1. When I suffer an injury, am I covered by Workers’ Compensation?
No, a special statute called the Federal Employers' Liability Act, or FELA covers you.
2. When I suffer an injury, what is the first thing I need to do?
Get medical attention, if needed, and report the injury as soon as possible.
3. What steps should I take following the reporting of an injury?
Contact your union representative as soon as possible. Your union representative is well versed in your contract and can provide you with valuable information regarding your claim process.
4. Because I am a railroad employee, am I entitled to compensation regardless of who was at fault?
No, in order to collect damages, under the F.E.L.A., the injured party must show that the railroad was at fault to some extent, or was negligent in some manner. The railroad must provide you with a safe place to work.
5. If I feel that it will be necessary for me to hire an attorney, what issues should I consider?
Only contact attorneys designated by your union. These designated attorneys are working with members of your union on a daily basis. They are well versed in the daily aspects of your job, and the tactics employed by the carrier with regard to injuries and their defense.
6. Should I rely on others to maintain a record regarding my injury?
No, as soon as possible, following an injury, you should begin to note information regarding your injury. You should always keep a record of this type of information.
7. Should I give the claim agent a recorded statement?
An injured worker should not give any statements other than the information in the personal injury report.
8. If I am a witness to an injury, should I decline to give a recorded statement?
It is important to understand that if a statement is requested from a co-worker, it is necessary for that co-worker to provide the statement, or be subject to disciplinary action.
9. How long do I have before I resolve my injury claim?
Generally, you have three years from the date of the injury. This is called the statute of limitations. However, the statute of limitations may be different for occupational diseases, such as asbestos related lung disease, silicosis and illness caused by chemical exposure.
10. How much money should I expect for my claim?
Compensation that you receive for your injury is based on several different factors. It will not be possible for anyone to tell you what amount of money you will receive until many questions regarding your health, earnings and medical expenses have been answered.
11. Do I have any benefits as an injured railroad employee?
Yes, railroad workers are entitled to Railroad Retirement Board Sickness Benefits.