When you have been injured while working for a railroad company, you may need to get the help of a railroad disability attorney. Railroad worker claims are covered by the Federal Employer’s Liability Act, or FELA, instead of the state’s workers’ compensation laws. Railroad companies are adept at defending themselves against FELA claims to try to deny or minimize their compensation to injured workers. There is also a statute of limitations for filing FELA claims, meaning you have to file your claim in a timely manner, or you will forever lose your right to do so. Here is what you need to know about filing your FELA claim.
FELA Claims and Railroad Companies
Because of their companies’ significant experience with defending against FELA claims, most companies have teams of investigators, lawyers and safety officers who work rapidly to mount their defense case when claims are filed. It is in a company’s best interest to pay you as little as possible or to simply try to deny your claim all together. Even if your company agrees to settle your claim, they are likely to offer you a low settlement to try to minimize their losses. A railroad disability attorney can help you by negotiating with the company’s claims agent in order to seek recovery of the maximum amount of damages you should expect.
Why It’s Important to File Your Claim Early
Like all other types of claims, there is a deadline in place for filing your FELA claim. This deadline, called the statute of limitations, is prescribed by the federal law. You must file your claim no later than 3 years from the date you were injured. If you wait beyond that date, you will permanently lose your ability to file a FELA claim for your injury. Waiting to file, even within the three-year period, is also not a good idea. It is much better to file your claim early. This is because witnesses to your injury accident may forget details of the incident that are important. They may also move on and be very difficult to find. Starting early can help your attorney to depose the witnesses to get their observations on the record. With the passage of time, evidence you need to support your case may also be lost, making your claim more difficult to prove. Finally, as time goes on, you may find yourself under increased pressure to accept whatever offer is extended to you, making it more likely that you will accept an offer that is insufficient to cover the losses you have suffered.
Contact a Railroad Disability Attorney
To speak with a railroad disability attorney at Insler & Hermann, LLP, call us at (914) 286-3030.