Q: If I Have an Accident, What am I Entitled To?
A: It is always surprising how many railroaders, including many "old heads," think that simply because you have an accident on duty you are entitled to a settlement. That's not true! Railroaders are covered under thge FELA (Federal Employers' Liability Act), which is a special law that applies only to railroaders, and there is no workers' compensation for your injuries. In order to make out a claim, you must show that your accident was caused at least in part by the negligence of the railroad - that is something the railroad did wrong. If you cannot show that, you may end up with nothing no matter how injured you may be! The something wrong could be a malfunctioning switch, debris in an area where people have to walk, uneven terrain, the negligence of a co-employee. It could be anything that contributes to your accident. This is why the accident report is the most important document in your case. You must put down something on the accident report that shows that the company is at least partly to blame for your accident, and it is even better if it shows that the railroad is entirely to blame for your accident. That is because any part of the accident that is your fault will reduce the amount you are entitled to. It is vitally important that you talk to an attorney as soon as possible to make sure your rights are protected. You can always talk to John Harris about an accident without any obligation. We want to do this to be sure your rights are protected!