Railroad work can be hazardous. On-the-job injuries include burns, broken bones and much more. Would you know what to do if you sustained an injury in a railroad-related accident?
You may be eligible for compensation under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act. Prior to filing a claim, here are four important steps to take.
1. See a doctor
The most important step for you to take immediately is to seek medical assistance. Your well-being is a top priority, but the doctor will also prepare a medical report about your injuries. The report will be essential when the time comes for you to file a claim for financial compensation.
2. Report your injury
You must also report your injury to your supervisor, or a foreman, dispatcher or trainmaster. Otherwise, you could face disciplinary action.
3. Keep accurate records
While the accident is still fresh in your mind, begin keeping a record. Start by writing down the chronological details about the accident, your injury and subsequent treatment. Include the names and contact information for all doctors, therapists and other healthcare workers who attend you, as well as the names and addresses of hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Note any lost time you accumulate and an estimation of your lost wages.
4. Seek legal counsel
FELA covers injured employees of railroads engaged in interstate commerce. As a railroad worker, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages, medical expenses and more. However, the claim agent who works for the railroad may try to convince you to accept a lowball settlement figure, which is precisely why you need an experienced legal advocate on your side.
One of many
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you and your coworkers held approximately 105,500 railroad jobs in 2016. You may be among the 19,300 brake, signal and switch operators listed, or the 41,800 railroad conductors and yardmasters. Whatever your job, you are always at risk of injury. If this should occur, remember that through the Federal Employers Liability Act, you have a right to seek full and fair compensation.