For most Pennsylvania employees who suffer an injury on the job, the next step is to file a workers’ compensation insurance claim. For railway workers, however, a different set of rules applies. Whereas most workers categorized as employees qualify for workers’ compensation insurance, railway workers are covered by the Federal Employees Liability Act, also known as FELA. This Act effectively replaces workers’ compensation insurance for railway workers. However, it is not a one-to-one replacement.

Rather, there are some significant differences between FELA and workers’ compensation. Understanding the differences and what FELA entitles you to can help to ensure that you get the benefits, coverage, and support that you are entitled to. If you have filed a FELA claim but are struggling to get the support that you deserve, a Pennsylvania FELA Attorney can help you to navigate the process, protect your rights, and ensure the best possible outcome. The information in this article is intended to be general. However, if you would like personalized feedback based on the specifics of your unique case you are welcome to contact the experienced FELA Attorneys at O’Donnell Law Offices to schedule a consultation.

What’s the Difference Between FELA and Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

As noted above, there are a number of significant differences between workers’ compensation insurance coverage and FELA coverage. For one, workers’ compensation insurance does not require the employee to prove that their employer was negligent in causing the employee’s injury in order to gain coverage. Rather, in most cases, an employee filing a workers’ compensation claim must only show that they were injured on the job as a result of their employment. In other words, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, whereas FELA is a fault-based system. In order to recover under FELA, the employer must have been negligent in causing or contributing to the employee’s injury. This means that it is harder to get coverage under FELA, or rather, that a more narrow subset of at-work injuries qualifies for coverage. The good news is that those who do qualify for coverage under FELA qualify for significantly more compensation than they would under workers’ compensation. This is because there are workers’ compensation claim limits that effectively put a cap on how much employees can recover, while FELA claims have no cap. Additionally, FELA allows employees to collect compensation for pain and suffering, which is not available under workers’ compensation. If you are a Pennsylvania railway worker and you believe you may have a FELA claim for an injury suffered on the job, it’s important to talk to a Pennsylvania attorney as soon as possible.

Schedule a Consultation with O’Donnell Law Offices

If you are a Pennsylvania railway worker who has suffered an injury on the job through no fault of your own and are struggling to get the FELA compensation that you are entitled to, you do not have to navigate the process alone. Schedule a free initial consultation with the  personal injury attorneys at the O’Donnell Law Offices serving clients in Kingston, Wilkes Barre, Hazleton and Pittston at 570-821-5717 or online today. There is no fee or costs until we win your case.

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