How Much is My Railroad Injury Case Worth?
How Much is Your Railroad Work Injury Case Worth?

Before I answer this question, let’s talk about what you have to prove to get compensation for your railroad work injury.

First, you must prove that the railroad’s negligence caused your injury, either in whole or in part. If you do not prove this, the railroad owes you nothing. Getting injured while on the job is not enough to win a case under the FELA. That is why you must follow the appropriate steps, like seeking immediate medical attention and completing a work accident report that identifies the unsafe condition, from the beginning.

Once you have the evidence to prove that the railroad’s negligence at least contributed to your work injury, you can start to discuss case value.


Blame goes a long way toward determining case value. Your railroad injury case is worth more if the railroad is entirely at fault. The more negligent you were in causing your injury, the less your case is worth because of the doctrine of comparative negligence.

Type of Railroad Injury and Your Treating Physician’s Opinions

The more serious your injuries, the more your railroad accident case is worth. But that is not all. Your doctor must also relate your injuries and need for future medical treatment to your accident. If your doctor ties your injuries to the work accident, rather than to any pre-existing conditions or degenerative diseases, your train injury case is worth more. That’s why you should work with an experienced FELA lawyer to find the doctor who is best for you. Do not go with the railroad’s doctor!

Lost Wages

Under the FELA, you can recover past lost wages and future lost wages. Working light duty will decrease the value of your railroad injury case because it reduces future lost wages. That is why you should avoid light duty and instead opt for disability insurance and Railroad Retirement Sickness Benefits.

Other Factors

In FELA, personal injury, and work injury cases, employers and insurance carriers spend time and money on conducting video surveillance. Your railroad may have someone follow you around and videotape you. Why? To try to show that you are not as injured as you claim. Before doing any type of sports or recreational activity, clear it with your doctor. Do not let video surveillance sink your railroad injury claim.

Bottom Line: Your Railroad Injury Case’s Value

Every railroad injury case is different but I start with a basic equation:

  • Railroad Injury Case Value = [past medical expenses + estimated future medical expenses + pain and suffering + permanent impairment + lost wages + emotional distress] – [(your contributory negligence) +(other factors like surveillance and venue)]