Working for a U.S. freight railroad is a lucrative job. It is one of the most well-paying jobs that doesn’t require a college degree, and experienced railroad workers can easily make six figure annual salaries, especially with opportunities for overtime. For all its perks, however, railroad work can be tough, with unpredictable hours and long, boring stretches of being on a train. Railroad work also can be dangerous, and injuries to employees are quite common. Freight railroad companies are notorious for not being friendly to employees that are injured or to employees who report conditions that could lead to injury. Any employee that feels he or she is not being treated fairly by a railroad employer may need to work with lawyers that specialize in railroads or the Federal Employers Liability Act.
In 2015, there were more than 3,900 railroad accidents and incidents and 240 total fatalities. Only six fatalities that year were railroad workers, but there were more than 1,500 non-fatal injuries to workers, not all of which occurred due to a train crash or incident. Railroad workers are exposed to a number of other hazards, including harmful chemicals and fall risks.
For railroad workers who are injured on the job, the Federal Employers Liability Act protects and compensates them. However, the law is not popular, and railroad companies and industry groups have tried for decades to get the law changed and repealed. Because of that, railroads do whatever they can to avoid complying or doing the minimum to comply. That can mean a worker who gets injured may not get the compensation to which he or she is entitled. To ensure your employer complies with the FELA law and you get the benefits to which you are entitled, you may need to work with railroad injury lawyers or FELA lawyers.
Railroad lawyers are experts in railroad law and will help you ensure your rights are protected if you become injured on the job. You also can’t go wrong with FELA lawyers whose expertise is with that law.
Whether you are the person injured or you have been a whistleblower because of another worker’s injury or dangerous conditions on the job the railroad refuses to acknowledge and deal with, you need a lawyer who is an expert in railroad law, FELA or both to protect your rights.