivities included carrying 600 prominent passengers on the first miles of track that had by then been laid. But, when the train reached the Gasconade River Bridge, the bridge supports collapsed, sending the locomotive and 12 of the 13 attached railway cars plummeting into the river. Thirty-four persons died and hundreds were seriously injured.

When that accident happened, Missouri like the rest of the states, was entering a period of feverish railroad building. The fever mounted, the miles of rails increased, and the number of serious injuries multiplied.

The work of building and running a railroad was difficult and dangerous. As the number of injured and dead caused by train accidents mounted, a clamor arose for Congress to pass laws protecting railroad workers.

Passage of FELA — What it Means for Missouri Rail Workers

The railway industry intensely resisted the passage of laws making it liable for employees’ injuries. But, the labor unions of railway workers, the public, and even President Theodore Roosevelt successfully pressed the U.S. Congress to enact the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). The act held that interstate railways were responsible for the injury and death of their employees who were working in interstate commerce.

Since the passage of the act, tens of millions of dollars have been paid to injured employees or their families. Common injuries that are compensated under FELA include:

  • broken bones
  • burns
  • dismemberment and disfigurement
  • damage to the head, neck and spine
  • damaged joints
  • traumatic brain injury
  • injury due to toxic fumes and other substances
  • pain and suffering

Injured employees may also receive compensation for loss of current and future wages. In the case of the death of an employee, the family is entitled to compensation.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a railroad accident, it is important to contact a lawyer specializing in FELA law. It is their business to focus on these cases and they have the most experience in representing FELA injuries and loss of life. We would be happy to talk to you about the specifics of your case. Please contact a FELA law attorney at (800) 773-6770 to find out more about what we can do to help you.