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I was hurt at work. I work for a big railroad that operates throughout the U.S., but I am stationed in Illinois. What rights do I have?

The Federal Employees Liability Act (FELA) provides special protection to employees of railroads.

FELA v. Workers’ Compensation

An injured railroad employee’s rights depend on whether they are covered by FELA – most railroad workers are. FELA supersedes state laws related to an interstate railroad carrier’s liability for injury to employees engaged in interstate commerce, so states’ workers’ compensation acts do not apply to injured railroad employees within FELA’s coverage. Absent a third party, the only option of recovery for these employees is under FELA. In the exceedingly rare situation that the railroad employee does not fall under FELA, they may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits.

Sometimes a worker is considered “employed” by the railroad even if he has a non-railroad employer. If we can demonstrate that the injured worker was 1) borrowed by the railroad or 2) working for two employers simultaneously, the railroad and his own employer or 3) the injured worker’s employer is subservient to the railroad (under the railroad’s control), then we can seek protection under FELA.


Under FELA, railroads are liable in damages to employees who suffer injury due to the railroads negligence. If negligence can be shown, the injured employee is entitled to recover for lost earnings, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. However, if the injury to the employee was not caused by the railroad’s negligence, then there can be no recovery. If you were injured while working as an employee for a railroad, it may be in your interest to contact a railroad injury attorney to determine the merit of your case.

Horwitz Horwitz & Associates

With a long-standing history of record-setting verdicts, Horwitz Horwitz & Associates obtained what was the largest verdict in Illinois history for a personal injury claim. A free consultation with our experienced personal injury lawyers can help ease your fears and protect your rights. If appropriate, we’ll arrange for an immediate investigation while evidence is still fresh, including taking photos and statements from witnesses and the defendant. Horwitz Horwitz & Associates invites you for a free telephone or in-person consultation to discuss your accident and any questions you may have. You can also email us or even speak with us right now on LiveChat.

Even if you don’t wish to retain an attorney, we can set you on the right path for free. Most of our lawyers have more than 30 years of experience and we have an outstanding track record of helping our clients and creating a strong trust relationship, as you can see in our success record.

Please call our Chicago office at (312)-372-8822, our Joliet office at (815)-723-8822 or our toll-free number at (800)-985-1819.