How Does the FELA Claims Process Work?

Before workers’ compensation laws existed in every state, the Federal Employer’s Liability Act was developed to protect railroad workers. If you were injured on the job as a railroad worker, a FELA attorney can help you successfully navigate the claims process. 

Who can I turn to after being injured on the job as a railroad worker?

Since railroads travel over state lines, federal protection became necessary to make sure that railroad workers were covered for their on-the-job injuries no matter where they took place. There are specific steps that must be taken to file a FELA claim and reach a judgment or settlement that covers your railroad injuries.

To recover financial compensation for your damages. You will need to bring a claim under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act. These claims can be challenging, and the filing process can be difficult to understand and navigate. An experienced FELA attorney can help you secure the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries.

The Virginia railway accident attorneys from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have been seeing successful results in their railway injury cases for nearly four decades. Contact us today for a free consultation regarding your FELA claim. 

FELA vs Workers’ Comp

An employee who is hurt on the job and plans to file a workers’ comp claim only has to prove that their injury occurred during and in the scope of their employment. These claims are much easier to handle since the employer’s negligence doesn’t need to be proven.

A FELA claim, however, requires that the injured railway worker not only prove their employer’s negligence but also that the negligence was the immediate cause of their injury. In other words, the railway company plainly failed to protect your safety, and the unsafe conditions directly caused your injury. 

The FELA Claim Filing Process

Due to FELA’s complicated claims process and numerous strict requirements, you most likely want to meet with an experienced personal injury lawyer before you try to file a claim on your own. The FELA claims process includes:   

  • Filing an accident report as soon as you are injured 
  • Your lawyer and the railway will thoroughly investigate your accident, decide if negligence existed, and document any injuries you received.
  • Next, a settlement negotiation meeting might take place. This is where you and your FELA lawyer will determine if the settlement the railroad is offering is fair compensation for your damages.
  • If both sides are unable to reach a settlement, your attorney might recommend filing a civil action. If you decide to do this, they will draft and file a legal complaint. 
  • Your lawyer may also recommend that you participate in Alternative Dispute Resolution which is a form of mediation in which both sides work toward a fair settlement, either voluntarily or by court order.
  • If a settlement still cannot be reached, the matter will go to trial. A jury or judge will hear evidence, hand down a verdict, and, if appropriate, award the victim a judgment. 

The FELA claims process is complex and intimidating. The railway company will use its claims people to build a case against you, making the whole undertaking even harder. You need to work with skilled, reputable lawyers to make sure your interests are protected. 

Speak With an Experienced FELA Lawyer Today  

Railroad companies have nearly unlimited resources that include strong legal representation. They are prepared to do whatever is necessary to reduce their liability and minimize the compensation that you receive. 

The Virginia railway injury attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp have handled hundreds of cases under the Federal Employers Liability Act. If you were injured in the scope of your employment as a railroad worker, call our law firm at (833) 997-1774 to schedule your free consultation today. 

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