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Railroad Injuries & Train Accidents
If You Are Injured as a Railroad Employee
In 1908, Congress passed the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) which governs work-related injuries to railroad workers. Under FELA, merely being injured on the job is not enough to entitle you to recover monetary damages from the railroad. For an injured person to recover damages, the claimant must prove from the evidence that the injury was caused by the railroad's failing to furnish a reasonably safe environment or failing to provide the proper equipment for work.
Whenever an accident occurs, the railroad company will hire trained claims adjusters and attorneys to protect their interests. These adjusters and legal staff work for the railroad company, not you. They will investigate the accident, take witnesses’ statements, photograph the scene and equipment, and make on-site measurements.
After a claim is investigated, the claims adjuster will speak to the railroad company’s attorneys who are knowledgeable of important FELA court decisions. They will then attempt to take a written or taped statement all in effort to minimize the railroad's responsibility and maximize your responsibility for having caused the accident.
National Research Counsel Special Report 241, published by the Transportation Research Board, concluded that 20% of injured railroad workers who hire attorneys receive 70% of the money paid out by the railroad companies. This means the other 80% of injured railroad workers who did not hire attorneys split only 30% of the money paid out on FELA claims.
If You Have Been Injured in a Train Wreck
Accidents involving trains and automobiles can be the most devastating of all accidents. Injuries are often serious, if not deadly.
What to Do Following a Railroad Accident:
Obtain names, addresses and telephone numbers of all witnesses;
Photograph the accident scene, including all vehicles involved and any visible injuries;
Tell your doctor exactly how the injury occurred and describe all symptoms.
Be careful giving statements to representatives of the train company. Truthful statements you make in an effort to be helpful can easily be misinterpreted and turned against you. Always consult an attorney before giving such a statement.
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