When railroad companies put profits before the safety of workers and passengers, tragic accidents can occur. According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), 872 passengers and seven railroad workers died in train accidents in 2023 alone.

Losing a loved one or suffering a permanent injury can change your life forever. While no amount of compensation can turn back the time and bring back your loved one or restore your health, getting compensated adequately can help you overcome financial challenges.

Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers is here for you. Our Missouri railroad injury FELA lawyers can help you recover the compensation you deserve after getting hurt in a railroad accident. Contact us now for a free, no-obligation consultation.

What Is FELA?

If you’re a railroad worker, the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) can help you recover compensation when you suffer an injury. The act applies only to workers for railroads engaged in interstate commerce, meaning they must operate across state lines. Such railroad employees are typically not covered by traditional workers’ compensation.

Differences Between FELA and Workers’ Compensation

FELA differs from traditional workers’ compensation laws in two crucial aspects:

  1. It allows injured railroad workers to file lawsuits against their employers for negligence.
  2. Workers can pursue compensation for all damages, including pain and suffering.

Workers’ comp only covers financial losses, such as wage replacement and healthcare costs. However, a FELA lawsuit allows you to seek non-economic damages like pain and anguish, emotional distress, loss of life quality, and more.

Standing up to the railroad company can be challenging as you must prove that your employer was negligent, such as failing to provide safety equipment. Since FELA cases are typically complex, hiring a Missouri railroad injury FELA lawyer may be essential for helping you navigate the legal process.

Missouri Railroad Accidents and Injuries

Missouri railroad workers face countless hazards and risks on the job, which can result in a variety of accidents and injuries. Some of the most common railroad accidents and incidents in which workers get hurt include:

Train Derailments

Derailments happen every day in the US. While many are minor, some can be catastrophic accidents that cause significant injuries and even fatalities. Derailments can occur due to track defects, equipment failure, or driver error. Workers’ injuries in derailments can include fractures, concussions, and internal organ damage.

Toxic Exposure

Railroad workers may be exposed to hazardous substances in accidents or during the normal course of their work. These can include diesel fumes, asbestos, and toxic chemicals used in railroad operations. Exposure to toxic substances can result in respiratory problems, cancer, and other significant health problems.

Equipment Failure

Defective equipment, such as faulty brakes and malfunctioning signals, can lead to catastrophic accidents and injuries for railroad workers and passengers. Workers may suffer crush injuries, amputations, and other catastrophic injuries due to equipment failure.

Slips and Falls

Train workers often work in hazardous environments, such as train yards, where slippery surfaces and working from heights can put them at risk of severe falls. Falls can lead to injuries ranging from harmless sprains to fractures and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Electrical Accidents

Railroad workers can face significant electrical hazards, including contact with high-voltage power lines or exposed wiring. Injuries can be severe, especially in high-voltage incidents, and include burns, electrocution, fractures, and cardiac arrest.

If you or a loved one were involved in a railroad accident in Missouri, knowing your rights and the next best steps can be crucial for recovering damages. Our Missouri railroad injury FELA lawyers can determine your best course of action.

How to Prove Liability Under FELA

Railroad companies must keep workers reasonably safe, which includes providing a safe work environment, adequately training employees, enforcing safety rules, and other duties. If an employer fails to meet these requirements, you could hold them liable under FELA.

FELA differs from an ordinary personal injury lawsuit as the burden of proof that falls on the injured worker is significantly lower. A railroad worker only needs to demonstrate that an employer’s negligence played a role in causing the injury, even if it was a minor factor. This standard is also known as “featherweight causation.”

Contributory Negligence and FELA

Contributory negligence assigns fault to all involved parties in an accident. In other words, a railroad company might argue that your negligence or carelessness contributed to your workplace injury. While you could still receive compensation even if you were partially at fault, the amount awarded may be reduced according to your degree of negligence.

For example, suppose your damages are $100,000. If a court decides that you are 30% at fault for the accident, you may only recover $70.000 ($100,000 minus 30% = $70.000).

Why You Need a Missouri Railroad Injury FELA Lawyer

Proving employer liability in a FELA claim may not be as easy as it seems. Firstly, you will likely have to stand up to a corporation with vast resources and potentially teams of lawyers on retainer. Secondly, if you have some fault in your accident and injury, the other side may try to assign you a greater degree of fault to avoid a large payout.

Seeking the guidance of an experienced FELA attorney can be crucial. Our lawyers can help in several ways:

  • Legal Guidance: Our Missouri railroad injury FELA lawyers can provide expert legal guidance throughout your claim. We can be by your side from filing your lawsuit to resolution, whether with an out-of-court settlement or through trial.
  • Investigation: Railroad accidents can be complex. We can conduct a thorough investigation into the accident. This may include hiring technical experts to gather evidence for your claim and determine all liable parties.
  • Negotiation: A FELA lawyer can negotiate with the railroad company and its insurers to aim for full and fair compensation.
  • Litigation: We can take your case to trial if the employer or insurance company wants to shortchange you. Our attorneys can represent you in court, advocate for your rights, and fight vigorously for what you deserve.
  • Maximizing Compensation: We aim to maximize the compensation available to railroad workers under FELA. Damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and anguish, and more.

Getting injured at work can feel like a nightmare. You might worry about the future of your career, how to pay your bills, and how to support your family. Our FELA lawyers at Bradley Law understand your concerns. We can protect your rights, fight for what you deserve, and provide a shoulder to lean on during this difficult time.


Who qualifies for a FELA claim in Missouri?

If you work for a railroad company engaged in interstate commerce and are injured on the job due to an employer’s or co-worker’s negligence, you could qualify for a FELA claim. Eligible individuals may include engineers, yardmasters, conductors, brakemen, track maintenance workers, and many others involved in railroad operations.

A Missouri railroad injury FELA lawyer at Bradley Law can assess your accident and determine whether you have a legal claim.

What damages could I receive with a FELA lawsuit?

You could qualify for a range of damages under FELA. However, what you’ll receive will depend on various factors, including the scope of your injuries and your employer’s degree of liability. Here are some examples of damages recoverable:

  • Medical Expenses: You could qualify for all work injury-related healthcare costs now and in the future, such as emergency room visits, surgeries, medications, and others.
  • Lost Wages: You could receive reimbursement for any past, present, and future loss of earnings. If your accident injuries prevent you from returning to work, you could also be entitled to loss of future earning capacity.
  • Non-Economic Damages: Under FELA, you could qualify for a range of non-economic damages, such as physical pain, emotional trauma, loss of a limb, disfigurement, and others.

What if my loved one died in a Missouri railroad accident?

Losing your loved one unexpectedly in a work accident is a tragedy beyond measure. While no compensation can replace your loss, you could qualify for a wrongful death claim under FELA and regain some financial security after the death of your loved one. Damages available can include:

  • Medical expenses before death
  • Funeral costs
  • Loss of income and benefits
  • Loss of companionship

We Can Help You Navigate FELA

If your life has been upturned due to an unscrupulous railroad company, you deserve justice and compensation. You don’t have to fight alone. Whether you’re injured at work or your loved one passed in a tragic work accident, Bradley Law’s Missouri railroad injury FELA lawyers have your back.

We’re a boutique law firm that regularly wins multi-million-dollar settlements and verdicts against the largest insurers. We don’t settle for less than what our clients deserve. You pay no attorney’s fees unless you win and receive damages. Contact us now to learn about your legal rights and options in a free case review.