When you’re hurt on the job due to the negligence of your railroad employer, you may know you have to contact an attorney to help you file your Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) claims, as these lawsuits can be hard to navigate on your own. However, you may not understand why it may be in your best interest to consult with outside experts in addition to your attorney. The following blog explores what you must know about these professionals and why hiring a FELA lawyer is vital to getting the compensation you deserve from a negligent employer.
What Do Outside Experts Do?
Outside experts, also called expert witnesses, are established professionals in their field with the necessary training, experience, and education to speak on a subject. They provide their professional opinion about a situation using their training to help formulate their thoughts on the circumstances.
It’s important to understand that outside experts’ qualifications will be evaluated before the start of a case to ensure they have the necessary experience and specialized knowledge to comment on the circumstances.
I’ve Worked on the Railroad for Years. Why Do I Need an Expert?
Though expert witnesses may not have the same practical experiences of working on the railroads, they do have the skills necessary to examine a situation and explain it to the courts.
For example, an expert in railroad operations may be able to examine the piece of equipment that malfunctioned, which resulted in your accident. Using their skills, they can provide their opinion on how maintenance or repair could have prevented the malfunction and, in turn, the injuries you suffered.
Similarly, a vocational rehabilitation expert can help estimate your earnings prior to your injury and what you will likely earn following the accident. This helps ensure that you can receive the damages you are entitled to if your earning capability has decreased as a result of your employer’s negligence.
If an Expert Can Help, Why Do I Need an Attorney?
It’s vital to understand that having the testimony of an outside expert does not supersede the importance of hiring an attorney. Though an expert witness can help supplement your claim by providing the necessary evidence, hiring an attorney is the single most important thing you can do when filing a FELA claim. A witness cannot provide advice or evidence to support your case like a lawyer does. They are simply there to provide the facts surrounding the circumstances of your railroad injury.
At Doran & Murphy, our dedicated legal team understands how devastating these injuries can be to victims and their families. As such, we will work tirelessly to help you receive the compensation you are entitled to at the hands of a negligent employer. Contact us today to learn how we will fight for you.