FELA Claims: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Process
Working on the railroad can be a dangerous job. In fact, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that railroad workers suffer from one of the highest rates of injury and illness when comparing the industry to all other occupations.
If you were injured on the job while working on a railroad, it might be comforting to know that you may be eligible to file a FELA claim. FELA, or the Federal Employers Liability Act, is a federal law that provides compensation to railroad workers who were injured or killed on the job.
At Flint Cooper, we can help you file a FELA claim so that you can get the justice and compensation you deserve after a railroad accident. Our seasoned attorneys have the tools and expertise necessary to deal with even the most complex FELA matters.
In this article, we will discuss some basics about FELA claims for railroad employees, and we will give you a step-by-step guide on the FELA claims process. This way, you can be more fully informed before moving forward with your FELA lawsuit.
What Are FELA Claims?
FELA claims are filed by federal railroad employees who have been injured on the job. Under FELA, a railroad worker can file a claim against their employer and recover damages for costs like medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. FELA claims are a bit different from workers’ compensation because, unlike with workers’ compensation claims, you do have to show that the employer was negligent and that the negligence resulted in your injuries.
A Step-by-Step Guide to the Process
The FELA claims process can be a bit complicated, so when filing a FELA claim, it is best to have an experienced lawyer on your side. However, we try to simplify the FELA claims process for you below.
Step 1: Seek Medical Attention
Before you consider any of the steps below, it is important that you seek medical attention after suffering an injury at work. Most importantly, this will preserve your health, but it will also create official documentation of your injuries. Any medical reports that are made will serve important evidentiary purposes down the line.
Step 2: Report Your Injuries
If you are injured on the job, you will want to report the injuries to your employer as soon as possible. Your employer should provide you with accident report documents that you will use to fill out the details of the incident and your resulting injuries. You should keep a copy of these documents for your own records as well.
Step 3: Contact a FELA Claims Attorney
The next step is to contact an attorney who has experience dealing with FELA claims. Because the FELA claims process can be complex, you will want to have someone who understands the law and relevant procedures helping you. By getting a FELA claims attorney, you can help ensure that your legal rights are protected, that your claim is not compromised, and that you have the best chance of recovering compensation for your injuries.
Step 4: Investigate the Claim
The next step in the FELA claims process is the investigation. The railroad company will look into the incident that resulted in your injuries, and they will look for any signs of negligence.
Your attorney should also conduct an independent investigation to ensure that the railroad company does not try to cover anything up.
Step 5: File the Claim
Your attorney will file a FELA claim on your behalf. Then, the railroad company will likely attempt to settle the claim. If the settlement offer is too low, your lawyer can negotiate a better number. However, if the railroad is unwilling to settle for a reasonable amount, you and your lawyer can proceed to file a civil claim in court. From there, you may go to trial.
Flint Cooper Is Here for You
At Flint Cooper, we understand that a workplace injury can lead to physical, emotional, and financial strain. This is why we work on a contingent basis, which means you don’t have to pay us until we win or settle your case for you. In addition, we offer free, no-pressure consultations to all our potential clients. So if you are unsure about whether you have a FELA claim, you can schedule an appointment and we can help you figure it out together. To contact our office, you can message us online or reach out by phone at 1-866-535-8361.
About the author:
Ethan is a founder and managing partner of Flint Cooper, a law firm specializing in complex litigation. Ethan has extensive experience in personal injury cases, representing clients injured by asbestos, defective pharmaceuticals and medical devices, and leads the firm’s government takings practice.