What To Do If Injured In a Railroad Accident
Though people don’t often use railroads as used in decades past, railroad transport remains active. These railroads need to be maintained often to ensure passengers safety. But due to the complexity of the machines involved in the railroad industry, workers often get injured, and others lose their lives. Railroad injuries come in many forms; some can be minor while others are severe. One thing to keep in mind for any railroad worker is that there is compensation. The main question that arises is whether workers’ compensation covers a railroad worker. These workers are protected by the Federal Employer’s Liability Act known as FELA. Injured railroad workers can seek compensation and get what they deserve due to the strong legal remedies in place.
Understanding How FELA Works
Any worker injured in the line of duty needs to be compensated. However, some workers are often misinformed when it comes to obtaining compensation. The good news is that even though railroad workers are just like any other worker, they get better coverage under FELA. A worker can receive four main types of injuries under FELA. They include:
- Traumatic brain injuries: Such injuries lead to loss of coordination, reduced cognitive ability, slurred speech among other long term injuries.
- Worsening of pre-existing conditions
- Repetitive motion injuries sometimes referred to as cumulative trauma. Such injuries may affect muscles, tendons or nerves. They are caused by doing performing the same motion repeatedly.
- Occupation diseases caused by the work environment or any other activity related to work such as post-traumatic stress.
Unlike workers compensation, there is no financial limit as to what a railroad worker may receive as compensation. Nevertheless, for FELA, a worker needs to prove negligence to recover from injuries suffered. If you have been injured while performing maintenance of way or any other railroad construction activity, you need to file a claim and get compensated. To ensure you take real action, you can consider consulting the best lawyers in Wasilla, Alaska. Proving negligence on your FELA claim may not be as easy as you think. It’s a hurdle that requires a legal expert who has dealt with such cases. The railroad negligence may fall under different categories. Some include:
- Your employer failed to train you properly
- Not having proper tools and equipment’s for work
- Provision of little workforce leaving much to handle by few workers
- Failure to provide adequate working environment safety rules
The court not only requires a worker to prove that the employer was negligent, but that the negligence led to their injuries. FELA contains certain rights and protections for railroad workers, but proving negligence also provides that workers are refrained from making unreasonable financial recovery.
What You Need To Do After Railroad Injuries
For any work-related injury, you need to know what to do to secure reasonable compensation. This is the case with railroad injuries. Therefore, you need to:
- Seek medical help immediately: Your health is a priority. Therefore, seeking the right medical treatment is vital. In most cases, Railroad Company may want a worker to be treated by their doctor. Any injured worker in Alaska has the right and responsibilities. One of the rights is to choose a treating doctor for your injuries. This ensures that you get the medical care you need and be able to preserve your eligibility when it comes to payment.
- Inform your supervisor or manager about the injury: This should be done as soon as possible. It should be in writing and within 30 days after the injury occurred.
- Consult a lawyer: Look for an experienced lawyer who knows the ins and outs of dealing with railroad accident cases. Your lawyer will follow through with paperwork and communication to ensure they have the right evidence when it comes to seeking compensation.
If your FELA claim is successful, you can expect to have the below recoverable damages:
- Medical expenses- incurred and future
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
Getting Legal Help
When it comes to railroad cases, it becomes so challenging to obtain compensation, whether it’s from an individual or a corporate. No one wants to be held liable when it comes to such accidents. Worse enough, the insurance company involved fights tooth and nail to ensure you get the lowest amount possible for any injuries suffered. If you have been injured while working on a railroad, getting the right compensation will depend on how well you can prove negligence on the part of the railroad. That you were never presented with a safe place to work on; hence, you suffered injuries. A lawyer who has dealt with such cases should walk you over the case until you get the financial support you deserve. Remember that you need to act quickly to ensure you bring your claim within three years after the injury. This is according to FELA claims statute of limitations. Some of the injuries may take time, and this may bring about a lot of confusion in determining when the date of injury begins to run. If you fail to adhere to the set time limit, your claim may be barred, and you will not receive any compensation no matter the evidence provided.