Ohio FELA Injury & Accident Lawyers
The aftermath of a train accident can be devastating. Due to the size of trains, victims usually sustain painful injuries. If you were injured in a railroad accident, you may be eligible for compensation under FELA. For help with your case, contact an Ohio FELA injury lawyer right away.
FELA Injury Accidents
The aftermath of a railroad or vehicle and train accident can be catastrophic. Due to the speed and weight of trains, victims usually sustain painful and debilitating injuries. If you are a railroad worker and incurred injuries in an accident, contact the Ohio FELA injury lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick. We can work to identify the responsible party and fight for you to obtain fair compensation.
Motor Vehicle and Railroad Accidents
Accidents involving motor vehicles and trains are not uncommon in Ohio. Because of the size of vehicles involved, accidents often result in fatalities. When you are not killed in the wreck, you may suffer serious and catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries, and amputations.
These accidents often happen due to:
- Failure to properly maintain the crossing
- Lack of crossing and warning signs
- Failure to remove vegetation that obstructs the view of an oncoming train
- Failure to sound the horn as the train approaches
- Improperly constructed crossings that have large bumps that vehicles and trucks must cross
- Failure of lights and/or gates to operate properly
- Trains blocking railroad crossings
- Mechanical failures
During these types of accidents, pedestrians, passengers, and railroad workers can be injured. Train conductors and engineers can also experience injuries during these collisions. If you work for a railroad company and have been injured in a vehicle-railroad accident, do not hesitate to contact our railroad work injury lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick. As a railroad employee, you are not protected by the same type of workers’ compensation insurance as other types of workers. Instead, other laws apply to your situation.
We are here to investigate what happened, determined who is liable for your injuries, and guide you through pursuing compensation under federal or Ohio law. Contact our Ohio FELA injury lawyers today to learn more.
Railroad Accidents and Railroad Worker Injuries
Working on trains and in rail yards is dangerous. As a railroad worker, you are constantly at risk because you are surrounded by heavy equipment, fast-moving trains and rail cars, and hazardous train loads. According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), 14 workers and two on-duty contractors were killed in highway-rail crossing incidents (HRC), train accidents excluding HRC, and other types of incidents excluding HRC in 2017. Between January and April 2018, over 1,500 on-duty rail workers on duty were injured, according to FRA data. All it takes is for one thing to go wrong, and you can find yourself struck or trapped by a car, train part, rail, or piece of equipment or machinery.
Common accidents experienced by rail workers that our Ohio FELA injury lawyers see include:
- Train crashes –Two trains may collide due to improper signaling, erroneous switching, or poor communication.
- Rail crossing accidents –Collisions with motor vehicles or pedestrians at railroad crossings can cause dangerous situations to workers as well as others.
- Train Derailments –When a train comes off the tracks due to inadequate maintenance or improper signaling, they can cause injuries to surrounding workers.
- Collisions with rail workers –Trains, rail cars, and heavy equipment may collide with workers on and near the tracks.
- Heavy equipment accidents –If heavy equipment used to maintain and move trains and rail cars does not function properly, it can result in catastrophic injuries.
- Unsecured footholds and grab irons – T Footholds and grab irons must be firmly attached and well maintained so that workers don’t fall.
- Train load spills –Trains often carry heavy and hazardous materials that can cause serious injuries if spills occur near crew members.
Common Railroad Employee Injuries
If you work for a rail company and are injured at work, you may suffer all manner of injuries, including:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Bone fractures
- Crush injuries
- Minor traumatic brain injury (concussion)
- Moderate-to-severe TBI
- Spinal cord injuries
- Nerve damage
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Skin irritation or injuries
- Vision loss
- Respiratory injuries
- Hearing loss
When you are injured at as a railroad industry employee, you are going to need the help of an attorney. The best step you can take is to contact our Ohio FELA injury lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick for representation and guidance during the process of seeking compensation.
Liability for Train Accidents on the Job
Railroad employers must provide safe equipment, adequate training, and sufficient manpower to operate trains safely. If employers are negligent in providing a safe environment, they may be responsible for injuries that occur.
When you are injured on the job, you may be able to make a claim under one of the following federal laws:
- Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) –Enacted in 1908, FELA protects railroad workers and allows you to sue an employer for injuries caused by employer’s or co-workers’ negligence. FELA sets health and safety standards that must be maintained in rail yards as well as on trains. Railroads that do not provide reasonably safe environments for workers may be held liable for workplace injuries.
- Federal Safety Appliance Act (FSAA) –When something other than negligence caused an injury on the job, the FSAA may allow you to seek compensation from your employer.
- Boiler Inspection Act (BIA) or Locomotive Inspection Act (LIA) –Railroad carriers must properly maintain all parts of the train to prevent unnecessary risks of injuries. If unsafe conditions aboard a train result in injuries while on the job, you may have a BIA claim.
Railroad Companies’ Duties Under FELA
FELA is not only intended to provide you and other railroad workers with a cause of action when you are hurt at work. It also provides safety standards for railroad and train companies. Your employer is required by law to:
- Provide you with a reasonably safe work environment, which includes adequate equipment, appropriate tools, and safety devices
- Provide adequate training and supervision
- Inspect the work environment for hazards
- Enforce safety rules and regulations outlined in FELA
- Ensure workers have reasonable work quotas
If your employer failed to uphold one or more standards under FELA, then this may be evidence of negligence you can use in court. You should contact our Ohio FELA injury lawyers. We can conduct an independent investigation into your situation and gather evidence of your employer, supervisor, or coworkers’ negligence.
We Represent Railroad and Train Workers in FELA Claims
At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, we have years of experience helping railroad and train workers after they are injured on the job. When a railroad or train company employs you, you are likely protected by FELA no matter your specific job duties. You do not need to work directly with or on trains to file a claim under FELA.
When you are injured on the job as a train or railroad employee, your employer will likely require you to file a report. This is usually an internal report, and it may dictate how your employer offers to handle this situation. Even if they offer to pay for your medical expenses and all or some of your lost wages, you should speak with a railroad worker injury lawyer. Depending on the situation, your employer’s financial offer may be far less than what you are entitled to under the law.
Proving Fault in a FELA Lawsuit
When you are injured as a railroad or train worker, you need to speak with an attorney experienced in handling FELA cases. These types of legal claims are very different than Ohio workers’ compensation claims or general personal injury cases.
When you file a claim against your employer based on FELA, you must prove that the railroad company or another employee was negligent. However, the level of negligence you must prove is lower than in a typical personal injury claim. You simply need to prove that the company or one of its other employers was somewhat or at least in part at fault for the accident and your injuries. This lower standard makes it easier to prove a railroad company is liable for your injuries and to obtain compensation.
Overview of the Process for a FELA Claim
After suffering injuries as a railroad worker, you can expect to go through an administrative and legal process before obtaining compensation for your injuries. You should retain the help of one of our experienced Ohio FELA injury lawyers by your side during the FELA claim process, which typically includes:
- Reporting your injury to your employer
- Your employer investigating the accident
- Hiring a FELA attorney
- Your FELA attorney conducting an independent investigation
- Your employer begins negotiating a settlement
- Filing a FELA complaint in state or federal court (if a settlement cannot be reached)
- Taking full advantage of the discovery process
- Gathering and analyzing evidence
- Bringing and fighting pre-trial motions
- Preparing for trial
- Participating in further settlement negotiations
- Presenting the settlement to the court for approval (if one can be reached)
- Going to trial (if a settlement cannot be reached)
Compensation Under a FELA Claim
If you work in another industry and file a workers’ compensation claim, you will not be able to recover compensation for your pain and suffering. Workers’ compensation benefits cover your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages. Under FELA, you can seek out compensation for your physical, psychological, and financial injuries.
Our attorneys will fight for you to receive compensation for your:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
To discuss the potential value of your claim, contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick today. We will work with you, your health care providers, and medical and economic experts to place an appropriate value on your injuries. We will fight for you to be compensated fairly for your injuries so that you can move forward in life without being hindered by medical bills and an inability to earn the same income.
Comparative Negligence in a FELA Claim
When you file a FELA claim for compensation, the railroad or train companies may attempt to defend themselves by arguing that you were also negligent. They may claim that you are mostly or fully at-fault for the accident that caused your injuries, and they should not have to compensate you. This is a defense that you need to take seriously. You need to have an experienced FELA attorney to counter it in court.
Under Ohio’s comparative negligence laws, if a jury finds that you are more than 50 percent responsible for the accident and your injuries, then you may not recover any compensation. If you are fund to be less than 50 percent at-fault, you may still recover compensation; however, it will be reduced by your percentage of responsibility.
Contact Our Ohio FELA Injury Lawyers Today
FELA covers more than injuries sustained from working on the railroad. It covers harm incurred due to asbestos exposure, in addition to stress and traumatic injuries. If you are a rail worker and were injured on the job, you may be eligible for compensation under a federal law that protects rail workers. Reach out to Kisling, Nestico & Redick today for more information. Call our experienced Ohio FELA injury lawyers today at 1-800-HURT-NOW, or reach out online to schedule an initial case consultation.