Railroad Accident Attorneys in Buffalo, NY
The United States contains thousands of miles of railroad tracks. Railroads are one of the key pieces of infrastructure to distribute food, goods, and resources. Because of the enormous weight and speed of train cars, the potential for serious injuries around railroads is high. Because of this, the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) was successfully passed into law over a century ago. This important piece of legislation is intended to protect those who work on railroads and these employees’ families. Victims need to contact railroad accident attorneys in case of an injury related to railway work. Accidents on or near railroad tracks often result in catastrophic or lifelong injuries. In some cases, these accidents can result in death for the victim.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a railroad accident, contact the full-service professionals at The Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller. Our railroad accident attorneys proudly serve clients across Western New York.
We understand what is needed to successfully represent railroad workers in FELA-related cases. Reach out to our railroad accident attorneys today for a free consultation.
Understanding the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA)
The Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) is very complex legislation. Pursuing any claim based on these regulations requires a skilled legal professional with plenty of experience.
FELA was first introduced in 1908. Since then, many additions have been made to clarify this regulatory framework.
The main purpose of FELA is to provide railroad workers with legal recourse for any injuries that arise on the job. FELA also states how these injury victims should go about seeking compensation for the expenses related to their injuries.
At first glance, this type of financial recovery might seem like a form of workers’ compensation. However, there are important differences.
To make a claim under FELA, the injury victim must show that their employer acted negligently. Further, they must provide evidence that the employer’s negligence was the cause of their injury.
Workers’ compensation claims do not include this requirement. Because of this, victims may face limited recovery through FELA claims without the proper legal representation.
The skilled railroad accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller are ready to fight for you. Our team understands the complexities of FELA claims, and we know how to win them.
Common Types of Negligence in Railroad Accident Cases
Proving negligence in a railroad accident case can be extremely difficult. For this reason, it is critical to have a knowledgeable legal professional representing your best interests during this challenging time.
Some of the most common examples of railroad negligence include:
- Violations of relevant safety regulations
- Failure to maintain reasonably safe working conditions
- Use of defective or faulty equipment
- Failure to properly maintain railroad equipment
- And more
In order to file a successful FELA claim, the plaintiff only needs to show that their employer was somewhat negligent. The claimant does not need to prove that their injury was entirely the employer’s fault.
Because FELA relies on proving fault, claimants can lose their chance at recovering compensation. A skilled legal expert will use the available evidence in your case to show that you deserve financial recovery for the associated losses.
While the burden of proof is higher than in workers’ compensation claims, FELA benefits are typically more generous. Courts use a “comparative negligence” approach to determine compensation in FELA-related claims.
Comparative negligence involves assigning a percentage of liability to both you and your employer. The court will award you compensation based on the percentage of your employer’s liability.
For instance, suppose that you are found to be 10% responsible for your injury, and your employer is 90% liable. If you were awarded $100,000 in financial damages, you would receive 90% of that amount – or $90,000.
Because the amount you can recover depends on comparative negligence, it is critical to have experienced railroad accident attorneys fighting for you. A knowledgeable lawyer will work diligently to secure the maximum financial compensation in your railroad accident case.
What Types of Damages Can I Receive Through a FELA Claim?
Much like workers’ compensation claims, FELA cases cover both physical injuries and illnesses caused by occupational hazards. This regulatory structure allows victims to seek compensation for both immediate injuries and those that develop over time.
Through FELA, injured employees can pursue compensation for any monetary losses that result from their injuries. These payments are called “damages.”
“Economic” damages are those payments that are meant to compensate for the victim’s monetary losses. The most common examples are:
- Lost income and wages from missed work
- Current and past medical bills
- Anticipated future medical expenses
- And more
Other types of harm result in negative personal, emotional, or physical outcomes. Compensatory payments for this type of loss are known as “non-economic” damages. Typical examples of non-economic damages include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional and mental anguish
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Loss of the ability to enjoy life
- Depression, anxiety, and panic disorder
- And more
Make sure to hire experienced railroad accident attorneys to accurately assess the value of your particular case. In some instances, claimants may be awarded “punitive” damages.
Punitive damages are not intended to compensate the railroad worker for their losses. Instead, these payments are meant to punish the negligent party. These types of damages are rare in civil claims.
Also, FELA covers the costs associated with wrongful deaths. Sadly, many railroad injuries are fatal for victims.
When this happens, the deceased’s family members may have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim with the help of railroad accident attorneys.
The survivors of fatal railroad accident injuries may be entitled to compensation through FELA. Wrongful death claimants can recover payments for:
- Funeral expenses and burial costs
- The victim’s outstanding medical bills
- The loss of the victim’s income
- Loss of relationship or consortium
- And more
Do not accept an insufficient settlement following a railroad accident injury. Rely on a knowledgeable team of seasoned lawyers who can help you get the money you need to move on with your life. Reach out to the skilled railroad accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller.
Our compassionate team understands the many difficulties that result from railroad accident injuries. We will ensure that you seek the full amount of damages that you are rightfully due. You should not have to bear the financial and emotional burdens from a railroad accident that you did not cause.
Contact Our Railroad Accident Attorneys Today
When you need reliable legal representation in western New York, look no further than The Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller. Our firm will not rest until you receive the compensation you need to move forward.
When you hire us, you will work with the same attorney throughout your case. We will never pass your case to a different associate.
The Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller take a full-service approach. Our firm will handle all of your legal needs under one roof. We offer legal services from premier railroad accident attorneys.
If you have sustained an injury as a railroad worker, you have the right to pursue justice through a FELA claim. To begin the legal process, contact The Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller for a consultation at no cost to you.