What Exactly Is Employer Liability Law?

14th January 2011
By Garrett Hawkins in Medical Malpractice
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To be sure railroad workers were reasonably compensated, The Federal Employer Liability (FELA) was enacted. Because of the dangers associated with working in the railroad industry, injuries are prevalent. Employees needed protection for those injuries which happened due to their job.

Since its inception, however, the Employer Liability Act has broadened to cover every job-related injury in every field and industry, not just the railroad.

While Worker’s Compensation is no-fault naturally and awards benefits based on the employee’s economic needs, Federal Employer Liability differs. It requires proof of the employer’s legal negligence with regards to the injury before awards are given. Of course, FELA cases are certainly not as simple as one might initially think. The premise on which it really is based is an easy one, but the endless variation of circumstances involved renders each case conditional and necessary of analysis.

The premise is dependent on two rationales: (1) employers are viewed as overseers of their employees with regard to behavior in connection with work and are therefore legally bound to the consequences of such behavior, whether good or bad in nature; and (2) employers are, by both implication and legal reasoning, accountable for the compensation and any restitution needed due to employee injury, may it be incurred directly or by a third-party. The legal system’s main concern is to the ‘victim’ and their needs more than anything else.

This is when ‘Respondeat Superior’ is needed. This doctrine ensures the company is held accountable for any injury or death brought on as a direct result of employer instruction or closely associated with the employers authorization conducted through the course of the job. ‘Detour’ refers to exactly that, where the employer is culpable for the outcome of employee’s behavior. ‘Frolic,’ however, relates to an employee’s own actions outside of work, and so any injuries that incur leave the employee responsible.

When staff is involved in a work-related case with regards to negligence or the omission of proper action on the part of the employer, they are qualified to receive benefits. An Accident attorney will fight to make sure that all benefits are awarded to a deserving worker injured on the job.

It's to your advantage to contact a personal injury attorney if you are injured in a work-related case. The quantity of compensation you receive with the help of an attorney just might make a difference.

About the Author:
Garrett Hawkins is a law student in Oregon who writes about legal topic that interest him. Garrett hopes to be a employer liability attorney in Portland someday, specializing in auto accidents, boating injuries, construction accidents laws, workplace injury and more. Please do NOT take my opinions as legal advice. I am NOT an attorney.
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