The Federal Employers' Liability Act - The FELA

The Federal Employers' Liability Act – better known as the FELA – is the federal law that deals with the rights to compensation for a railroad worker injured on the job. The FELA was enacted in 1908 to protect railroad workers injured in the course of their work. Because injured railroad workers are not eligible for Workers’ Compensation, the FELA gives them the right, under certain circumstances, to recover compensation from their railroad employer if they are injured on the job.

Some Circumstances where FELA provides protection:

The FELA requires railroad companies to provide their employees a reasonably safe place to work, no matter where the employee is working. This means that the railroad has a duty to provide its employees things like:

The above is not an exclusive list, there may be many other ways the railroad, or it's agents, (such as limo/ jitney companies or hotels where employees are provided for required rest between runs) may be negligent. If you have any questions whether your injury is covered, please talk to a knowledgeable attorney.
The railroad is obligated to inspect its equipment and work areas for unsafe conditions and remedy those conditions as soon as reasonably possible. Unlike state Workers’ Compensation statutes, the FELA is negligence based. This means that, in most cases, an injured worker has to prove that the railroad was negligent to recover damages. A railroad is liable to pay monetary damages to an injured worker if the railroad’s negligence was a cause, in whole or in part, of the worker’s injury. In other words, even if the railroad’s negligence was only one of several causes of an injury, the railroad is liable for damages to the injured worker or the deceased worker’s dependents. The railroad is statutorily prohibited from arguing that an injured worker assumed the risk of his employment in FELA cases.