427 W. Dussel Drive, Suite 266

Maumee, OH  43537


Toll Free: (844) LAW-FELA

                               (844 529-3352)

Phone: (419) 482-1467

Fax: (419) 419-3512

The Federal Employers' Liability Act – better known as the FELA – is the federal law that deals with the rights to compensation for a railroad worker injured on the job. The FELA was enacted in 1908 to protect railroad workers injured in the course of their work. Because injured railroad workers are not eligible for Workers’ Compensation, the FELA gives them the right, under certain circumstances, to recover compensation from their railroad employer if they are injured on the job.





























The above is not an exclusive list, there may be many other ways the railroad, or it's agents, (such as limo/ jitney companies or hotels where employees are provided for required rest between runs) may be negligent. If you have any questions whether your injury is covered, please talk to a knowledgeable attorney. We provide free initial consultations. If you hire us, we do not get paid unless we win.

The railroad is obligated to inspect its equipment and work areas for unsafe conditions, and remedy those conditions as soon as reasonably possible. Unlike state Workers’ Compensation statutes, the FELA is negligence based, meaning that, in most cases, an injured worker has to prove that the railroad was negligent to recover damages. A railroad is liable to pay monetary damages to an injured worker if the railroad’s negligence was a cause, in whole or in part, of the worker’s injury. In other words, even if the railroad’s negligence was only one of several causes of an injury, the railroad is liable for damages to the injured worker or the deceased worker’s dependents. The railroad is statutorily prohibited from arguing that an injured worker assumed the risk of his employment in FELA cases.


There are two other federal safety statutes known as the Locomotive Inspection Act and the Safety Appliance Act which operate in conjunction with the FELA. The Locomotive Inspection Act requires a railroad to keep its locomotives in proper condition and safe to operate without unnecessary danger of personal injury.  The Safety Appliance Act requires a railroad to have and maintain safety devices on its rail vehicles. Unlike the FELA, the Locomotive Inspection Act and the Safety Appliance Act are strict liability statutes, meaning that an injured railroad worker need not prove that the railroad was negligent, only that the railroad violated one of the statutes. If a railroad violates either the Locomotive Inspection Act or the Safety Appliance Act and a railroad worker is injured, that worker cannot be found to have been contributorily negligent in causing his injury. Like the FELA, assumption of the risk is not a defense for the railroad in Locomotive Inspection Act and Safety Appliance Act cases.


When deciding to bring an FELA lawsuit, it is important to have experienced FELA attorneys fighting for you. The FELA is unique, and an FELA lawsuit often differs significantly from a traditional personal injury lawsuit. Because the law has been around for 100 years, the railroad industry has developed highly sophisticated risk management departments. These departments employ claim agents who begin protecting the railroad’s financial interest and looking for ways to blame an injury on the worker as soon as an injury is reported and often times before medical treatment is even administered to the injured worker.





























In order to protect your rights and your family’s security, it is important that you understand your rights and obligations when you suffer an on-duty injury. Brian Reddy has over 20 years experience litigating and trying cases against railroads on behalf of injured workers. Call us at  (419) 482-1467 anytime for a no fee, and no pressure, initial consultation with Brian Reddy. If you would like us to represent you and we can take your case, we are committed to offering you advice, assistance and support in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere throughout the process.

​If you are worried about your situation and would like to discuss it with attorney Brian Reddy, call him today at (419) 482-1467. He'll be happy to talk to you.

Some Circumstances where FELA provides protection:

The FELA requires railroad companies to provide their employees a reasonably safe place to work, no matter where the employee is working.  This means that the railroad has a duty to provide its employees things like:

  • Safe walking and yard conditions.
  • Safe transportation between hotels or terminals (whether or not the railroad provides this directly or through another company).
  • Safe accommodations when laying over.
  • Adequate lighting in yards and other places where the employee may work at night.
  • Safe tools and equipment.
  • Safe locomotives - that must be free from defects/ Locomotive Inspection Act violations.
  • Safe cars - free from defects/Safety Appliance Act violations.
  • Adequate training, supervision, and manpower to perform the job safely.
  • Competent co-workers, if a railroader is injured by a co-worker's negligence, the railroad is responsible.

Steps taken by the risk management department and the claim agents include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Perform a "recreation" (without you or your representative present).
  • Look for any way to charge the injured worker with a “safety” rule violation.
  • Undertake a non-independent investigation to determine if there is anything which can be used to shift responsibility to the injured worker.
  • Secure photos or video of the injury scene without a local chairman or other representative of the injured worker present.
  • Immediately interview co-workers to see if they will say anything the railroad can use to blame the injured worker.
  • Take the injured worker to a designated medical clinic, where the worker will be questioned extensively about the incident. The doctors the railroad takes the worker to may be discouraged from prescribing medication or providing certain treatments so that the injury is not reportable to the Federal Railroad Administration. The railroad cannot interfere with the worker's choice of doctor and is legally prohibited from interfering with a the treatment plan of physician(s), when treating a work-related injury.

Disclaimer - Please Read. Attorney Advertising. Prior Results Do Not Guarantee a Similar Outcome. Each case or claim must be evaluated on its own merits. The FELA.com website does not offer legal advice. All of the material within www.FELA.com™ is provided for informational purposes only, it is not legal advice and should not be construed or used as such. This text is not to be substituted for legal advice from a licensed attorney. Use of this website does not constitute the forming of an attorney-client relationship. You may only retain an attorney at The Reddy Law Firm by entering into a written retainer agreement that is signed by both the attorney and the client. However, any communications you have with The Reddy Law Firm will be treated confidentially to the extent allowed by law. Acting upon the information in this site without the advice of a lawyer is not recommended. Attorney Brian Reddy is licensed to practice law in Ohio and New York. In other states we work with and co-counsel with other attorneys to evaluate claims and will promptly associate with an in-state attorney if required. Please read the Terms and Conditions page for this website for important information on many topics including privacy, confidentiality and legal representation.  The Reddy Law Firm, 427 W. Dussel Drive, Suite 266, Maumee, Ohio 43537, phone: 419 482 1467 is responsible for this website.

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