Understanding how to deal with claims agents after a railroad worker injury is vital because making the wrong move could significantly impact the outcome of a case. Train worker accidents are not like traditional workers’ compensation cases. To win benefits under FELA, injured workers must prove that the railroad’s negligence was at least partially responsible for the injuries.
All Cards are on the Table
It is crucial to discuss everything related to work history including reprimands, sanctions, and previous events with a railroad injury lawyer when pursuing compensation. The individual’s employer will typically have everything they need on file to dispute a claim. Putting everything on the attorney’s table before negotiating a settlement helps prepare defenses and counter-arguments against paying the claim. However, individual’s should be on guard at work and when engaging company representatives. It is best to avoid giving statements or agreeing to things that may be used against the individual to deny the claim or may be contrary to rights granted under FELA.
Sharing information about the employer’s actions, negligent behaviors, and safety violations can help the attorney establish a pattern of abuses that justify the claim. This information, including documents, photographs, and eyewitness statements can be utilized to demonstrate that the employer willfully placed employees at risk of serious injury in the workplace.
Careful Calculations are Critical
Calculating the appropriate sum involves consideration of the individual’s overall health, age, and work history. It also requires determining the impact the injury will have on their future health, health care needs, employment, and earning capacity. The more solid the research and effort that goes into the calculation, the better the outcome for the claimant.
Use the Union
Union representatives can help manage the day to day details of an individual’s job, time off, etc. Most importantly, the union can help protect the individual from retaliatory actions that the employer may take while the negotiations move forward.
Even when a railroad company accepts liability, it is common for companies to put forth lowball offers in the hopes that a seemingly large sum will resolve the claim. The reality is that the lowball offer often leaves many expenses off the table. Once the offer is accepted, the claimant has no further legal recourse to recover compensation. Any expenses above the amount recovered will be the responsibility of the plaintiff.