Railroad deaths have increased since 2018, making railway workers more at risk for on-site injuries and fatalities. For any railroad employee, even retirees, it’s essential that they start a FELA claim process with an attorney to receive the monetary compensation they deserve.
If you’re a retired railroad worker wondering whether you can file a FELA claim, take a look at this helpful guide to learn more about the deadlines and the process.
How Do FELA Claims Work?
The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) helps protect railroad workers from injuries attained while working. These injuries may range from immediate injuries, like a broken leg, to long-term diseases, like lung cancer.
However, there is a time limit for how long a worker can wait before filing a claim. The deadline for a FELA claim is three years after the incident. If impacted workers wait longer to file a claim, they’re more likely to experience court issues and a thrown out claim.
This three-year deadline means railroad workers must start the claim process as soon as they realize they were injured or exposed to something that will injure them down the line.
Since diseases like lung cancer take a long time to manifest, railroad workers exposed to dangerous toxins while working must act immediately.
Can Retired Workers Still File a FELA Claim?
A retired railway worker can still file a FELA claim, but they must meet the three-year deadline. If the retiree experienced an injury or disease within three years of their retirement, they could technically file a claim.
Unfortunately, not all injuries and diseases appear immediately. Railway workers who think they were exposed to potentially dangerous toxins like asbestos need to ensure they take the necessary steps towards filing a claim.
While it’s possible that the exposure won’t lead to injury or disease, the railroad company is still liable for putting workers at risk.
Tips for Filing a FELA Claim
If you need to file a FELA claim and are within the deadline to do so, it’s time to take action. There are a few necessary steps you can take to make your claim process more streamlined.
Hire an Attorney
Hiring an attorney who is experienced with FELA claims is vital for getting the compensation you deserve. Attorneys are experts in FELA law and understand what you need to prove your claim.
Be Proactive With Proof
Filing a FELA claim requires a substantial amount of proof. This proof is simple to get if the injury was a result of a derailment or group injury.
However, personal claims without witnesses are a bit tougher to handle. Thankfully, your attorney will help you every step of the way.
Know Who Was at Fault
Filing a claim is straightforward if the railway company is fully at fault for injuries. Company negligence will certainly lead to fair compensation. However, if an injured worker is even somewhat at fault, the process gets more complicated and may reduce compensation.
Know Your Compensation Rights
Regardless of your situation, any injury or disease attained as a railroad worker is serious and requires immediate action. Filing a FELA claim for fair compensation is a small consolation for the potential trauma and long-term impacts you may experience as a result of your job injury.
If you’re still looking for legal tips and guides, you’re in the right place. Take a look at the rest of the blog for more insights into law, claims, and worker’s compensation.
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