It is easy to feel overwhelmed after a serious accident. You may have injuries that you have to tend to at the same time as seeing thousands of dollars in medical bills coming in.
If you were hurt in an accident while working on the railroad, then you should have coverage under the Federal Employers Liability Act, which allows railroad employee injury claims. This act, better known as FELA, provides coverage to those injured while working on a train, railroad equipment or railroad property.
What is the process of a FELA claim?
If you are considering a FELA claim, the first step is to report your accident and injury to your employer. Seek medical attention immediately following the incident, and then look into learning more about your legal rights.
Once the formal proceedings begin, the railroad will begin looking into the accident and its cause. Your attorney can do the same, making sure that the railroad’s findings are similar to their own.
What happens if everyone agrees about what happened?
If everyone in the case can agree on what happened, then you’ll be able to work on settling the claim. The railroad may try to negotiate, but you need to be sure that the money it is offering is fair based on the extent of your injuries.
If you cannot agree to the settlement offer, then you may move toward litigating instead. Your attorney would then file a civil action, which is a lawsuit that your employer would need to respond to.
After that, more evidence is gathered, and both parties prepare to go to trial. You may still settle at any time prior to trial, so if arbitration or mediation work to resolve the issue, you may not need to go to court.
Court is an option, though. A judge or jury would head to case, and you and your employer would make a case. If you lose in court, you do have a right to appeal, which is the last option.
The FELA process can be tricky, but with the right support and knowledge, it’s possible to make a solid claim for compensation.