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Railroad workers do not fall under the workers compensation systems that provide medical and disability benefits for employees in almost every other industry.
To recover for an on the job injury, railroad workers must prove their cases under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act or FELA. Proof is required that the injury to the worker was caused, in whole or in part, by the negligence of the railroad through the conduct of another railroad employee, agent, and/or a contractor. In contrast to workers’ compensation laws, which create a no-fault system of compensation, FELA requires a showing of negligence or fault.
Every injured railroad worker must remember that there is a strong possibility that he or she could be involved in litigation against his employer at some point following the injury and act accordingly. The railroad will be very aware of its exposure each time a worker is injured and it probably trained its supervisors to immediately begin gathering information to defend itself. In the event you are injured, you must realize that you may now be viewed by the railroad as an opponent. The railroad will do everything lawful in its power to undermine your claim and limit its expense. You must take steps to protect yourself. First, make certain that you obtain the best medical care available. Second, make a note of all the persons known to you who witnessed the accident and/or who have knowledge of the circumstances. Third, avoid giving a written or recorded statement until you have spoken to a lawyer or a union representative. Even if you are told that giving a statement is a routine step in the event of an injury, avoid it. Things you say in a statement will be used against you in court. Fourth, speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible and give him/her all the information you can about what happened. Following these steps will help you protect yourself and obtain the best recovery under the circumstances.
Our experienced trial lawyers at The Hamilton Firm can help you with your claim. Do not hesitate to call. There is no charge for consultation, and no fee is charged unless we are successful in obtaining a settlement or recovery for you.