FAQs: Railroad Train Accidents in Texas

Q: Is FELA basically workers compensation for railroad workers?

A: Not exactly. In order to recover from a FELA claim, you must prove that the railroad company was negligent and their negligence caused your accident and resulting injuries. Worker's compensation is generally known as "no fault" laws. This means that a worker injured on-the-job does not need to prove any fault by the employer, only that it was an on-the-job injury.

Q: Even though I am a railroad company employee, I spend a very small amount of time away from my office. Will I still be able to file a FELA claim?

A: As long as you are employed by a railroad company and even if your general job duties are not performed in or around trains, you should still be able to pursue a FELA claim. Generally, any employee of a railroad company can be protected by FELA when they are injured while at work.

Q: As a railroad employee, I just filed a FELA claim for an injury that happened at work. Should I expect the case to go to trial in court?

A: Generally a trial is not necessary. Each party will conduct their own investigation into how the accident happened, and following the conclusion of those investigations, all parties will discuss the settlement of your FELA claim. Hopefully a settlement agreement will be reached within a short period of time between the railroad company, you, your attorney, and any other parties involved. Your case will only go to court if there is no settlement of your claim that satisfies all parties.

Q: What sort of damages can I recover from my FELA claim?

A: Past and future earnings lost, medical treatment related to recovery from the injuries, and pain, suffering and mental distress related to the injuries are included in FELA damages.

Q: What is "alternative dispute resolution"? And why do we have to go through this in my FELA case?

A: When a lawsuit is filed, rather than see a case go to trial by jury, a judge sometimes will order that the parties attend the alternative dispute resolution. This means that you and your attorney, the railroad companies and any other parties involved will attend mediation, arbitration, or at least hold mandatory settlement conferences, in an effort to settle the claim before a trial start date.

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