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Lake Charles FELA Railroad Injury Attorneys & Southwestern Louisiana FELA Railroad Injury Attorneys
Port of Lake Charles FELA Lawyers - Lake Charles Railroad Attorneys
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, railroad workers were experiencing an alarming rate of personal injury and death. Due to sustained public outcry, Congress passed the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) in 1908 to protect and compensate railroad workers and their families for both personal injury and wrongful death claims resulting from railroad-related accidents. FELA is a federal government statute that now protects railroad workers not only in Lake Charles, Louisiana, but across the nation.
As a general matter, FELA provides compensation to railroad workers injured on the job. Unlike general worker's compensation claims, which are generally "no fault," FELA establishes a fault-based system in which the injured worker must show that the railroad employer was negligent. Thus, the injured worker must generally be able to prove that the railroad failed to provide a safe workplace. However, there are special parts of FELA that act like strict liability, for example where a defective or broken object or condition at the workplace injures someone on the job. Significantly, there is no monetary cap placed on the amount of compensation granted to railroad injury victims under FELA. Lake Charles railroad injury attorneys and Calcasieu Parish railroad injury attorneys represent a variety of different railroad workers in Lake Charles railroad injury claims, providing them with quality legal services and getting them the compensation they deserve.
What types of railroad injury victims can a Lake Charles railroad injury attorney help?
All types of railway workers come under FELA's compensation scheme, including:
• Maintenance of way workers
• Maintenance workers
• Other railroad workers
Union Designated Legal Counsel (DLC) and Non-Union Designated
Legal Counsel Practice FELA Injury Law in Lake Charles
Lake Charles, Louisiana railroad injuries occur often and if you or a loved one has been injured or killed while working for a railroad in any of these capacities, don't hesitate to contact a Lake Charles FELA attorney regarding your claim for legal compensation and damages. The law can be complicated and hard to understand, but a Lake Charles Railroad Lawyer can help you get justice.
What types of injuries does a Lake Charles railroad injury attorney commonly pursue?
Railroad related work is inherently dangerous and has produced countless Lake Charles railroad accidents and injuries over the years. Common railroad injuries include, but are not limited to:
• Hearing loss
• Back and neck injuries
• Chemical and asbestos exposure
• Exposure to toxic solvents
• Respiratory illnesses due to inhaling diesel exhaust
• Injuries due to heavy lifting
• Shoulder injuries
• Knee injuries
• Repetitive motion disorders, Cumulative Trauma Injuries, Repetitive Trauma Injuries and Occupational Injuries
• Limb Amputation
• Slip & Fall or Trip & Fall
• Traumatic brain injury
• Bone fractures
• Crushing injuries
• Other injuries from heavy machinery
Lake Charles FELA attorneys and other Southeastern Louisiana FELA attorneys can help you pursue a claim for railroad workers' compensation if you have been injured in any of these ways.
What must a Lake Charles railroad worker prove to maintain a successful FELA action?
An injury victim, whether in Lake Charles, Southeastern Louisiana, or anywhere else in the country, must meet three basic requirements to recover damages under FELA's compensation scheme. First, the accident must have occurred in the course and scope of employment for the railroad. This does not mean that the accident must have happened on property owned by the railway, so long as the injury is sustained in the furtherance of the worker's employment-related duties. Second, the railroad must be engaged in interstate commerce between at least two states. This requirement is broadly interpreted and is almost always satisfied. Third, the railway must have caused or contributed to the injuries sustained. As noted above, this requirement generally looks for some sort of negligence on the railroad company's part. Lake Charles railroad workers involved in accidents are entitled to monetary damages under FELA, and a Louisiana railroad injury attorney will work hard to pursue the maximum compensation possible. Call a Lake Charles FELA lawyer today for help pursuing your claim.
What types of damages are recoverable under FELA's compensation scheme?
