As a railroad employee who has suffered a railroad accident injury, you may be able to file a claim for compensation under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA). This compensation is awarded for things including your medical bills and lost wages.
Fishkill FELA attorney Ira Maurer has extensive experience pursuing and winning compensation on behalf of injured railroad employees. For a free case evaluation, please call The Maurer Law Firm at 845-896-5295.
Protecting Injured Railroad Employees
Experienced railroad accident lawyer Ira Maurer can fight to recover FELA damages on your behalf for things including:
- Medical costs from the doctor of your choice
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Vocational re-training
- Lost fringe benefits
There is a limited amount of time to make a FELA claim. This statute of limitations is typically three years, but you should consult with experienced attorney Ira Maurer to find out if your claim falls within the statute of limitations. Some injuries, such as chronic illness, develop over time and the 3-year limit may not apply.
In the days prior to the founding of state workers' compensation insurance laws, injured railroad employees working on interstate rail projects often had no recourse for recovering compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering after an injury. Teddy Roosevelt pushed Congress to pass the FELA in response to the high number of injuries and deaths to workers building our nation's railroads in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
Am I Eligible for Compensation under the FELA?
Generally, if you are an employee who was injured in a railroad accident involving interstate railroad or a railroad that maintains tracks that are used by an interstate railroad, then you are probably covered under the FELA.
The FELA covers many types of injuries, including:
- Catastrophic physical injury
- Cumulative trauma/repetitive stress injuries
- Psychological trauma
- Exposure to diesel exhaust
- Injuries caused by a vehicle accident, if the vehicle was operated or hired by the railroad
You are entitled to go to the doctor of your choice under the FELA, instead of going to an employer-approved doctor. Despite what you may think, your supervisor or other company representatives have no right to either communicate with your doctor or be present for your medical exams. Railroad claim agents may try to influence your treating doctors into returning you to work prematurely by holding back payment for your treatment until the doctor approves your return to work.
Unlike state workers' compensation plans, which are a form of insurance, workers on interstate railroad lines have the option of seeking financial damages through the state and federal courts. Under the FELA, you can sue your employer for compensation for your injury. Employees covered under workers' compensation cannot sue their employers and instead rely on their workers' comp benefits to pay their medical expenses and replace their lost wages.
If you are wondering if you are eligible to pursue compensation under the FELA for a railroad accident injury, please call The Maurer Law Firm at 845-896-5295 for a free case evaluation. Ira M. Maurer has more than 30 years of experience and serves Fishkill, Poughkeepsie and the nearby areas of New York.