(FEDERAL RAILROAD SAFETY ACT)
The Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) is a Federal law that makes it illegal for railroads to discipline its employees in any way for their work-related injury or safety reports. We are recognized as a national leader in FRSA litigation and no other firm has done as much to increase the rights of railroad workers in this area of the law.
How long do I have to file a case?
A FRSA case must be filed within 180 days of when the discriminatory action was taken against you. Because of this short time frame, and because there are often multiple discriminatory acts that can trigger the 180 days, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
What is considered illegal discipline under the FRSA?
Almost any kind of discipline is illegal under the FRSA if it is assessed in connection with your report of a work related injury, medical treatment, and/or safety concern. This includes threats, intimidation, disciplinary charges, record suspensions, actual suspensions, and termination.
Can I be disciplined for late reporting of an injury?
Most likely no. The law is very clear on this and as long as you believed your injury to be work related when you reported it, you cannot be disciplined for a “late report.”
My union is appealing my discipline. Can I still bring a case under the FRSA?
Yes. The rights that you have through your union are very different than those you have under the FRSA so you can, and should, pursue both options.
Can a railroad manager go to the doctor/hospital with me?
The railroad can assist you in getting medical treatment but they cannot dictate where or how you get treatment and no one from the company can go into the examination room with you without your permission.
What do I get if I win my FRSA case?
The law allows you to be reinstated to your job and to recover any lost wages along with money damages for mental and emotional distress and other losses attributable to the illegal actions. The railroad must also pay your attorney fees and you also may seek up to $250,000 in punitive damages.
Railroad employees are not automatically entitled to receive compensation for on-the-job injuries, unlike most workers in this country. Instead, railroad workers are covered under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) which permits injured employees to bring a lawsuit against their employer to recover for injuries caused by the negligence of the railroad. Our practice was founded on fighting for railroad workers and their families and our unique and innovative approach to litigation has proven results.
How long do I have to file a case?
Generally a FELA case must be filed within 3 years of the date of your injury.
The claims department is offering me a settlement, do I need a lawyer?
Often the offers from the claims department are very low and are designed to get you to take pennies on the dollar and to sign away all of your rights before you even know the extent of your injury. In somes cases it may be in your best interests to settle without hiring a lawyer but you should take the time to consult with one and learn your rights before agreeing to any settlement. We always offer free consultations.
If I have been disciplined for an injury, can I bring a FELA and a FRSA case?
Yes. We specialize in handling these types of situations.
Do I automatically get paid if I'm injured and can't work?
No. Unlike most workers who are entitled to workers compensation, railroad workers are covered by the FELA and do not automatically get compensated for their on-the-job injuries.
PERSONAL INJURY / WRONGFUL DEATH
Lives can change, and tragically be lost, in an instant. It can be difficult to think of your legal rights and lawyers at times like these but we have been there before and we understand. We will help you through these challenging times and do everything we can to get you and your family back on track.
Do I need a lawyer?
You may and you may not. Each situation is different but we always recommend that you consult with a lawyer as soon as possible so that you know your rights. We never charge for an initial consultation and if we believe it’s something you can handle on your own, we will tell you up front. We don’t believe in charging you for something you can do yourself.
What kinds of cases do you handle?
We represent people who have been injured (physically or emotionally) or killed by the intentional or negligent act of someone else. This includes injuries from car and motorcycle wrecks, damage to property, abuse, medical malpractice, and falls.
How much do you charge?
We typically work on a contingent fee, meaning that we pay the up front costs of pursuing your case through to trial if necessary, and charge a percentage of your total recovery. If there is no recovery then we do not charge you anything. The total percentage varies based on the complexity of the case but we will explain that to you before you decide whether to hire us.
How quickly will my case be resolved?
This varies widely. Some cases are settled within six months while others may take 1-2 years, particularly if they go through to trial. We will explain the process up front and will always keep you informed of the progress of your case.