Railroads Law and Legal Definition

Railroad law encompasses all matters that relate to Railroad services. These cases typically involve personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits by passengers, non-passengers, as well as employees. Workers' compensation is another prevalent issue when railroad workers are injured on the job. Railroads are common carriers, and have all the rights, duties and liabilities of a common carrier. Railroads are also subject to public regulation as public highways.

The Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) serves as the exclusive remedy in an action brought by a railroad employee against his employer. FELA imposes on railroads the duty to exercise reasonable care to provide each and every railroad employee a safe place to work.

Under FELA, a railroad employee may recover the following damages for their injuries occurring on the job:

  • Lost earnings, past and future
  • Medical expenses if paid out of pocket by the injured employee
  • Payment for the employee's reduced ability to earn a wage because of the injuries suffered
  • Compensation for pain and suffering