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How Can an Injured Railroad Worker Seek Compensation for Injuries?

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

Injuries can affect many different people on railroads, from passengers to pedestrians walking on or near railroad tracks to railroad workers. When railroad worker injuries occur on the job, it can be difficult for those workers and their families to understand the best way to seek financial compensation for their losses since usual workers’ compensation laws are not applicable. Rather than being eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim through the workers’ compensation system, most injured railroad workers must file a claim under the Federal Employer Liability of Act of 1908, or FELA.


Given the necessity—yet complexity—of seeking financial compensation for a railroad worker injury, our Kansas train accident attorneys want to provide you with some helpful information concerning a railroad worker’s ability to seek financial compensation for on-the-job injuries.

State Workers’ Compensation System Does Not Usually Apply to Railroad Worker Injury Claims

To be clear, most injured railroad workers cannot file a traditional workers’ compensation claim through the Kansas Workers’ Compensation Division in the Department of Labor. This system is not for most railroad employees who have been injured on the job. Rather, a railroad worker’s claim for compensation must go through the Federal Employer Liability of Act of 1908.

Since claims need to be brought under this federal law, you have the option to bring your claim to state or federal court. You should seek advice immediately from a lawyer about whether you can file a claim under the Kansas workers’ compensation system or whether you will need to file a FELA claim. In general, FELA will likely apply to anyone who works for a railroad that functions as a common carrier.

Filing a FELA Claim

What do you need to do in order to file a FELA claim? First, it is critical to begin working with an experienced railroad worker injury lawyer in Kansas as soon as possible. Filing an injury claim under FELA can be extremely complicated, and you will want help from an attorney who has experience handling these cases.

In order to obtain compensation through a FELA claim, you must prove the employer provided an unsafe workplace, was negligent, violated a safety act, or otherwise breached their duty of care. t There are various ways in which you may be able to show that your employer is responsible for your injuries under FELA, from expert witness testimony, other railroad employees, former employees, or previous cases with similar fact patterns to yours. 

Contact Our Kansas Train Accident Lawyers

If you or someone you love sustained serious injuries while working as a railroad employee, you should seek advice from an experienced Kansas train accident attorney at our firm. We are committed to helping injured railroad workers and their families to seek the financial compensation they need and deserve after a serious accident. Contact Pottroff & Karlin, LLC today for more information about how we can assist you.



Railroad News


Train crash cases are unique and complex with many different potential pitfalls, such as federal preemption. Anytime I get hired or even get a call from a train crash victim, my very first call is to Nathan’s firm. Nathan’s knowledge and experience in handling and trying cases against these litigation savvy railroad companies gives me the confidence to know that the clients and cases I refer to him are getting the best of the best.

James Perrin Lubbock, Texas

I have had the opportunity to work as co-counsel with Nathan on several railroad crossing accidents cases. In each case, Nathan always possessed an incredible knowledge of the law and the facts, possessed a great talent for aggressive - strategic legal planning and trial tactics while, at the same time, displaying great skill as an effective negotiator. I would recommend him to anyone without hesitation.

Scott McCluen Harriman, Tennessee

Nathan Karlin has my strongest endorsement in the field of railroad crossing cases and personal injury law. I had the pleasure of working with Nathan in a complex railroad personal injury case. I was impressed by Nathan’s knowledge, his work ethic, and his dedication to the client. I look forward to working with Nathan on future injury matters. I am also aware firsthand that he has obtained excellent trial and settlement results in numerous cases involving members of the public harmed by railroad companies.

Joseph M. Miller Mandeville, Louisiana

Nathan is a warrior fighting the railroads. As a fellow personal injury lawyer, I have constantly been impressed with his depth of knowledge and his capabilities from case to case. I’d take him into battle with me any day against the biggest railroads and insurance companies on the planet.

Jon C. Clark Austin, Texas

Bob Pottroff has fought for the victims of the railroads’ callous disregard for safety more than any other attorney that I know. I should know because I am currently Chair-elect of the Railroad Section of ATLA.

Robert Schuetze Boulder, Colorado

Mr. Pottroff has shaken the rail industry to its very roots. Settlements are now more common as a result of the way he has exposed the industry’s wrongdoing.

Mike Easley Arkansas

Bob Pottroff’s work in railroad safety law is unmatched and he has been the source of great advice and phenomenal creativity.

Roger Brown Jefferson City, Missouri

In addition to his substantive contributions to railroad grade crossing safety, I have personally observed his untiring efforts and contributions to improving the integrity of the legal system.

Elizabeth Hardy Lake Charles, Louisiana

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