The tragedy to a family due to the death of a railroad worker who is killed as the result of an on-the-job incident can often be compounded by the actions of the railroad’s management and Claims' Agents. Grieving spouses or families are often pressured by the railroad’s legal advisors or Claims' Agents to agree to a quick settlement that provides a payoff to the victim’s relatives and a subsequent release of any further claim to railroad liability for the fatal accident. When someone dies due to the negligence of the railroad, it is called a wrongful death claim.

Railroad workers are killed in railroad accidents every year in increasing numbers. The death of a railroad employee simply engaged in another day’s work is another matter for the railroad company, both legally and ethically. If a worker is killed due to the failure of a faulty piece of equipment or the sudden and unexpected movement of a locomotive or car, the responsibility of supervisory personnel – and ultimately, the railroad company itself—is a primary issue. With the expanding use of remote control movements in the yard, there is an alarming amount of deaths associated with this activity.

Legal Rights for the Families of Fatal Accident Victims

The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) was passed in 1908 to a great degree as the result of a large number of deaths reported annually for railway workers on the job. In an historical period when worker’s rights were largely unrecognized, the Congress passed and the President signed a bill that allows railroad workers who are injured to seek compensation for company negligence. That right also extends to family members of railroad employees who are killed on the job.

Under the FELA statutes, in the event of a death the spouse and family members of the victim are entitled to award for the monetary losses that they have suffered as well as for any pain and suffering the individual faced up until the time of death. These monetary losses refer to the financial support and consideration the employee would have provided his or her family through the course of the career, had it continued to its normal conclusion.

Why a FELA Attorney?

There are also liability consequences for companionship denied the children of a railway employee killed on the job along with provisions that address ensuring the family is provided for properly. FELA is a unique body of law that has complex components—it requires an experienced FELA lawyer to maximize the compensation due the family who has lost a father, mother or spouse to an accident on a railroad job.

At Gordon & Elias, L.L.P. we are a law firm that practices FELA railroad injury law nationwide. It is not designated by any specific Union and that is just fine with them. Their goal is to provide excellent representation; only utilize Board Certified Physicians in the medical treatment of their clients; get statements from witnesses and photographs as soon as hired; advance funds, interest free and where ethically permitted, to their clients so they can pay their bills while off of work; and, most importantly, treat their clients like family and with the respect, honor and dignity that they deserve. Call 800-773-6770 to speak to a REAL FELA attorney.