Railroad Injury Settlements

Railroad injury settlements are designed to compensate railroad employees who are injured while on the job.

Occupations in the railroad industry are inherently more dangerous than those in many other fields due to frequent use of heavy machinery, exposure to toxins and various other factors. As a result, there is a law distinct from traditional workers' compensation laws that protects railroad employees in the event they are injured while working.

The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) is the law that protects the rights of railroad employees, should they be injured on the job and should their injury be caused by an employer's, co-worker's or equipment manufacturer's negligence or recklessness.

If railroad workers sustain physical injuries while working, it's essential that they meet with qualified railroad accident lawyers experienced in FELA railroad settlements to:

  • Learn more about their legal rights
  • Find out if FELA entitles them to compensation for their injuries and losses
  • Get expert advice regarding the best manner in which to pursue their case
  • Secure aggressive, professional representation to ensure they obtain the maximum injury settlement they are entitled to

Railroad Settlement Cases

Types of accidents that typically merit a FELA railroad settlement include (but aren't limited to):

  • accidents resulting from falling objects or debris
  • collisions
  • crushing or compression incidents
  • derailments
  • electrocutions
  • falls (from high places or due to slippery surfaces)
  • heavy lifting accidents

Physical injuries that may result from such railroad accidents include (but aren't limited to):

  • neck and back injuries (i.e. cervical herniated discs and spinal cord injuries)
  • burn injuries, disfigurement
  • dislocations or sprains
  • fractures, broken bones
  • knee injuries (i.e. ligament injuries, meniscus tears)
  • loss of limb, permanent disability
  • shoulder injuries (i.e. rotator cuff injuries, torn shoulder labrum, shoulder impingement)
  • traumatic brain injury

Largest Railroad Settlement

To date, the largest FELA railroad injury settlement was awarded in 1999 to Dominic Wolf, a 19-year old Wyoming resident. The compensation amount was $8,625,000.

In 1997, Wolf was hired by Rail Link, Inc. as a train car switchman and never received the proper training. In April 1997, Wolf was attempting to identify a poorly labeled train car (to see whether it needed to be switched or not) when the engineer – without blowing an engine horn warning (which is required by federal regulation) – moved the train.

Wolf was hit by a train car and fell between the rails, where both of his legs were amputated. Wolf remained conscious during the entire incident.

Following two years of intense negotiations, the case was finally settled in 1999, marking the largest known voluntary settlement between a railroad company and an injured employee.

Railroad Settlement Amounts

The amount of a FELA railroad settlement will depend on:

  • the type and severity of the injury sustained
  • the precise cause of the injury
  • whether the injury could have been prevented if proper procedures were followed

Injured railroaders can get more precise estimates of possible FELA awards by meeting with a railroad injury lawyer for a free initial consultation. If you or a loved one has suffered a railroad-related injury and you want to see if you qualify for an injury settlement, contact Gordon & Elias, L.L.P. for help today. Our experienced railroad accident attorneys will evaluate the details of your accident and help you determine the best possible legal strategy.

For more information or to schedule a FREE consultation, call Gordon & Elias, L.L.P. today at (800) 773-6770.

Learn more about other types of railroad injuries and dangers: