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Railroad Accidents
personal injury lawyers

At Eckman, Strandness & Egan, we believe it's important for railroad workers and their families to know their rights before they are injured on the job. We understand that injuries to the back, neck, hands, elbows, shoulders, arms, knees, lungs, and brain can occur on all major railroads. We have extensive experience working with the Burlington Northern (BNSF), Union Pacific, Canadian Pacific, Canadian National, and the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range (DM&IR) railroads.   For years, we have successfully represented members of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees; Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE); Brotherhood of Railway Signalmen (BRS); the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); the Transportation Communications International Union (TCU); and the United Transportation Union (UTU).

Unlike most workers, railroad employees are not covered by state workers' compensation laws. Instead, you and your family are protected by the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA). This unique set of laws actually gives you more rights and more protection that any other worker in the United States. There are, however, still important guidelines for you to follow if you are a railroad worker injured on the job.

THE LAW

  • FELA applies to all railroads engaged in interstate commerce and to their employees whose work furthers interstate commerce. Interstate commerce includes running across state lines and handling freight. It applies equally to big-line and short-line railroads.
  • Both union and non-union workers are covered under FELA.
  • To recover damages under FELA, an injury must be caused by negligence (no matter how small) on the part of the railroad. Negligence is defined as "doing something that a reasonable person would not do, or failing to do something a reasonable person would do, under the existing circumstances."
  • Railroads have a legal duty to provide a safe place for employees to work. This includes providing adequate help, safe equipment, suitable tools, and proper working conditions. If an injury results because a railroad fails to provide these things, or due to another employee's carelessness, the railroad is responsible.
  • In cases under FELA, the statute of limitations is three (3) years from the date of the injury. The time limit usually begins to run on the day the injury occurs.
  • In certain cases, however, the time limits begins to run when the injured employee knew, or should have known, he or she sustained an injury and that the injury was caused by some condition or substance in the workplace. These cases usually involve occupational injuries, such as hearing loss or silicosis, that occur over a period of time rather than on a single day.
  • If a claim is not settled with the railroad or a lawsuit is not filed in the proper court within these time frames, the claim could be barred.

For a booklet containing this information and all the additional information listed here on our web site concerning railroad injuries, please contact us, and we will send it to you at no charge.

Related Topics:

Railroad Workers' Rights
What To Do If You're Injured
A Warning Regarding Claim Agents
Railroad Newsletter Articles
Railroad Successes




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personal injury lawyers
personal injury lawyers
Eckman, Strandness & Egan P.A.

319 Barry Ave. South Suite 100, Wayzata, MN 55391-0597
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 597, Wayzata, MN  55391-0597
(952) 594-3600 | (800) 328-1096   Fax (952) 594-3601
Copyright   2004 Eckman Strandness & Egan
Last modified: Friday, October 24, 2014