Steps to Take After Suffering a Railroad Injury

With the number of single-event and cumulative trauma injury lawsuits on the rise, FELA attorneys are advising injured railroad of steps to take to ensure the best outcome in their individual cases.

Reporting the Injury in Writing

We recognize that when a railroad worker suffers an injury or is diagnosed with a condition based on years of repetitive motion in their job, the last thing he or she is thinking about is going through a long, drawn-out legal process. Once the injured worker’s health is stable and he or she is left with expensive medical bills and permanent disabilities, he or she may begin to think different.

Documenting Single-Event Injuries

To ensure the maximum compensation in an injury case (whether it be cumulative trauma or a single event physical injury) it is important to document the injury in writing immediately while the details are still fresh in your mind. Even if you are not sure whether you are going to file a claim, it is important to keep a record of:

  • When and how the injury occurred
  • Identify the cause of injury (faulty equipment, another’s negligence, etc.)
  • Any injuries that were sustained, even if they seem minor

If possible, gather statements from other workers or bystanders who witnessed the accident.

Documenting Cumulative Trauma

Of course the initial onset of a cumulative trauma injury may be a little more difficult to pin point, seeing as how it is not caused by a single event or accident. In these cases, it is important to document the various positions worked and the job requirements that may have attributed to cumulative trauma. For instance:

  • Sitting or standing on the train for long periods of time
  • Lifting heavy objects over and over
  • Bending or stretching in awkward positions to operate machinery

It is also important to keep a written record of any complaints made to your employer about your discomfort, if applicable. Such documentation may help prove employer negligence if your complaints were ignored.

Seek Medical Attention Early On

It is important to seek medical attention early on, particularly when it comes to cumulative trauma cases. If you experience any unusual symptoms such as chronic pain, cramping or stiffness in the shoulder, neck, back, knees, or any other part of the body, it is important to visit your doctor immediately, even if the pain is mild. The earlier you catch it, the better the outcome, both medically and legally.

Seek Counsel From an Experienced FELA Lawyer

After stabilizing your health, the next step is to contact an attorney experienced in handling FELA claims to determine whether you have a legitimate claim. An attorney familiar with FELA cases and railroad injuries will know what to look for and what questions to ask. He or she will listen to the details of your individual case and provide you with legal counsel on how to proceed.

For information about your individual circumstances, contact a Felaw Lawyer at Gordon & Elias, L.L.P.