If you are a railroad worker injured while working for your employer in Suffolk, Virginia, you may have many questions: Can I file a workers’ compensation claim? Can I recover damages from my employer even if I partly contributed to my injury due to my negligence? What damages can I recover? We will attempt to provide brief answers to the questions. However, every case is unique. If you have been injured as a railroad worker in Suffolk, contacting a Hampton workers’ compensation attorney for an evaluation of your case will help you understand what laws apply to your unique circumstance.
If you are injured in the course of your employment as a railroad worker, you cannot file a workers’ compensation claim. Rather, you can bring a claim under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) against your employer to recover damages if you can prove that your employer’s negligence contributed to your injury. If you file a FELA claim, you may be able to recover more damages than is typically recoverable under a workers’ compensation claim.
In Virginia, for most personal injury cases, you are barred from recovering damages in action for negligence if your own negligence contributed to your injury. However, for a FELA Claim, which is based on federal law, even if you were negligent, you may still recover damages if your employer’s negligence contributed in some way to your injury.
Additionally, if you can prove that your employer violated a safety law or regulation, the employer will have absolute liability, and you would not have the burden of proving that he was negligent. In other words, violation of a safety statute or regulation is proof that your employer was negligent.
Damages recoverable under a FELA claim are often broader than damages recoverable under a regular workers’ compensation claim. An injured railroad worker who brings a FELA Claim can recover for the following damages:
It is important to point out that the actual amount of damages awarded can vary based on several factors, including where the lawsuit is filed. So one of the decisions you will have to make when filing a FELA claim is to choose where to bring your claim – which can be in a federal or state court. You will also have to decide whether to bring your claim in the jurisdiction where the injury happened, where the railroad is incorporated, or where the railroad company has its headquarters.
The attorneys at Hampton Injury Law PLC have trial experience. If you hire them to represent you in your railroad work injury claim, they can advise you on which court to bring your claim. They will also help you obtain evidence you need to obtain a favorable resolution. If necessary, they can take the case all the way to trial. If you have been injured in your job as a railroad worker in Suffolk, contact a Virginia FELA lawyer for a free case evaluation today.
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Virginia workman’s comp lawyer Jan Hoen is prepared to fight to protect your legal rights. Contact Hampton Injury Law PLC as soon as possible after a work injury and allow attorney Jan Hoen to use his resources and experience to fight for you.
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