The railroad industry presents significant dangers to employees. Accidents that occur on or around a train are often severe. At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, our Virginia FELA injury claims attorneys have the resources necessary to handle every aspect of a railroad injury case. We have extensive experience handling these incidents, and we will fully investigate the injury so we can process the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) claim in a timely manner to ensure that injured workers recover the compensation they are entitled to.
Why Choose Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp for a FELA Claim?
- At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, we have a thorough understanding of how personal injury law intersects with railroad accident injury claims.
- We have returned major settlements and jury verdicts on behalf of railroad worker injury victims in Virginia.
- Our team handles Virginia FELA claims on a contingency fee basis, which means clients will not have to pay us anything until after we recover the compensation they are entitled to.
Our team regularly recovers compensation for injured railroad workers in Virginia. This includes a $564,000 settlement for a train engineer who sustained disabling back and knee injuries as a result of a railroad crossing accident. We also recovered $700,000 after a worker suffered from injuries caused by a fall at work.
Understanding FELA Claims in Virginia
Most people think all work injuries are handled through workers’ compensation claims. However, that is not the case with railroad workers. For more than 100 years, railroad worker injuries have been handled by the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). In a traditional workers’ compensation system, an employee can recover compensation regardless of who caused the injury.
However, for a FELA claim, the injured railroad worker has to prove the railroad was negligent in some way. This places these claims more on par with a traditional personal injury claim and makes it more difficult for a person to recover compensation.
There is a benefit to FELA claims that many individuals in Virginia do not think about. This law places a limitation on contributory negligence doctrines. Virginia is actually a contributory negligence state, which means that individuals are typically prevented from recovering compensation even if they are one percent responsible for causing their own injury. However, FELA grants injured workers the ability to recover compensation even if they were partially responsible for the incident.
FELA claims are available to various individuals who work in the railroad industry. This can include engineers, conductors, carmen, trackmen, or train yard workers.
Train Injury Statistics
If we examine the information available from the National Safety Council, we can see that there were 7,867 total non-fatal injuries caused by train accidents across the U.S. during the latest reporting year. Many of these injuries revolve around railroad employees because they are in continuous contact with the dangerous elements of the job.
Railroad workers can suffer from a wide range of injuries or illnesses as a result of workplace activities and exposure. Some of the most common types of injuries that we help clients with include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Spinal cord injuries with paralysis
- Burn injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Chemical exposure
- Nerve damage
- Respiratory illnesses
- Lung cancers
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
- Lacerations or puncture wounds
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Work-related chronic diseases
This is certainly not a complete list of the types of injuries that we help clients with, and we strongly encourage you to reach out to an attorney who can help guide you toward a successful resolution for your Virginia FELA claim.
Types of Compensation Available Through a FELA Claim
There may be various types of compensation available to an injury victim through a FELA claim in Virginia. Some of the most common types of compensation recovered by railroad injury victims include:
- The reasonable value of medical care a person receives or is expected to receive in the future as a result of the injury.
- Any wages the individual has lost as a result of their injury.
- The loss of future earnings if a person sustains a disability.
- Physical pain and suffering the railroad injury victim has experienced.
It is important to understand that no two railroad injury claims are exactly alike. The total amount of compensation paid in these cases will vary depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding each particular railroad injury. This includes the severity of the injury, whether or not a person can continue to work, the level of a victim’s pain and suffering, etc.
If a railroad injury results in a fatality, family members of the deceased are allowed to bring a FELA claim in court. FELA does provide some protections, particularly for surviving spouses and minor children. The main focus of FELA wrongful death claims is handling economic losses sustained by the family. For example, if a worker loses their life when they are 40 years old, the wages up until their retirement age at 67 may be coverable.
Why Do You Need an Attorney for This Case?
Railroads and their insurance carriers will work very quickly to protect themselves after a worker sustains an injury. Because injured railroad workers have to prove that the railroad was negligent, it is not uncommon for the railroad to try to blame the incident on the worker.
However, a FELA lawyer in Virginia can step in and handle every aspect of these claims on behalf of their client. An attorney will answer any questions posed by the railroad or the insurance carrier, and they will conduct a completely independent investigation into the incident. An attorney will proceed to vigorously negotiate with insurance carriers to secure full compensation on behalf of their client.
Call a Virginia FELA Injury Claim Attorney Today
If you or somebody you care about has sustained an injury while working on a train or railroad in Virginia, reach out to the team at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp for assistance as soon as possible. We have the resources necessary to handle every aspect of these complex claims. Our team has no problem standing up to federal insurance carriers to make sure that you recover full compensation for your losses. Let us step in and handle this claim on your behalf today. When you need a Virginia FELA injury claims attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by filling out the contact form below or calling us at (833) 997-1774.