Uplift Legal Funding specializes in FELA lawsuit loans. Where most other funding companies focus on car accidents, we’d rather fund FELA claims every day of the week.
Because Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) lawsuits are our specialty, we regularly approve FELA cases for lawsuit loans within 24 hours. We exclusively offer simple, non-compounding rates for pre-settlement funding on FELA lawsuits.
No one wants to be injured on the job. Not only could you lose time from work, but you may suffer an injury that could last for months, years, or even permanently. Injury lawsuits in general can take years to resolve. Depending on your injuries, it can be tough to hold out for a fair settlement. Uplift’s FELA lawsuit funding empowers plaintiffs to fight for a fair settlement.
Reliable Legal Funding for FELA Railroad Claims
Each funding company has its own case types that it prefers. Some are better at underwriting pharmaceutical cases, others better at auto accidents. We have underwriters who specialize in FELA cases. Often, we can review these cases more quickly than other lawsuit funding companies.
Because of the lax standard of liability, FELA lawsuit loans should involve low rates and fees. Every funding company will tell you that the risk of the case determines the interest rate — FELA lawsuits are very low risk investments.
How To Qualify For FELA Lawsuit Loans
FELA lawsuit loans are extremely easy to get. Our application process only takes a few minutes, and we c
- an attorney handling your case
- to be 18 years or older
- documents showing the extent of your injury, something proving that the railroad was at least partially responsible for the accident, and legal pleadings (we can get these documents from your attorney).
FELA Lawsuit FAQ
Because the state workers’ compensation law does not apply to railroad worker injuries, railroad workers are generally covered by the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). In order to win over a jury or judge, an injured railroad worker must prove negligence on the part of the employer. Read through these frequently asked questions to learn more about FELA claims and your rights.
FELA accidents usually require a specialized attorney to get right. Some firms that focus on railroad accidents regularly win million dollar plus FELA settlements. However, especially with serious injuries, these lawsuits can take time.
Learn more about railroad accidents and FELA lawsuits below.
What is a FELA claim?
FELA stands for the Federal Employers Liability Act. Enacted in 1908, it protects and compensates railroad workers who have been injured on the job. This legislation was created during the heyday of railroad travel, but that makes it no less important today. There are still over 230,000 railroad employees in the country, and rail work is always dangerous.
FELA lawsuits have an extremely lax comparative liability standard that ensures that as long as the plaintiff is not found 100% at-fault for the accident, their damages are recoverable.
How much is my FELA case worth?
There are many factors that determine a pre-settlement funding amount: the extent and permanence of the injury. Pain and suffering. Economic damages as a result of being out of work.
Verdicts of over $1 million are not unheard of in extreme FELA cases, and a jury once awarded over $10 million. More traditional FELA cases can still be worth tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
With strong FELA cases, you can qualify for $100,000 or more in FELA lawsuit loans.
How long will my FELA case take to settle?
No insurance company wants to pay out settlements; they are less profitable when they do. As such, some insurers may try to stall the plaintiff on a case so that the plaintiff will accept even a small offer just so they can use that money to get on with their lives. Even with FELA’s safeguards, this could mean smaller settlements. Insurers can stretch on cases for months or even years. Many plaintiffs don’t have the financial means to wait out insurance company giants. For people in that situation, a FELA lawsuit loans might be the right way to go.
If I am injured while working for a railroad, what can I do?
The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) protects injured railroad workers. Under FELA, you are awarded compensation under the following circumstances:
- Your employer is a railroad that operates across state lines or handles freight that has crossed or will cross state lines.
- You are injured on the job, such as a slip and fall injury due to employer negligence.
- The negligence of the railroad or defective products or equipment caused your injury.
The specific amount of FELA compensation varies depending on your case. The following are taken into consideration:
- Past and future pain, suffering, emotional and psychological distress
- Past medical expenses and future medical expenses
- Lost benefits such as vacation pay, medical insurance and Railroad Retirement contributions
- Past and future lost wages and/or the inability to earn a living due to the injury
What are the most common FELA lawsuit injuries?
Rail work can be extremely dangerous if proper safety measures aren’t maintained. Some of the most common injuries that lead to FELA lawsuits are as follows:
- Train derailment accidents
- Heavy equipment and machinery injuries
- FELA slips, trips and falls
- Railway explosions and electrocutions
- Progressive railroad injury lawsuits
Should I report my FELA injury?
