You may already have read our list of what to do following a railroad injury. Just as important for protecting your legal rights and medical privacy, as well as for helping ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuriy, is knowing what not to do when an rail, train or track accident occurs.
Litigating against railroad companies is tough business. Talking to the insurance company or the railroad company only makes their job easier. With that in mind, remember these don’ts:
- Do not sign any medical release forms without talking to a lawyer first. If you do sign these forms, the railroad company, their insurance agency, and their lawyers may be able to access some or all of your medical files.
- Do not sign any statements other than the accident report. The accident report is the only statement that the law requires you to make. Just like anything you say can be used against you in a criminal court, anything you sign can be used against you in a civil trial.
- Do not make any oral statements, either. If anyone from the railroad company or their insurance agency wants to talk to you about your claim, direct them to the accident report or to your attorney.
- Do not answer “no” to questions on the accident report that deal with defective equipment. Unless you inspected all the equipment beforehand, you are not in a position to know whether or not a defect existed. An answer of “currently unknown” is a much more appropriate and much safer answer.
- Do not allow company officials to stay with you in the treating room. It may seem like they are being supportive, but you have a right to doctor-patient confidentiality. If you allow anyone else to stay in the room with you, you are waiving that right and the things that are said may later be used against you by the railroad company or their insurance agents.