Injured workers are eligible to receive compensation after a railroad accident. If you or a loved one has suffered a permanent disability on a railroad, whether your railroad company was responsible or not, contact Murphy, Falcon & Murphy for experienced advice and representation.
You can receive benefits even if the company’s negligence did not cause your permanent disability but your injury occurred at work. The Railroad Retirement Board offers benefits for disabled workers. There are two types of disability benefits:
1. Total disability is focused on permanent disability for all employment. It can be paid at any age as long as the injured employee worked at the railroad for at least 10 years.
2. Occupational disability can be paid to workers at least 60 years old and who have worked at the railroad for at least 10 years. If you have worked for more than 20 years at the railroad, you can receive benefits at any age.
Determining what qualifies as total disability and what is an occupational disability is based largely on how long you will be disabled. If a medical report shows that you suffered a permanent mental or physical impairment that will last for at least 12 months and affect every part of your life, you may be eligible for total disability. Occupational disability if defined when you are unable to perform your usual work at the railroad but are able to complete other jobs.
If you are filing for disability with the Railroad Retirement Board, you need all medical records, including prescriptions, names of doctors, and dates. The Railroad Retirement Board may also require that you be examined by their own doctor.
The Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) was created to protect the rights of railroad workers. It outlines rules and regulations to allow injured railroad workers to receive compensation if their employer’s negligence caused their injury.
Proving negligence in FELA cases involves showing that the railroad company breached one of the duties that they owe to employees. Some of these duties include:
• Providing a work environment with safe conditions, equipment, and tools
• Regularly inspecting the workplace and fix any potential hazards
• Training all the employees adequately
• Ensuring everyone follows safety rules and regulations
In order to win a FELA case, you do not need to prove that the company was completely at fault – a company could be partially at fault. FELA follows the comparative negligence rule, which means that the judge will look at all the factors and both parties to determine how much each party was at fault and use adjust the compensation accordingly. For example, if you were determined to be 10% responsible for the incident, the full compensation that you requested would be reduced by 10%.
Your compensation for permanent disability would include past and future wage loss, past and future medical treatment, and past and future emotional and mental trauma and suffering.
If you or a loved one has been permanently disabled while working at the railroad, you need an attorney with experience and knowledge in FELA regulations. The attorneys at Murphy, Falcon & Murphy can help, whether you need advice on filing for disability with the Railroad Retirement Board or representation in a FELA case.