How is FELA different than workers’ comp?
Injuries on the railroad are governed by a completely different law than workers’ compensation. It is called the Federal Employers Liability Act. FELA is what we call it, F-E-L-A. That law is very, very beneficial to railroad employees, and how it differs from workers’ compensation is this: In a workers’ compensation case, the benefit to a work comp case is you do not have to prove negligence, but the recoveries are limited by a formula, and that formula is in each state and has to be applied to your case based on your disability, your permanent disability. Under FELA, you do have to prove negligence on part of the railroad, but it is a very low standard, and the recoveries are substantially better in most cases. A jury gets to decide your FELA case. A jury gets to hear about your actual injuries, your pain and suffering, your lost wages, your future lost wages, and they can compensate you for all of that which cannot be done in a workers’ compensation setting.