In a FELA case, Lake Charles railroad injury victims can hope to recover the following:
• Past and future medical expenses (including hospitalization expenses)
• Past and future lost wages
• Past and future pain and mental suffering
• Past and future disability
Keep in mind that recovery under FELA is granted instead of recovery under state workers' compensation statutes, and no double recovery is permitted. FELA allows monetary payouts for pain and suffering, decided by juries based on comparative negligence rather than according to a pre-determined benefits schedule such as that used in ordinary workers' compensation cases. Read more information on personal injury damages generally. A Lake Charles FELA attorney will be able to explain what types of compensation you may be entitled to and get you the maximum recovery possible.
How long do you have to file a claim under FELA? What is the applicable Statute of Limitations or Period of Prescription for Louisiana railroad injuries?
FELA places a time limitation on the filling of claims that dates three (3) years from the date of the accident/injury. Like all federal laws, FELA's statute of limitations applies to Lake Charles, LA railroad accident cases just as it does to all railroad injury cases across the nation. This means that if you are a Southeastern Louisiana railway accident victim, you must file your claim within three years from the time you were injured.
It should also be noted that when a Lake Charles railroad injury is caused by repetitive stress or is an occupational injury that occurred over a period of time, the limitations period begins to run when the worker knew, or reasonably should have known, that he or she was suffering from an injury related to their work for the railroad. To preserve your legal rights, you should contact a Lake Charles railroad injury attorney well before this three-year period has expired.
Are Lake Charles and Calcasieu Parish, LA railroad workers eligible for any other type of compensation?
Although railroad workers injured in a Lake Charles railway accident can recover for job-related injuries under FELA, they may also be entitled to other disability benefits in some cases when they are disabled on the job or as the result of a non-work related disability. Contact one of the experienced Southeastern Louisiana railroad injury attorneys on this page for an explanation of the compensation you may be entitled to under both FELA and other disability benefits laws.
One way you might be entitled to additional compensation is through the United States Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), which is a co-equal agency to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois at 844 N. Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Some of the RRB's functions include administering retirement, survivor, and disability claims for railway workers and the families (including spouses and minor beneficiaries). A Lake Charles or Calcasieu Parish railroad employee is eligible for these benefits if he or she has enough "time-in," which means 120 or more months of service for the railroad. In some cases, an employee with 60 or more months of service may file a claim with the RRB; however, any employee with less than 60 months must file with the SSA. As with SSA disability benefits, it is important to have a well-qualified and experienced Lake Charles injury attorney to manage and process your claim through the bureaucratic process.
For more information regarding railroad disability benefits through the RRB, consult the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board's website.
What are important steps Lake Charles railway injury victims should take after being injured while working for a railroad?
- Report the injury to your employer by completing an injury report.
- List all relevant details in the report, including any condition or other factor that could have contributed to the injury in any way. This is particularly important because FELA, unlike other worker's compensation claims, is fault based and requires a finding that the railroad was negligent in some way. If you don't include all contributing causes when you fill out the accident or injury report, it may later be used as evidence against you.
- Discuss your injury with your co-workers and ask them to be a witness for you at trial, if necessary. Also, ask them to record their observations as soon as possible after the accident occurs.
- See a doctor. You are not required to see a company doctor and may see your own doctor to get an independent and unbiased assessment of your injuries.
- Keep accurate records or lost wages, expenses, travel costs, and other financial costs related to the injury. Where possible, keep copies of all receipts.
- Maintain logs of your discomfort and physical symptoms resulting from the injury and make sure to inform your doctor of these symptoms.
- Contact one of the experienced Lake Charles railroad injury attorneys listed above for a free consultation.
In Lake Charles, Louisiana, rail operations include commerce undertaken at the Port of Lake Charles and the Lake Charles Public Railroad. Union Pacific, CSX, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Norfolk Southern and Amtrak also stop in Lake Charles.
Port of Lake Charles
Personal Injury Attorneys Serve Lake Charles and Surrounding Cities
Serving clients throughout Southwestern Louisiana, including Carlyss, Holmwood, Iowa, Lake Charles, Moss Bluff, Port of Lake Charles, Sulphur, Westlake, and other communities in Calcasieu Parish.
Contact one of the qualified Calcasieu Parish FELA railroad injury lawyers above for a no-strings-attached, FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION regarding your personal injury claim.