The FELA process after railroad accidents

Working for a railroad company in Connecticut and across the country is unique in many ways, least of all, the handling of an injury. Since railroad accidents are not covered by workers’ compensation, like with most other industries, an employee must be familiar with the claims process in order to ensure he or she receives any benefits that might be due. Railroad injuries are covered by the Federal Employers Liability Act, and – unlike workers’ compensation – determining who was at fault for the accident is an important part of the process.

The first step many injured rail workers take is to enlist the help of an attorney with experience in FELA claims. This will ensure that the claims process is followed correctly and the workers’ rights are protected from the beginning. The worker will probably fill out an accident report, and the railroad will begin its investigation of the accident.

The employee and his or her attorney may also investigate the accident to determine liability. The rail worker is trying to prove that the employer or the company was somehow responsible for the injury, either through negligence or misconduct. At this point, the railroad may offer a settlement for the worker’s injuries.

If no settlement is agreed upon, the employee may file suit, and the litigation process begins. At any time during this stage, the parties may reach an agreement. If they don’t, the case may go to trial and may even be heard before a jury. As with any civil case, the judgment resolves the case, though it can be appealed to a higher court.

From the first moments of railroad accidents, having legal counsel can make a crucial difference. An attorney will have the resources and experience to thoroughly investigate an accident, assess the employee’s injuries and represent the worker’s case. The guidance of a dedicated Connecticut attorney is often crucial in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

Source: FindLaw, “Chronology of a FELA Claim“, Accessed on March 18, 2017

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