Most railroads require you disclose your injury to a supervisor as soon as possible. After communicating what happened, the railroad will most likely require you to fill out a personal injury report. It is important to follow these guidelines, as failure to comply could result in discharge from the railroad’s employment.
It is important that you carefully read and fully understand these forms before filling anything out. The railroad should provide you with a blank form. If at any time you are struggling to fill out the form, reach out to your union representative. They will help you fill out the form properly. Be as specific as possible. Specificity will help strengthen your claim and place liability on the defendant.
Do I run the risk of being fired for reporting my FELA accident or injury?
No. You are protected by The Federal Railroad Safety Act of 2007, which prohibits railroads from retaliating against employees who report on-duty injuries. Discharge is a form of retaliation. Retaliation also includes suspension, harassment and/or an increase in scrutiny from management. Not only does this safety act protect workers who are injured, but also protects employees who report unsafe environments or equipment. OSHA, rather than the Federal Railroad Administration, has jurisdiction over these claims because of their previous experience with similar retaliation claims in other industries. If the retaliation claim is successful, the employee could be awarded reinstatement with retroactive seniority, back pay with interest, punitive damages and costs and attorney’s fees. Learn more about whistleblower cases here.
Note: Retaliation claims only have a 180 day statute of limitations. If you suspect retaliation, it is important to file a claim immediately.
Does FELA cover cumulative trauma, repetitive stress or vibration related injuries?
Yes. Although the railroad and its claims representatives may tell you that you have no right to compensation if you cannot identify a specific injury that occurred during a specific activity, you are able to file on the grounds of pain and suffering on the job as a result of negligence. Just be sure to provide details.
What are whole body vibration and cumulative trauma injuries on the railroad?
Railroad employees know that working on the railroad is hard on your body. You probably feel aches and pains in your neck, back, joints and muscles on a daily basis. It is common for most railroaders to disregard these aches and pains as being part of the job. However, they are on-the-job injuries. “Cumulative trauma” describes the injuries a railroad worker sustains after repeated hardship on the bones, muscles and joints during years of working on the railroad.
What are the different forms of cumulative trauma from railroad related work?
Cumulative trauma has many forms. They include repeated stress to the knees and hips due to getting on and off moving equipment and walking on uneven ballast; back injuries due to the vibration of locomotives and other track equipment; neck, shoulder and arm injuries as a result of defective or poorly designed equipment; and more. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the different forms of cumulative trauma are responsible for some chronic musculoskeletal injuries.
What legal issues should I look out for?
Although FELA covers both, be aware of the differences between cumulative trauma and specific-incident claims. The three-year statute of limitations applies to all FELA claims, which can potentially cause a cumulative trauma case to be dismissed, regardless of how strong that claim may be. Railroads typically provide an employee with a long Cumulative Trauma Questionnaire in addition to the regular personal injury report. Be on the lookout for legal land mines throughout these reports. To take the necessary precautions, it is best to consult with an attorney first.
Should I deal with the railroad claims department?
At the end of the day, you should view the railroad for what it is – a business. It ultimately aims to make a profit while keeping costs low. This unfortunately works against the interests of the injured railroad worker.
Claims agents often choose to interact solely with unrepresented individuals in regard to lost wages. However, they rarely reveal the worker’s earning potential for pain and suffering and the loss of quality of life. They may even challenge you if you bring up those items. Because of this, it is best to not rely on them for accurate information.
Am I required to give a statement about my FELA injury?
A lot of employees sign written statements or give oral recorded statements without consideration for their eventual claim.
It’s important to consult a reputable FELA attorney before giving a formal statement.
How much time do I have to pursue a FELA claim?
A “statute of limitations” clarifies how long the injured person or the deceased person’s family has to file a case in court. In terms of FELA, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the injury. In the case of cumulative trauma, the three-years begins when you are aware of an injury and you know this injury is caused by your railroad work. Regardless of the severity of your injury, you are not subject to compensation if you wait longer than three years to file your claim in court.
As soon as you become injured or are aware of your injury, contact an attorney. Your attorney helps with investigating your claim in order to establish the railroad’s FELA liability. This investigation includes taking pictures at the scene, talking to potential witnesses and inspecting the faulty equipment that may have caused your injury. If you wait too long, the investigation only becomes harder.
