When you are injured while working for your railroad company, understanding how to proceed to recover the compensation you deserve is critical. Though most employees are somewhat familiar with the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), they may not know much about the process of filing a claim and recovering funds. Many are unfamiliar with whether they should settle a FELA claim or proceed to a court trial. The following blog explores the differences between these two options and why you must consult a FELA lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options.
What Must I Know About FELA Before Filing?
Before filing a FELA claim, it’s imperative to understand what this act does. Railroads must adhere to the Federal Employers’ Liability Act to provide adequate training and a safe workplace for their workers. Similarly, if the employer had any negligent role in their employee’s injury, they must provide compensation for the damages they’ve endured.
Why Might I Want to Settle My FELA Claim?
When a case proceeds to court, it can be a considerable risk. Working with your attorney and the railroads may allow you to receive funds quickly and without the stress of a trial. Many FELA claims are resolved before a trial, as it is a significant risk for both sides. You may not receive the compensation you want if your employer is found not negligent, and the railroad may be ordered to pay more than what was asked for in the settlement if they are found liable.
If you wish to settle your case, you must consult an attorney first. You should not attempt to negotiate with the railroad representative without legal representation. You should not even make a statement about your injuries until you have discussed your circumstances with an attorney. Attempting to do this can reduce the compensation that you deserve, as you may be unaware of certain benefits.
When Would I Need to Proceed to Trial?
If neither side can come to an agreement on how to settle the case, going to trial may be necessary. However, as previously mentioned, trials can be risky, as the injured party may not recover the compensation they are entitled to if the jury finds the railroad company free of liability or if the railroad company can prove that the injured party was partially negligent, making their injuries worse.
Additionally, going to trial can be an expensive, long process. However, if you’ve consulted with your attorney and they believe going to trial is in your best interest, it’s recommended to follow their advice.
At Doran & Murphy, we understand that a FELA case can be incredibly complex. As such, we’re ready to help you through these difficult times to recover the compensation you deserve. Our team will examine the circumstances of your case to determine the best course of action for your situation. Contact our firm today to learn how we can assist you during this complex process.