Protecting The Rights of Injured Railroad Workers In Kentucky
The railroad industry has significantly evolved over the past century. But what’s not changed is the risks of catastrophic injury railroad workers regularly face. If you suffer severe injuries because your railroad employer is negligent, you may be able to file a claim under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA).
Satterley & Kelley, PLLC, has extensive experience helping clients in Louisville and throughout Kentucky with FELA claims. Our attorneys have developed a reputation as highly skilled FELA trial lawyers who have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of injured Kentucky railroad workers.
What Is The Federal Employers Liability Act?
Congress enacted FELA more than 100 years ago to protect and compensate railroad workers suffering job-related injuries. It covers most injuries railroad workers experience, even for those whose work isn’t on or near trains.
Unlike workers’ compensation, FELA is a fault-based program. To receive compensation for your injuries, you must show your employer’s actions were at least in part responsible for your injuries.
What Do I Need to Show to Win My FELA Case?
You must prove by a preponderance of the evidence the:
- Defendant was negligent
- That negligence played a role, no matter how small, in causing your injuries.
Negligence is the defendant’s failure to live up to a legal duty by not using the care a reasonably prudent person would use in the same situation. Railroads owe workers many duties. Establishing your employer violated one could be enough to win your FELA case. These duties include:
- Providing a reasonably safe work environment, including safe tools, equipment, and safety devices
- Inspecting the work environment, so it’s free of hazards
- Providing sufficient supervision, training, and assistance to employees so they can perform their job functions
- Ensuring employees are safe from harmful intentional acts of others
- Enforcing safety regulations and rules
- Not using unreasonable work quotas
If a government agency or court finds the railroad violated workplace safety standards in federal statutes and regulations, you may have a successful case if you can link your injury to the violation.
What Will Damages Cover?
Damages are the harm you suffered measured in dollars. They’re the amount of
money that will fairly compensate you for any injury you sustained because of the defendant’s negligence.
If you can demonstrate your employer was at fault in some way, you can receive compensation for a broad range of injuries, including severely broken bones, damage to internal organs, and amputations.
Successful lawsuits often provide compensation for the harm suffered in the past and reasonably expected in the future:
- The cost of medical care and supplies
- The lost wages, salary, fringe benefits, profits, and earning capacity because of your inability or lessened ability to work
- The reasonable value of household services you’re unable to perform for yourself
- The physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering due to the injury and any disability or loss of a normal life
In the tragic circumstances of a fatal accident, the spouse and children of the decedent may receive compensation. If the decedent had no spouse or children, compensation typically goes to surviving parents. The damages available to a family in these cases include:
- The Railroad worker’s lost wages, salary, fringe benefits, profits, and earning capacity because of their death
- Pain and suffering felt by the decedent before their death
- The reasonable cost of medical care and supplies the decedent reasonably needed and was provided
FELA claims are often complex cases involving complicated laws and many different moving parts. Our attorneys focus on conducting a thorough analysis to determine the best approach for your case. We are prepared to stand up to the railroad companies to pursue total compensation for your injuries and help ensure you do not have to settle for anything less than you deserve.
What Can the Defendant Do to Contest My Damages
The defendant can claim the accident didn’t cause your injuries or they’re not as bad as you claim. In addition, the railroad may claim you’re partially at fault, and your share of the blame should be deducted from your damages.
Contact Our Louisville Office
If you are a railroad worker in Kentucky injured on the job, it is essential to take action to protect your right to fair compensation. If you are unsure what to do, Satterley & Kelley, PLLC, attorneys are here to help.