Types of Injuries

In railroad claims, there are several common types of injuries that may occur due to the nature of the work and the potential hazards involved in the railroad industry. These injuries can vary in severity, and some may have long-lasting effects on the affected workers. Some of the most common types of injuries in railroad claims include:
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Crush Injuries
Workers involved in maintenance or repair tasks around trains or heavy equipment may be at risk of crush injuries if caught between moving parts.
Railroad accidents, such as train derailments or collisions, can lead to severe traumatic injuries, including fractures, amputations, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
Multiple Injuries
The repetitive nature of certain tasks in the railroad industry, such as operating equipment or using hand tools, can lead to conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.
Back / Spine
These injuries are often caused by repetitive motions, heavy lifting, and physically demanding tasks involved in railroad work. They can include strains, sprains, muscle tears, and back injuries.
Railroad workers often work on or around moving trains and railway tracks, which can pose slip and fall hazards. These accidents can result in broken bones, contusions, and head injuries.
Railroad workers may be exposed to various occupational hazards, such as toxic substances or fumes, leading to illnesses such as respiratory disorders, skin conditions, or occupational cancers.


FELA, which stands for the Federal Employers’ Liability Act, is a federal law in the United States that provides a legal framework for injured railroad workers to seek compensation for injuries or illnesses resulting from their work-related duties. FELA was enacted by Congress in 1908 to protect the rights of railroad employees and hold railroad companies accountable for providing a safe working environment.

It’s important to note that FELA claims can be complex, and the success of such claims often depends on the ability to prove employer negligence. Therefore, if you are a railroad worker who is injured on the job, it is crucial for you to seek legal representation from an experienced attorney who specializes in FELA claims. At JSL, this is our specialty and we welcome you to inquire with our team about representing you.

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Key aspects of FELA include:
Negligence Standard

Negligence Standard: Unlike traditional workers’ compensation systems, FELA is a fault-based system. This means that for a railroad worker to recover damages, they must demonstrate that the railroad company, or one of its employees, was negligent in causing their injuries. The injured worker must prove that the employer’s negligence, either in whole or in part, contributed to the accident or injury.

Employer's Duty

Employer’s Duty: FELA imposes a duty on railroad companies to provide a reasonably safe workplace for their employees. This includes maintaining safe equipment, proper training, and implementing safety measures to prevent accidents and injuries.

Contributory Negligence

Contributory Negligence: FELA follows the principle of comparative negligence. This means that if the injured worker’s own negligence contributed to the accident or injury, the damages they can recover will be reduced in proportion to their level of fault.


Compensation: Under FELA, injured railroad workers can seek compensation for a wide range of damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and disability or impairment. Unlike workers’ compensation, FELA allows for full compensation rather than a predetermined schedule of benefits.

Statute of Limitations

FELA has a three-year statute of limitations, meaning that an injured railroad worker has three years from the date of the accident or injury to file a lawsuit under FELA.


FRSA, which stands for the Federal Railroad Safety Act, is a federal law in the United States that provides protection to railroad employees who engage in whistleblowing activities related to railroad safety violations. The FRSA was enacted by Congress in 2007 to promote safety in the railroad industry and encourage employees to report safety concerns without fear of retaliation from their employers.

The FRSA plays a crucial role in encouraging safety reporting within the railroad industry and holds employers accountable for their treatment of whistleblowers. By protecting employees who report safety concerns, the law aims to improve safety standards and prevent accidents and injuries in the railroad workplace.

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Key aspects of the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) include:
Whistleblower Protection

Whistleblower Protection: The FRSA prohibits railroad carriers and their contractors from retaliating against employees who report safety violations, hazards, or concerns to their employer, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), or other appropriate authorities.

Protected Activities

Protected Activities: The FRSA protects employees who engage in various safety-related activities, such as reporting safety hazards, accidents, injuries, or potential violations of federal railroad safety laws and regulations.

Reporting Procedure

Reporting Procedure: The FRSA establishes a specific process for employees to report safety concerns to the appropriate authorities. Employees must report the issue internally to their employer first. If the employer fails to take appropriate action within a certain time frame or if the employee believes that reporting internally would be futile, they may then report the concern to the FRA or other relevant agencies.

Remedies for Retaliation

Remedies for Retaliation: If an employee suffers retaliation for engaging in protected activities under the FRSA, they may file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA has the authority to investigate the complaint and, if retaliation is found, may order remedies such as reinstatement, back pay, compensatory damages, and attorney’s fees.

Statute of Limitations

Statute of Limitations: Employees who believe they have experienced retaliation under the FRSA must file a complaint with OSHA within 180 days from the date of the alleged retaliation.

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