Working in the railroad industry has always been risky. While many laws now keep workers safe, this was not always the case. In the 19th century and the early 20th century, federal laws favored the railroad companies to the detriment of employees. This meant that many people who worked in the railroad industry could be severely injured or even killed on the job, and they did not have the right to sue their employer.
The result was that permanently disabled workers, or their surviving family members, received no compensation for their injuries or for the loss of life. That finally changed in 1908 when the Federal Employers’ Liability Act, also called FELA, came into being. Suddenly, it was possible for a severely injured railroad worker to sue their employer. This meant that negligent railroad companies could be held financially responsible for their reckless behavior.
FELA features a comparative fault system. Accordingly, if the court finds that the worker was 10 percent negligent in the accident and that the employer was 90 percent negligent, then the worker’s damages are reduced by 10 percent. It is possible for the railroad company to be 100 percent responsible for the accident or even for the employer and the employee to be equally at fault.
Negligence by the railroad company must be proven in lawsuits that involve FELA railroad injuries in Las Vegas. The good news is that the proof of negligence merely needs to show that the railroad failed to provide reasonably safe working conditions. That’s excellent news for plaintiffs, who typically can receive much greater compensation under FELA than they would under Nevada’s system of workers compensation.
Injured railroad workers face several difficult challenges. Many of them are unable to return to work for months, and many will never be able to resume identical responsibilities. In addition to losing wages, they must also contend with sizable medical bills and the need for ongoing care. Compensation under FELA is often the best way to keep railroad workers and their families secure.
Contact the Potter Law Offices today about FELA railroad injuries in Las Vegas.