Hildebrand McLeod & Nelson LLP

Representing Plaintiffs Since 1926

Call To Speak With An Attorney 800-689-7066

Important COVID19 Update: We know this is a stressful time for many, so we want to reassure you HMN is taking every measure to ensure the welfare of our staff and the continuity of our service to our clients. HMN continues to work to ensure that our valued staff, clients and families are following all recommendations provided by our local, state and national leadership. We are actively communicating with the courts to reschedule any proceedings and will continue to inform our clients of those developments. HMN remains available at any time via phone calls, emails and video chat. We are here for you no matter what unexpected life changes occur and that remains true today.

We also wish to express our utmost gratitude to the healthcare professionals working tirelessly to care for our community. Our thoughts are with all those impacted by the Coronavirus.

What is the history of FELA?

The Federal Employers Liability Act is a special law that offers protection to railroad workers. Because it is a federal law, it will protect you if you work in California or any other state. You may wonder why there is a special law for railroad workers and why this is not covered in the same way other work injuries are. Looking at the history of FELA can help explain.

SMART explains FELA is rooted in the late 1800s and early 1900s when the railroad industry was booming. New tracks were being laid across the country and railroads were being used to move everything from people to products. Because of the large increase in the industry, injuries started to become overwhelming and concerning.  It was a very dangerous job to work for the railroad.

Congress took notice and enacted the first version of FELA in 1906. However, a set back came when the Supreme Court struck it down as unconstitutional. A new version in 1908, however, withstood. Despite multiple attempts to revise FELA, the 1908 Act still stands. 

This Act allows you to have the right to sue for any injuries you obtain on the job.  It also allows you to collect damages. You must prove negligence on the part of your employer to collect anything under FELA. It is similar yet different to workers' compensation, which you are likely not eligible for. FELA often offers more compensation for an injury than workers' compensation, but workers' compensation does not require you to prove negligence. This information is for education and is not legal advice. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Schedule A Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy


350 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza 4th Floor Oakland, CA 94612 Oakland Law Office Map

700 North Brand Blvd. Suite 860 Glendale, CA 91203 Map & Directions