Your ultimate goal is to work rapidly to have your case settled. The longer you wait, the more money you lose.
How much are FELA lawsuits worth?
Railroad accident case value depends on a few key factors, including:
- The severity of the injury (what type of injury, the duration of the injury, etc.)
- Disability and disfigurement as a result of the injury. Disability touches on the physical difference between you before the injury and after the injury. Disfigurement refers to scarring or other injuries that have changed your appearance.
- Any pre-existing condition that was aggravated as a result of your injury. Let’s say your accident made your pre-existing arthritis more painful. You are still entitled to compensation if a doctor cannot determine how much pain and suffering resulted from which injury.
- The injury resulted in past and probably future pain and suffering.
- The amount of past medical care in addition to probable cost of future medical care.
- Any past wage loss and foreseeable future wage loss.
This compensation does not have a definitive dollar value. Pain and suffering is an intangible item. However, monetary compensation is the only way an injured person can be compensated for this type of loss.
Should I talk to a lawyer about my FELA claim?
Once you become injured, it is you versus the railroad. Your ultimate goal is to protect your rights and seek the compensation you deserve. The ultimate goal of the railroad is to prevent you from collecting or to at least minimize the amount you collect. This means you will need to do your best to prove you are entitled to compensation under FELA.
The railroad’s claim agents are experienced agents who want to ensure you get as little as possible. They can be honest, but they are working for the railroad and not you. They will take photos that are in favor of the railroad, and search for laws that will hinder your case.
It is up to you to help yourself. An experienced lawyer can significantly help you, as they have experience fighting the railroad’s claim agents and know what to expect. An experienced attorney can also help you get a much larger settlement.
What is important to know before consulting a lawyer?
For many railroad workers, this is the first time they need an attorney. In order to best help your case, you should talk with a lawyer who has dealt with FELA cases. They have experience dealing with the issues that come up in these types of cases and are better aware of your rights as a railroad employee. It is important to ask a potential attorney how many FELA cases they have tried before a jury. Also ask what their fee is. In the instance of your injury or death, your family can contact the Local Chairman or General Chairman for advice.
How do I get medical treatment?
It is your right to be examined by the doctor of your choice. By choosing a doctor outside of the company, there is a better chance they will be fair with your treatment.
The railroad is legally obligated to provide you with or allow you to seek medical treatment as soon as you say you need it. They cannot delay this.
Will the railroad pay my wage loss?
It is typical for railroads to have “light duty” or “wage continuation” policies. These policies state that the railroad pays the injured employee a monthly sum during a designated amount of time. Generally this amount is less than the employee would regularly earn. In exchange for this monthly sum, the employee agrees to work at “light duty.”
There are often other terms the railroad worker must agree to, such as the following:
- Pay income taxes on the wage continuation, in addition to repaying or giving the railroad credit for the wage continuation received
- Agree to give up all collective bargaining rights under the Railway Labor Act in regards to wage continuation process
- Agree to not earn a monthly credit from the wage continuation for work
- Provide the railroad claims department with the statements it wants
- Allow the railroad to disregard the medical opinion of your doctor
- Allow the railroad to send you to as many of its physicians as it wants
In order to determine what is best for you, talk to an experienced attorney before accepting any terms.
What are the next steps after a FELA railroad accident?
- Immediately report the incident and injury to the railroad.
- Get the names, contact information and addresses of any witnesses present.
- Immediately report the accident to your Local Chairman or your General Chairman.
- Do not give any written or verbal statement until you have consulted with a union officer or an experienced attorney.
- Seek necessary medical care from a doctor of your choosing.
- Follow any rules when it comes to filling out an injury report. Keep a copy for yourself.
- Stand by your right to return to work once you recover by filling out the appropriate documents with the carrier provided by the union agreement.
- Consult an experienced and union-approved attorney for advice and help with your case.
Premier FELA Lawsuit Funding Company
If you’re in need of financial support, Uplift can help. We specialize in direct funding of FELA cases. No broker fees, no upfront costs, and always no-win/no-pay. Our focus on FELA means we can get you better rates and more money than competitors. It’s time to take control of your legal journey.