Trusted Montana Railroad Injury Law Attorney Representing Railroad Workers in Montana and Beyond
Working on a railroad is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. It’s common for railroad employees to suffer a work-related injury once, if not more, throughout their careers. You shouldn’t have to work in fear of being hurt on the job, but it is important for you and your family to be prepared in case the worst should happen.
Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA)
The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) was enacted to protect railroad workers in the event of injury while in the scope of employment. It’s important that you don’t confuse FELA with worker’s compensation insurance. Indeed, FELA mandates that railroad workers prove that their injury resulted from the negligence and/or misconduct of the railroad company. If a railroad employee can prove that her or his employer contributed to the injury, they are entitled to all past and future medical expenses and lost wages, as well as any other expenses related to the injury.
Due to the lack of workers’ compensation laws for railroad employees, holding a railroad company accountable for damages can be a very difficult task. Railroad companies are constantly working to limit their responsibility for any and all injuries, and managers are trained to protect the railroad’s best interests.
When an accident does occur, the railroad company will be contacting claims agents in order to gather as much information as possible. They will also interview all employee witnesses, stage accident reenactments, interview the injured employee and even attempt to control the medical care and/or treatment she or he receives. Keep in mind that all of this is done to protect the railroad company, not its employees.
You Have Rights — We Can Help Protect Them
While the burden of proof of fault may fall solely on you, certain federal laws are here to help. Federal law gives injured employees the right to receive immediate medical treatment and protection from harassment and/or intimidation. Injured workers are also free from facing questions until completion of their medical treatment. Keep in mind that you are not required to provide statements — you need only to fill out an accident report. This is a crucial component of protecting yourself during the railroad company’s investigation.