How We Assess a Potential Cumulative Trauma FELA Claim

Our FELA law firm is proud to say we’ve represented hundreds of former, and current, railroad employees in a myriad of different FELA claims. Our experience extends to helping railroad workers suffering from cumulative trauma injuries related to their railroad work. The information below provides an overview of how our firm analyzes and assesses a potential cumulative trauma FELA claim:

Have You Had Surgery or Scheduled to Have a Procedure in the Near Future? 

The way the railroads evaluate these case is in part based upon the number of “cuts.” Our requirement that the potential client have had a surgery ensures enough upside of the case that what you can recover for the client will be sufficient to justify the costs and effort in pursuing the file. As with every rule, there are always exceptions such as the client who has a spine problem with numerous injections but is not yet surgical.

Severity of the Trauma

In order to have a viable cumulative trauma FELA claim, there is a threshold of severity that needs to be met to ensure the investment of time and resources is worthwhile (for both you and the firm). For example, we typically only accept cumulative trauma cases where a career ending injury is involved.

Discuss the Statute of Limitations

It is important to note that there is a three year statute of limitations for claims under the FELA. If you suffered a bodily injury in a work-related accident, the calculation of the three year statute of limitations period is straightforward and easy. In contrast, when it comes to cumulative trauma cases, it can be difficult to establish the actual accrual date for the harm. The general rule is that you need to file suit within three years of the date that you knew or should have known you had an injury caused by your railroad work.

Normally, the statute of limitations is difficult to determine at the initial consultation. Nevertheless, a strategy for identifying a potential accrual date is reviewing your medical records to see if there is a doctor’s visit reflecting the date symptoms first appeared, the date of the first diagnosis, or the date a medical professional discussed the possible cause of the problem.

Have Questions? Contact Our FELA Law Firm

If you are suffering from a cumulative trauma after devoting years of your life to working for a railroad, you may have grounds to pursue compensatory damages under the FELA. To get a better sense of your legal rights and options, contact our law firm today.


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