Walnut Creek Railroad Worker Injury Lawyer
California railroad workers perform their jobs in a highly risky workplace environment, so it will probably not surprise you to learn that injuries and accidents are a common occurrence. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) reports that there are approximately 12,000 railway accidents every year, causing more than 800 deaths and injuries to 8,400 railroad employees. If you were hurt or lost a loved one, it is reassuring to know that you may be eligible for monetary benefits. However, you might be surprised to learn that your remedies do not fall under state workers’ compensation laws.
Instead, qualifying railroad workers can pursue legal relief under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). This law essentially creates a federal system for workers’ comp, which comes with its own set of challenges. The Venardi Zurada LLP team has extensive experience helping clients with FELA claims, so please contact us to set up a free case evaluation with a Walnut Creek railroad worker injury lawyer. You might also benefit from reviewing some basics about your rights.
How FELA Protects Injured Railway Workers
Though the statute is a type of workers’ comp system, FELA is a major departure from how state laws protect injured employees. In many industries, you do not need to prove employer fault to be entitled to benefits. However, FELA is more akin to a personal injury lawsuit. Railway workers must have evidence that their employer was somehow negligent in maintaining a safe workplace. Examples are disregarding safety regulations, failing to supply personal protective equipment, not establishing rules for accidents, and not properly training workers.
An important note about FELA claims pertains to the burden of proof when seeking compensation after an accident: The standard is lower than personal injury claims in which you must prove causation by a preponderance of the evidence. With a FELA case, you only need evidence establishing that negligence somehow played a role in the accident.
Eligible Railroad Employees May Be Entitled to FELA Benefits
Another departure from state workers’ comp laws is that injured railway workers have expanded benefits under FELA. Workers’ compensation benefits in California do not include noneconomic damages, which can be considerable. Under FELA, you may qualify to recover for:
- Pain and suffering;
- Scarring and disfigurement;
- Diminished quality of life;
- Emotional distress; and
- Related losses.
Venardi Zurada LLP is prepared to advise you throughout the legal process, including dealings with your employer and/or insurance company. Because insurers tend to protect their own interests instead of injured railroad workers, there can be challenges reaching settlement. The company may deny your claim or offer a lowball amount. If the insurer refuses fair settlement, our Walnut Creek railroad worker injury attorneys are ready to pursue your remedies in court.
Call Now to Speak with a Walnut Creek Railroad Worker Injury Lawyer
If you were hurt or lost a loved one in connection with an on-the-job railway accident in California, please call Venardi Zurada LLP at 925-937-3900 or visit our website to set up a free consultation. We can explain the FELA application to railroad worker injuries after reviewing your situation.