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Making A Successful FELA Claim

Railroad jobs are more dangerous than most. Injury — and death — is simply more likely than in other industries. In recognition of this, the federal government provides special rights and protections to railroad workers under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). Under FELA, railroads are compelled to provide a safe workplace and frequently inspect premises and machinery. If a rail worker is injured while on the job, the railroad will typically be liable — even, in some cases, if the worker's own negligence contributed to the injury. The worker can then recover financial compensation to pay for medical expenses and lost wages.

Yet the steps rail workers take after following an injury matter. If protocol is not properly followed, then the worker may forfeit his or her right to restitution. Obtaining a knowledgeable lawyer is key, and to this end Steel & Moss LLP can provide assistance. Based in Atlanta, we have offered legal assistance to rail workers throughout the United States in their FELA injury disputes. Yet there are procedures that rail workers must also follow on their own if their case is to be successful.

Steps To Take Following A Rail Injury

Whether you work in an office, on a train, or in the field, FELA likely covers your injuries if you are employed by a rail company and hurt while on the job. The following are key considerations to make sure your injury is properly documented:

  • Report your injury — If you've been hurt, tell your supervisor as soon as possible. This establishes a formal report of your injury which is crucial to legal proceedings.
  • Document your injury — Get the contact info of any crew members or other witnesses to your injury. Have photographs taken (by a third party) of your injuries, the premises where your injury occurred and any machinery that contributed to your injury.
  • Speak to a lawyer familiar with FELA — FELA injury cases differ greatly from other personal injury matters, and it is important to retain an attorney who is experienced in this specialized area of the law.
  • Seek medical help — See a doctor as quickly as possible. This need not be a doctor recommended by the railroad; consult with someone you trust.
  • Keep your doctor informed — Make sure your doctor is knowledgeable about your medical history and any injuries you've suffered in the past.
  • Stay home from work — Obtain a disqualifying note from your doctor, and do not return to work if you risk aggravating your injuries.
  • Maintain accurate records — Document any wages you forego while out of work, as this will factor into your settlement. Likewise, keep careful track of your doctors' appointments and progress.
  • File on time — With the help of your lawyer, make sure you file all paperwork concerning your FELA disability benefits in a timely manner.

Taking the proper cautions following your injury maximizes your chances of success — and will be crucial to maximizing the damages you recover.

Legal Support In FELA Injury Matters

The lawyers at Steel & Moss LLP have more than 55 years of combined experience in handling FELA claims. If you would like to learn more about our services, please schedule an appointment with us. Initial consultations are free. You can call our firm at 866-551-7480 or reach us online.