Georgia Train Accidents: Injured Railroad Employee's Right to Compensation


September 09, 2010

An official for Norfolk Southern recently reported that an employee was involved in a fatal train accident near Marietta Road in Atlanta. This tragic railroad accident is not an isolated incident. Railroad workers face such a dangerous work environment that Congress passed the Federal Employers' Liability Act (commonly known as "FELA") to provide protection and compensation for injuries to the many railroad employees across the country.  The law regarding the compensation of injured railroad employees is a hybrid of worker's compensation and personal injury rules that makes it different from both.

The compassionate team of attorneys and staff at Montlick and Associates has been helping those who suffer catastrophic injuries or death in Georgia accidents for over 25 years.  We understand the unique aspects of railroad safety and legal compensation that are governed by state and federal laws and regulations.

Railroad workers do not benefit from the same protection regarding establishing fault that is enjoyed by other employees under Georgia's worker's compensation system. An injured railroad employee must establish that negligence by the railroad, its employees or equipment manufacturers somehow caused the train employee's injuries.

There is both good news and bad news when it comes to establishing fault for injured railroad workers. The good news is that the degree of fault that must be established under FELA is much less than with other personal injury cases, such as in a lawsuit involving an auto accident. All that must be established is ANY degree of fault no matter how small. This is sometimes referred to as a "featherweight" burden of proof. The bad news is that, unlike the worker's compensation system, any fault by the railroad employee is also relevant and may reduce the amount of compensation awarded. This is often referred to as "comparative negligence," which means that a court will determine the proportion of fault attributable to the railroad and to the victim, and reduce the award by the percentage of fault that is assigned to the victim.

Railroads are required by FELA to comply with certain federal regulations regarding employee safety. If an injured railroad employee can establish that a violation of either the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, the Boiler Inspection Act, or the Safety Appliance Act contributed to the railroad worker's injuries, this violation may be the basis for establishing the railroad's fault.

The complex tapestry of federal and state laws that apply to railroad accidents resulting in railroad workers being injured makes obtaining a law firm experienced in handling railroad accidents essential. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we can help. If you or someone you love has been injured while working for a railroad or train company, we know the stress, pain, and heartache that can result. We will work closely with you to help you rebuild and put this tragedy behind you. We will travel to see you, no matter where you are in Georgia. Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been helping accident victims throughout the entire State of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and every smaller town and rural area. For your Free Consultation, call Montlick & Associates at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) or visit us online at www.montlick.com.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.