Railroad Companies

The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) is a law that specifically protects the rights of railroad workers when:

  • They are injured while working
  • They can prove their injuries resulted from the negligence or recklessness of an employer, co-worker or equipment manufacturer

FELA was originally passed in 1908 when President Harrison likened the dangers of working in the railroad industry to the plights of soldiers at war. Over a century later, the railroad industry has made notable progress by instituting safety procedures and refining equipment to make their employees safer.

However, railroad workers still face a number of on-the-job dangers – ranging from exposure to toxins to heavy cargo loads – that continue to heighten the chances that they will be seriously injured (or killed) while working.

Should railroaders sustain an on-the-job injury, railroad companies will likely owe them a settlement for their injuries and losses. Injured railroad employees can learn more about their legal rights by meeting with an experienced FELA attorney for a free initial consultation.

Major U.S. Railroad Companies

Currently, about 650 railroad companies operate in the U.S. While most of these are classified as Class II or Class III railroad companies (due to their smaller operating revenues and confinement to a certain county or state), the major U.S. railroad companies are identified as Class I Railroads.

The seven Class I Railroads currently operating in the U.S. include:

Currently, between 160,000 and 200,000 Americans are employed by one of the above Class I Railroads.

When to Seek FELA Compensation from Railroad Companies

The weight and speed of trains, as well as human error and equipment defects, are just some of the factors that can cause railroad workers to experience serious injuries on the job.

In addition to disfigurement and permanent disability, railroad employees also have a particular risk of sustaining injuries including (but not limited to):

  • crushing incidents
  • electrocutions
  • loss of limb(s)
  • neck, shoulder and spine injuries
  • traumatic brain injury

Following any serious railroad accident, injured parties should seek emergency medical attention to ensure the best chances of recovery.

Once their health is stable, it's also crucial that they meet with an experienced FELA lawyer to:

  • Get a thorough evaluation of their case
  • Find out if FELA entitles them to a settlement
  • Get expert advice regarding the best manner in which to pursue their claim

FELA settlements are typically greater than workers' compensation awards. As a result, injured railroad workers should be sure they understand their rights and entitlements under FELA before filing a workers' compensation claim.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury while working for a major railroad company, contact us for help. We will evaluate the details of your injury and ensure you recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to.