Railroad Accident / FELA

Railroad accident


Trains play an important role across the state of Minnesota, transporting cargo, passengers, minerals and freight on a daily basis. Due to the increased activity across the railway lines, Minnesota railroad crossings can be extremely dangerous. Furthermore, working for the railway can also pose several threats of life threatening accidents.  If you have been injured while working for the railway then you will be covered through FELA, a specialized type of worker’s compensation just for injured railroad workers. Contact our team at ShermoenJaksa Law to understand the process and what rights you have under the law.


If you are injured while working for a railroad company then you will be covered through FELA, a comprehensive federal law that was enacted by Congress to protect railroad workers and their families.  FELA enables injured workers and their families to sue for compensation after a serious injury or death.  It is important to remember that these claims are not the same as a Minnesota Workers’ Compensation claim.  FELA solely governs your rights as an injured railroad worker and their are strict time deadlines in which you must act to preserve those rights.  FELA allows injured railroad workers and their families to recover for damages related to:

      • Medical Expenses
      • Lost Wages and Future Lost Wages
      • Pain, Suffereing and Emotional Distress.

Overcoming a serious accident at work is hard for both you and your family. You could be looking at years of physical and mental recovery as well as rehabilitation and therapy sessions.Common injuries from railroad accidents include:

          • broken bones and limb amputation
          • spinal and back injuries
          • traumatic brain injuries
          • crushing injuries
          • disfigurement and dismemberment
          • chemical exposure injuries and illnesses
          • permanent disability and paralysis
          • blindness

However, it is important to note that many railroad workers have injuries that happen over years of their service. These claims, referred to as cumulative trauma claims, can involve the back, neck, knees, shoulders and also included toxic exposure cases to diesel fumes and other hazardous substances found in the railway industry. Consult with us should you have any concerns that a recent diagnosis may be related to your railroad work environment.


Another complication surrounding the FELA law is that making a claim can be difficult, especially when you are overwrought with emotional and physical pain as well.   The first and foremost thing you should do is report the injury at the soonest available time after receiving proper medical care.  You may want to have union representation with you at that time.  You should also consult with an attorney knowledgeable in FELA as soon as possible so you can better understand the system and your rights.   After all, injuries result in a lot of out of pocket expenses, even if you do have medical insurance. You are entitled to compensation – let us make sure you are being treated fairly.

FELA was put into place for these exact accidents. It is important that you know your legal rights and understand that you do have the opportunity to sue for damages and losses. These rights were specifically granted to you as a railroad worker by Congress.


Any injury that occurs on the railway can be life threatening and life changing. It is important that you focus on the good in these situations and keep your mind on recovering and moving forward. Let our Northern Minnesota personal injury lawyer handle the complications surrounding your railroad accident and FELA laws while you focus on moving forward after this unfortunate accident. Contact a railroad accident attorney in International Falls, MN office at (218) 283-4494 or Duluth, MN office (218) 625-2270 for a free initial consultation.