Metairie FELA Lawyer
In most occupations, if you are injured in an on-the-job accident, your normal avenue for seeking medical and wage replacement benefits from your employer would be to file a state worker’s compensation claim. But if you happen to work for a railroad, there is a separate federal statute that guarantees your right to compensation–the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA). And while FELA is similar to worker’s compensation in certain respects, there are significant differences that can actually work to your benefit.
If you are a railroad worker injured in any sort of work-related accident, a skilled Metairie FELA lawyer can review your case and advise you of your rights under the law. At Palazzo Law Firm, we assist railroad workers and their families who are looking to recover from a serious accident. We can help ensure the railroad meets its legal obligations to you, if necessary by presenting your case to a jury.
How FELA Differs From Worker’s Compensation
As previously noted, FELA is designed to compensate railway workers for on-the-job injuries. This is similar to the purpose of worker’s compensation. But there are some key differences. The first is that while worker’s compensation is a “no-fault” system, FELA is based on fault. In other words, to obtain compensation under FELA, you have to prove that the railway was negligent–and that negligence caused your injuries.
On the other hand, if you can prove negligence, you are entitled to significantly more damages from the railway under FELA than under worker’s compensation. In addition to damages for your medical bills and lost wages, you can also seek compensation for your pain and suffering under FELA, something that is generally not available under worker’s compensation. And while worker’s compensation disputes are normally heard before an administrative agency, you can file a lawsuit seeking damages under FELA directly in a state or federal court. You even have the right to demand a jury trial.
It is also important to understand that FELA does not just cover traumatic injuries arising from railroad accidents. You can also seek compensation for repetitive motion industries, occupational diseases, and even aggravation of a pre-existing condition. Again, you still have to prove the railway’s negligence caused your issue. And the railway can turn around and try to argue that your own actions caused or contributed to your injuries. If a judge or jury agrees, that can reduce the amount of compensation you receive under FELA.
Contact Palazzo Law Firm Today
Under FELA, you have three years to bring a claim. This clock starts to run on the date of your injury, which can be tricky to determine in many cases. That is why you should speak with an experienced Metairie FELA lawyer as soon as possible. The team at Palazzo Law Firm can review your injury and help you determine the potential value of your claim. So if you would like to speak with an attorney as soon as possible, contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.