The Federal Employers Liability Act, or FELA, gives railroad employees who get injured on the job or develop occupational illnesses to hold rail companies accountable for failing to protect them. Families of railroad employees who die in work-related accidents or succumb to occupational illnesses like cancer, lung disease or mesothelioma also have rights to file wrongful death claims under FELA.
FELA is often compared to workers’ compensation, but the claims process works much differently. Rail companies are only held liable to pay compensation and damages if evidence exists that their executives or managers acted negligently. FELA claims often go to trial, so railroad workers or their family members can benefit from partnering with a personal injury or wrongful death attorney who has experience handling FELA cases.