The idea of workers’ compensation in this country is a relatively recent concept. For the longest time, if you were injured on the job, you could hope for a little money from the company, but there was no guarantee—and more often than not you were left out in the cold. Today our government’s approach to disability and injury benefits is definitely a lot better than it used to be, and this all started when Congress enacted the Federal Employer’s Liability Act, or FELA.
Initially created to help injured railroad workers, FELA is a critical piece of legislation for all workers in America, and it’s one that the attorneys of the Disparti Law Group know very well. Allow us to tell you a little more about how FELA has protected railroad workers.
How Is FELA Different from Workers’ Compensation?
FELA and workers’ compensation claims are similar in that they were designed specifically to help workers injured on the job. However, anyone filing for workers’ compensation typically needs to prove only that their accident happened on the job. By comparison, a FELA claim must also show that the onsite injury was due to employer negligence. In other words, FELA claims are usually a lot more difficult to prove, though as a result they tend to cover a lot more types of injuries and disabilities and can protect against more recoverable damages
What Does FELA Cover?
FELA can cover a wide range of common workplace-related injuries. These include occupational diseases like lung cancer and hearing loss, or traumatic injuries such as a broken bone or muscle tear. Repetitive motion injuries like tendonitis are also typically covered by FELA. If you have a preexisting condition that is made worse on the job, you could even claim that, too. As long as you are able to prove that your specific injury came about due to employer negligence, it is fair game in the eyes of the law.
What About Additional Damages?
Unlike workers’ compensation claims, submitting a FELA claim could entitle you to recoverable damages that can get quite extensive. Through FELA, in addition to full disability benefits, railroad workers could potentially receive compensation for past and future medical expenses and lost wages, physical pain, and emotional suffering, among others.
How Can I File a FELA Claim?
Filing a FELA claim is not exactly easy, and considering what’s at stake for both you and the employer, that makes sense. A lot of money can change hands depending on the claim, so it’s important that you approach your case with an ironclad defense and the best expertise available. At the end of the day, however, it is all about getting you the compensation you deserve for your accident or disability, and the Disparti Law Group wants to ensure this compensation for you. Losing a job is often tough enough for most railroad workers, so why add the additional stress of filing a FELA claim on top of that anxiety?
If you have any questions at all about the FELA claims process or how we could help you to prove employer negligence, please reach out to one of our representatives today. Let us help you navigate through the legal hurdles.