Railroad workers who are injured on the job are eligible for compensation under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). The FELA claims process can be complicated, and an experienced FELA attorney can explain the steps of the legal process. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding FELA claims:
How can I prove negligence in my FELA claim?
Under FELA, a railroad has the duty to maintain a reasonably safe work environment and to ensure employees are reasonably equipped and able to perform assigned tasks. Additionally, employers should be able to make their work environment reasonably safe from intentional acts by other employees or third parties, prevent unreasonable work quotas and provide adequate help when a task exceeds a worker’s physical abilities.
A breach in any of the above duties may be considered negligence. During a FELA claim, you attorney can conduct an investigation into what happened and who was at fault.
What do I need to do to report my injury?
Your employer will likely have you fill out an injury report form. You should be as thorough and accurate as possible when providing information about your injuries. Be sure to list all possible causes, factors and conditions that may have contributed to the accident.
In addition to the report you complete for your employer, you should also create a report for yourself, and eventually for your attorney’s use. In your report, describe the nature and extent of your injuries and the impact those injuries have on your work and personal life. You should also note the names of any witnesses to your accident.
How can I document the extent of my injuries?
After your accident, your employer will make sure you receive medical attention, especially if it’s an emergency. You should also seek an independent medical evaluation from your own doctor. Be sure to be honest regarding your injuries. Your medical records will document the extent of your injuries.
Additionally, you should document the amount of work you missed due to your injuries. Keep track of the time you missed the day of the accident, any time missed during recovery or rehabilitation and any work missed due to follow-up doctor visits.
If my railroad worker spouse was killed on the job, can I file a lawsuit under FELA?
Yes. If a railroad worker is killed on the job, a surviving spouse and/or children are eligible to receive compensation under FELA. If a worker had no spouse or children, compensation can go to any surviving parents or other close family members.
What does “alternate dispute resolution” mean?
Both sides in a FELA claim may voluntarily resolve their issues through mediation or a negotiated settlement, rather than going to trial. A judge may even order that parties seek mediation or engage in settlement conferences in order to try an settle a claim before it goes to trial.
Do I need an attorney when filing a FELA claim?
It is recommended that you work with an experienced FELA attorney when dealing with a FELA claim. A attorney can ensure that your rights are being protected throughout the whole claims process and that your claim is not compromised.