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3 steps injured railroad workers need to take for a FELA claim

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2023 | Railroad Accidents

Railroad workers can get hurt on the job for many different reasons. Most commonly, an unsafe work condition can lead to an injury or a piece of equipment could malfunction or fail, leading to a worker getting seriously hurt. There are innumerable job risks for those who work for railroads, and employees need immediate professional advice if and when such instances occur. Most recently, precision railroading has led to the reduction of workers in nearly every craft, causing numerous injuries due to railroads cutting corners to maximize their monetary profits.

When an incident occurs at work that leads to an injury, railroad workers have to take the right steps if they want to protect themselves. Railroads and their employees are covered by the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) which affords railroad employees the right to make a claim after they get hurt on the job. Railroads and their employees are not covered by any state workers’ compensation laws. The FELA is a unique statute that possesses many evidentiary burdens that don’t exist in other workplaces in order to trigger recovery.

What does an injured railroad worker need to do after getting hurt on the job?

Notify their employer of the incident

It is mandatory that the injured railroad employee notify his/her employer that they were injured on the job. All railroads have rules regarding this subject, and not following these rules can lead to employee discipline. Aside from disciplinary concerns, first notifying coworkers and then a supervisor is necessary to corroborate an FELA injury claim.

Secure medical evaluation from their own doctor

Getting immediate medical treatment is necessary in every case. Proper review and treatment by a licensed medical professional will be important for recovery and also for validation of their claims of lost income and potential medical expenses. To this end, it is critical that in addition to where the railroad may take the employee for treatment, he/she needs to seek care from their own medical doctor – an advocate for their medical needs who will be able to articulate the medical issues caused by the incident.

Contact a FELA personal injury attorney at Dunn Harrington

FELA helps protect railroad workers who get hurt on the job, but they will need to pursue a claim in court in many cases. FELA claims can lead to compensation for lost wages, non-economic losses like pain and suffering, and potentially the cost of medical treatment. They will also often face challenges in that process that necessitate professional support from someone familiar with these complex legal claims and the rules associated with ensuring claims are filed in a timely fashion.

Seeking legal guidance to better understand the proper steps to take after getting hurt as a railroad worker may improve someone’s chances of securing compensation for their lost wages and medical care costs.

Please contact us at Dunn Harrington for a FREE evaluation of your legal rights at 872-282-4603 or via our online form.