Railroad work is among the most dangerous ways to earn a living, and injuries are not uncommon. Some are life-changing, and the injured party will require ongoing care.
If you are a railroad employee injured on the job, what are your next steps, and how can FELA help?
Recognizing that railroad workers face unique risks that could result in severe injuries, the federal government enacted the Federal Employers Liability Act, or FELA, in 1908. The goal is to provide workers with better protection on the job and to increase their rights. The act requires employers to provide safety training and supervision and to enforce safety regulations. If employer negligence results in worker injury, the worker has the right to file a FELA claim stemming from the incident.
If you are a railroad worker injured on the job, you must report the incident to a supervisor, foreman, dispatcher or trainmaster promptly. You must also seek immediate medical attention. The physician will write a report with details about your injury, and this will prove important when the time comes for you to file a FELA claim. Do not admit fault concerning the incident, but complete an injury form truthfully and completely. Also, remember that an insurance company’s top priority is protecting its own interests. Do not make a statement to a railroad claim agent until you receive guidance from an attorney.
As included in the FELA points, the term “reasonably safe” concerning a railroad worker’s place of employment can become a contentious issue. Yet it is an employer’s duty to provide reasonably safe working conditions or risk liability in the event of worker injuries. If you suffer an injury on the job, explore your legal options. You can rely on an experienced advocate to ensure that you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries in accordance with FELA provisions.