After sustaining an injury, railroad workers can file a claim under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). It differs from typical workers’ compensation cases because it focuses on injuries caused by the railroad’s negligence. Due to the nature of this claim type, there is a proper way to report and process these incidents.
Workers should take measures to ensure their reports’ accuracy when filing a FELA claim. Doing so can help make their claim reflect the damages sustained from their injuries. If a railroad worker intends to proceed with a FELA claim, they should consider practicing the following:
- File the accident report immediately, including exact details about the incident. Ideally, a local or general union representative should be present while filling out and submitting the necessary forms.
- Avoid including information or suggestions from the railroad’s representative unless it can improve the report’s accuracy. Indicate any forms of negligence, such as equipment defects, if applicable.
- Avoid providing additional statements aside from the details within the accident report.
- Seek medical care as soon as possible. Some railroads might recommend seeing associated health care providers, but it is unnecessary. Depending on the situation, a worker could seek treatment from any qualified medical practitioner.
- Consult legal professionals to help determine what options are appropriate. Speaking to the local or general union chairman can also provide insight into what to do next.
Nevertheless, the proper course of action can vary based on the circumstances of the incident. Other factors can affect the process, which could depend on the information within the report.
Prioritizing the report’s accuracy and consistency
Reporting the accident and receiving medical attention for the injury is a top priority. Aside from getting the necessary care for recovery, these procedures can help document the exact details, potentially pinpointing what contributed to the injury. An accurate and consistent accident report can help guide the worker and other involved parties on how to proceed appropriately.