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Why You Need an Experienced FELA Attorney

As primary modes of transportation have evolved, train accidents are often thought of as a thing of the past. Although it is true that the volume of railroad fatalities, collisions and injuries has declined in recent decades, railroad accidents continue to pose a very serious threat to drivers, passengers and railroad workers.

The Statistics

Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration compared the number of vehicle/railroad accidents to the number of vehicle/vehicle crashes. The results of this survey were chilling. It was discovered that when a train is involved, the chances of a motorist sustaining fatal injuries increases exponentially. The administration also revealed that there were 271 fatalities and 930 injuries from train accidents in 2012.

The Federal Railroad Administration has stated that more than half of all U.S. Railroad crossings are insufficiently marked. In fact, the administration claims that this number may be as high as 80%. Not only that, but the agency also revealed that nearly a third of all railroad crossings are not equipped with devices to warn pedestrians of the approaching train. Together, these ill-marked or missing warnings and crossings account for nearly 50% of all train/vehicle related accidents.

FELA vs. Workers Compensation

When it comes to train accidents, railroad workers incur the most risk. At one point in history, train accidents involving railroad workers were so common that Congress passed a law dictating that if a railroad employee suffered work-related injuries while on the job, they or their families would be compensated by the injury or loss of life.

Today, the legislation passed by Congress is known as the Federal Employment Liability Act (FELA), and is often compared to workers’ compensation. Despite this frequent comparison, there are two major differences between FELA and workers’ compensation:

  • Proving negligence. In FELA cases, railroad workers are required to prove that their injury was a direct result of the negligence of the railroad. On the other hand, most workers’ compensation claims are processed without any responsibility to prove negligence.
  • Compensation. Another key difference between these two is the amount of monetary damages that can be awarded. Unlike a workers’ compensation claim, a FELA claim places no limit on the amount of compensation that the victim or their family may receive.

Successfully litigating a railroad accident case requires a very specific set of skills. Not only does it take a thorough understanding of the railroad industry, but it also demands a deep familiarity with both FELA and workers’ comp guidelines.

If you’re a railroad worker who has been injured on the job, schedule a consultation with a workers’ comp attorney with experience in FELA cases.

Workers Compensation Attorney Profile:

Meet Colorado Workers' Compensation, Personal Injury and Insurance Dispute Attorney R. Mack Babcock

R. Mack Babcock Prior to founding The Babcock Law Firm, LLC, R. Mack Babcock spent many years on the other side of workers' compensation , car accidents, personal injury and insurance disputes representing some of the largest insurance companies and corporations in Colorado as an attorney at a midsize insurance defense firm.

Babcock is a member of the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations, the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association and the Workers' Compensation Educational Association.  In early 2008, he was elected as the Colorado House District 43 Committee Chairperson for the Douglas County Colorado Democratic Party. In connection with this position, he is responsible for finding a candidate(s) to run for House District 43, overseeing the campaign(s), organizing volunteers, and also sits on the executive committee for the Douglas County Democratic Party.