South Carolina FELA Lawyers

The South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company was the state’s first railroad. It was charted in 1827 to run a 136-mile link between Charleston and Hamburg.

In its first three years, the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company:

  • Completed a six-mile track heading west from Charleston
  • Became the first regularly scheduled passenger train in the nation
  • Finished the Charleston-to-Hamburg link by 1833

Soon after, the Southeast’s most famous railroads were based in South Carolina, except for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad.

Today about 2,000 miles of track run through South Carolina, although when railroading was at its highpoint in the state, trains rode nearly 4,000 miles of rails. Today’s major remaining successor railroads in South Carolina are the CSX Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railway, plus a number of short lines.

When that first railroad, the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company, was built, constructing railroads was accomplished through trial and error. The errors would sometimes prove fatal, both to passengers and railroad workers. As the decades passed, railway building became an increasingly dangerous way to make a living.

Railroad Workers at Risk of Being Injured

Common injuries to the workers in this difficult and hazardous business included:

  • Crushing injuries
  • Disfigurement and dismemberment
  • Broken bones and joints
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Brain trauma
  • Severe head injuries
  • Sicknesses caused by exposure to toxic fumes and substances

During the period during the last half of the nineteenth century and the early years in the twentieth, the injuries and deaths had grown to such proportions that a public clamor arose for the government to do something to protect the railroad workers.

It was not until 1908, however, that Congress passed a law, making the railroad companies liable for injury and death to the railroad workers. The act was called the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA).

Railroad workers were not covered by worker’s compensation. Thus, a law making the companies pay them for their pain and suffering, or their families for their deaths, was very important.

South Carolina Railroad Workers and FELA Today

Working on the railroads is still a difficult and dangerous job. Injuries and deaths occur regularly. If you or someone you love has been injured in a railroad accident, it is important to work with a FELA attorney, a lawyer experienced in the complexities of railroad law and workers’ injuries. Our FELA lawyers have the experience and knowledge to obtain for you the best compensation possible. For more information about the laws governing the railroad industry in South Carolina, or to schedule a private and free consultation with an experience attorney, call us today, toll free at (800) 773-6770 or send us an email and a FELA law attorney will be in touch with you shortly.