Saturday, August 1, 2009

What is FELA and Why Should You Care?

The Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) was passed by congress to provide compensation for railroad workers that were injured on the job. FELA establishes the ability for injured workers to bring claims directly against their employers in cases where there is direct negligence by the company. Of course, it is proving that negligence that can sometimes be difficult which is where a qualified lawyer comes in. Working with a FELA attorney (railroad), will allow you the opportunity to truly assess the accident that led to your injury. FELA allows for shared liability so if you were partially to blame for the accident any damages will be reduced accordingly.

A FELA law firm, with experience in dealing with injury cases will be able to help you negotiate the thicket of the law. Railroads are naturally anxious to limit liability wherever possible so it is highly advised that you do not attempt to make claim without the support of a trained and experienced FELA attorney (railroad). Negligence by the railroad is defined as 'failure to exercise reasonable care in its obligation to the employee'. This negligence could take the form of inadequate tools or equipment, poor or non-existent training and lack of on the job support. If negligence played only a small part of the accident cause it is still possible to bring a claim.

A FELA lawyer can review your case and advise you on the best way to present your claim. Due to the fact that the railroads will attempt to keep any payout amount as small as possible, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) has appointed 'designated counsel' around the country to be sure their members can get qualified advice, guidance and representation. There is no requirement to use a union lawyer, however, so review your options and choose the best FELA law firm for your needs.

FELA provides good protection, but because your claim must be presented in court you need to be prepared to fight for what is owed to you - lost wages, future lost wages, medical costs, pain and suffering etc. A qualified FELA attorney (railroad) will be able to help you accurately establish a claim that will stand up in court. A FELA lawyer is a buffer between the railroad and yourself, allowing you to concentrate simply on telling your side - any attacks on your character will be answered by the attorney.

If you have been injured while working for a railroad company and need help filing a FELA claim, Call a FELA attorney at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris today. The railroad injury attorneys at SMSH have represented hundreds of accident victims and they will aggressively fight for your rights. Call now, 1-800-282-2122

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