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What to know about FELA claims

Railroad workers in Connecticut and throughout the country are generally covered by FELA if they are injured on the job. As soon as possible after the injury occurs, a worker should report it to an employer. The employer will then ask the injured employee to fill out an accident report. In addition to notifying the railroad company about the accident, the victim should contact an attorney.

Both the worker's attorney and the railroad company will begin an investigation into the accident. Once each side has been able to gather as much information about the accident as possible, settlement talks will begin. It is important to note that an injured worker is under no obligation to take the first or any offer received during such talks. If settlement talks don't work, a formal trial will be convened. However, a judge may order settlement talks to continue before allowing the trial to proceed.

If a trial does take place, it can be decided either by a judge or by a jury. If a settlement is reached, the terms of the settlement generally cannot be appealed after all parties have agreed to them. Depending on the facts of the case and other variables, an injured worker could spend several months to several years working toward a resolution.

Generally speaking, employers must follow OSHA regulations and other safety rules put into place. If they don't, companies could be liable for medical bills or other damages incurred by a worker after getting hurt on the job. Those who have been hurt at work may want to consult with an attorney to find out what compensation may be available and how to get it.

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