What Must a Virginia Railroad Worker Prove to Succeed With a FELA Claim? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

An injured railroad worker — whether in Norfolk, Petersburg, Roanoke, Richmond, or Portsmouth, Virginia (VA) or anywhere else in the country — must meet three basic requirements to recover damages under FELA, the Federal Employers’ Liability Act:

  1. The railroad accident must have occurred in the course and scope of employment for the railroad company. This does not mean that the accident must have happened on property owned by the railway, so long as the injury is sustained in the furtherance of the worker’s employment-related duties,
  2. The railroad must be engaged in interstate commerce between at least two states. This requirement is broadly interpreted and is almost always met in an injury claim.
  3. The railroad company’s fault must have caused or contributed to the injuries sustained.

The third requirement generally looks for some sort of negligence on the railroad company’s part or violation of a rule or safety law. Virginia railroad workers involved in accidents may be entitled to monetary damages under FELA.


Learn more: As Virginia and Carolina attorneys specializing in FELA and railroad injury law, we offer hundreds of pages of information to help you learn your rights and recover compensation if you’ve been hurt on the job, riding trains or crossing rail tracks. You may find our list “What Not to Do After a Railroad Accident” especially helpful.