Virginia FELA Attorneys

In the 1850’s, when it became possible to build wood-burning locomotives and iron rails, train tracks began criss-crossing Virginia, especially to transport agricultural products. At that time, they carried more freight than passengers, except for the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac.

The railroads took agricultural produce from the farms to the big cities, then brought manufactured products from the cities to the more rural areas of the state. The railroads provided more convenient routes between major centers than did many of the state’s rivers and roads. The business of carrying goods that previously traveled by ships and wagons was often captured by the railroads.

Today’s railroads in Virginia include:

  • Amtrak
  • Buckingham Branch
  • Chesapeake and Albemarle
  • CSX
  • Eastern Shore
  • Franklin and Carolina
  • Metrorail
  • Norfolk Southern
  • Norfolk and Portsmouth Belt
  • Shenandoah Valley
  • Virginian
  • Virginia Railway Express
  • Virginia Southern
  • Winchester and Western


FELA (the Federal Employers’ Liability Act) became law in 1908, as a remedy for the large number of railway workers who were being injured or killed while doing their jobs. By 1900, when railway building already had been going on for more than 50 years and was booming, one in 300 railway employees were killed on the job and one in 50 was injured.

The year that FELA was passed, 281,645 railway workers were injured while on the job and about 12,000 died. The law was passed because of pressure from Congress, which was being lobbied, by the railroad workers’ unions as well as pressure from President Theodore Roosevelt.

FELA enables employees of interstate railroads who themselves are engaged in interstate commerce to sue their companies for injury occurring during their work. The families of such employees also are able to recover damages if their railroad worker family member is killed during the course of doing their job. These employees do not have recourse under workmen’s compensation law.

Such railway employees have the right to a jury trial. The jury determines if the railway company or one of its other workers has been negligent — a requirement for damages to be awarded — and how much the award should be, based on certain contingencies.

Possible Railroad Injuries are Numerous

Working on railroads is often a difficult and dangerous job. The following are only some of the many injuries workers experience and for which companies are liable:

  • Broken bones
  • Injuries from being crushed
  • Dismemberment or disfigurement
  • Injuries to the joints
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Injuries from exposure to fumes and toxins
  • Repetitive motion injuries

If you or someone you know has been injured on a railroad, it is important to have an expert in FELA law working on your case. We have successful, aggressive attorneys who can help you get the compensation you deserve. Please contact a FELA law lawyer and find out how we may help you. You can reach us at (800) 773-6770.