The questions on this page were answered by our team of Virginia Beach & Norfolk personal injury attorneys. The questions are categorized by practice area such as car accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death, etc. If you have specific questions about your situation, contact our firm to set up a free consultation with an actual attorney.
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Should I Believe What the Railroad Tells Me About Filing a FELA Claim?
When the railroad sends you a pamphlet saying it will fairly compensate you for your work injury and arguing that hiring your own lawyer will accomplish nothing but costing you a fortune, do not trust that the company is telling you the whole story.
For instance, no lawyer who advises and represents injured railroad workers is looking to cheat thier client. By law and the ethics of the profession, your lawyer must present you a written agreement that details all legal fees, which are typically taken as a percentage of the recovery. You will almost definitely not to pay anything upfront. And f you do not secure a settlement or win a lawsuit, you should not need to pay anything at all.
What the railroads never tell you, is they are having their lawyers figure out ways to defeat your claim while you deal with the claim agent, and vital evidence that you own lawyer would acquire is not being acquired on your behalf. But, if you have permanent injuries not hiring a lawyer is even worse.
The railroad claims agent will never get reports from your doctors about the permanent injuries you have suffered in order to decide to pay you more for permanent consequences of your injury. The claim agent will totally ignore the future consequences. And, the claim agent will never tell you whether the railroad is aware that it violated a safety regulation or was negligent, which is a condition that you must prove in order to recover under the Federal Employers Liability Act.
In summary, you should seek a free confidential consultation from an experienced railroad attorney no matter what scary stories your employer tells you.
Does the fact I was hurt while working for a railroad automatically qualify me for benefits under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA)?
FELA is not a workers' compensation law that automatically covers employees who suffer injuries on the job. Rather, FELA is a negligence-based law, which means the employee must prove some type of negligence on the part of the railroad contributed in any way, "even in the slightest", to the injury suffered by the employee.
Although FELA does not provide automatic coverage to employees injured while working for the railroad, the U.S. Supreme Court has directed courts handling FELA cases to keep in mind the congressional intent of the stature, protection of railroad employees and to apply the protection of the laws liberally. With this direction in mind, courts have interpreted FELA to require a railroad to provide employees with a reasonably safe place to work, reasonably safe and suitable tools, and adequate assistance. These general protections for railroad workers are in addition to safety regulations such as the Locomotive Inspection Act and Safety Appliance Act.
- A Virginia FELA Attorney Discusses What Not to Do After Being Injured While Working on the Railroad
- FELA: Overview of the Duty to Provide Reasonable Assistance
- Why Railroad Workers Must Know and Comply With Rule G
What happens in a train to train collision?
A train to train collision is one of the most destructive types of crashes that can happen. The only cause of a train to train crash is negligence on the part of the railroad, either by railroad employees or railroad equipment. These crashes often result in explosions, derailments, and injuries and deaths to hundreds of victims.
What is a train derailment accident?
A train derailment is when the train runs off its tracks. When derailments occur, passengers in the train can suffer serious injuries. Derailments are often caused by train operator error, train malfunction, or improperly or poorly maintained sections of the track.
What is a train and car accident?
One of the most common types of train accidents is train and car crashes. Each year, there are more than 300 people killed when their vehicles are slammed into by a train. When a train hits a vehicle, the force is equivalent to a vehicle hitting a soda can. In the majority of train and car accidents, vehicle occupants usually suffer severe or fatal injuries.
What are some safety tips to follow in railyards to avoid injury, and to make it more likely I could file a successful FELA claim in case of injury?
- Use all safety gear the railroad provides
- Only do tasks in the yard you are trained to do.
- Do not modify any tools you use
- Use ladders, handholds and stairs
- Always participate in safety briefings
- Never walk under suspended loads
- Make note of any damage to trains or locomotives and report this information to your supervisor
So, the railroad will try to show I was indifferent to safety rules and this caused my injury?
Yes. Showing railroad workers as indifferent to safety allows the rail company to avoid paying for worker injuries, even if the company engaged in bad safety practices. Railroad workers can protect themselves from having their FELA claim rejected by following basic rail yard safety tip?
I have been injured while working in a rail yard. What should I know about attempting to obtain compensation from my employer for my injuries?Our Virginia railroad injury attorneys have learned that rail corporations will try nearly any method to convince the jury that you inflicted harm on yourself by breaking safety rules. Major railroads such as Amtrak, CSX and Norfolk Southern know they only can be held liable under the Federal Employers Liability Act or FELA, if evidence is shown the company acted negligently.
What is the period of time to file a suit for railroad worker on the job injury claims under the FELA (Federal Employer’s Liability Act)?
Three years from when the worker knew or should have known that their injury or disease arose from work at the railroad. In disease cases, the key is when the 3 year timeframe begins is the tricky issue, so consult with one of our experienced Virginia railroad worker injury attorneys on this issue.
I felt something in my back while I was doing a work task several days ago and one of my co-workers knows about it. I didn't file an accident report but now my doctor says I may need to get an MRI. Is it too late for me to make a work-related claim or file an accident report?
It's definitely not too late because the federal law governing worker claims for on‑the‑job injuries does not require an accident report ever have been filed. Also, a railroad cannot fire you for simply making a report at the point where your problem manifests into a serious injury. Consult with an experienced railroad accident injury attorney at our firm if this is a situation you find yourself in.