Why Every Railroad Worker Should Understand FELA Claims and Lawsuit Process

Railroad workers are facing a variety of challenges and risks on the job. It is a highly hazardous profession that involves dangerous workplace, so death cases and injuries occur quite often. Federal law has recognized the importance of this industry to the economy and introduced FELA (Federal Employers Liability Act) to protect the hard-working people on the rails.

This act has been around since 1908 with the goal to entitle workers in the railroad industry to make a claim if an injury has happened on the job. That has encouraged thousands of railroad workers suffering job-related injuries to recover their damages from the employer directly. FELA has been altering over time, but it still allows railroad employees nationwide to get an exclusive remedy for their injuries. Of course, they must prove that the railroad company was responsible or negligent for their injuries.

When is a Railroad Company Negligent?

In basic, negligence implies any failure to afford a safe work environment. Here are a few common examples of negligence:

  • Failure to provide workers with adequate safety training
  • Failure to ensure a proper supervision of workers
  • Failure to supply safety equipment and tools
  • Failure to enforce safety regulations and rules
  • Compelling employees to work under time pressure
  • Asking employees to work long hours

FELA Claims

Making a FELA claim could be complicated for most railroad workers, so they should get familiar with the claim and lawsuit process. There are lots of rules to submit such a claim, including strict filing deadlines and notice requirements.  This is why many people engage a lawyer in their FELA cases to fight the railroad companies.

In a nutshell, this process includes the following four steps:

  • Step 1: Reporting an accident according to the specific railroad service guidelines. Do not hesitate to speak to your manager if you’re not sure how to make a report. Be honest when compiling an accident report since any incomplete or fake information can impact your claim negatively.
  • Step 2: Gathering information related to your FELA claim. Make sure to gather a lot of relevant information to build a strong case. If anyone witnessed the accident, try to get his/her name, address, and phone number. If possible, take some photos at the scene of the accident. Any written document that corroborates your claim will be very helpful alike.
  • Step 3: Engaging an attorney who specializes in railroad law when filing your claim. An experienced lawyer will protect and represent your legal interests. That could be your best asset.
  • Step 4: The final step is a court trial. Note that the end result usually does not involve the trial when you bring a lawsuit under FELA. However, FELA cases must go to trial if a settlement can’t be achieved through mediation.

How to Win a Lawsuit Under FELA?

You must prove 3 things in order to win a FELA lawsuit:

  1. That the railroad company was negligent
  2. That your injury occurred due to the negligence, and
  3. That FELA applies

It’s important that you comprehend your legal right to get the compensation you deserve. A successful FELA lawsuit typically brings compensation for wage loss, medical treatment, suffering, pain, and mental distress. That’s why you need to consider FELA Lawsuit Loans when bringing a claim against a railroad under FELA.

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Jovany Maxwell