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What are next steps after a railroad-related worker injury?

If you are injured in the course of any type of job, you might be covered by workers' compensation insurance. Appropriately reporting the injury is a critical step toward compensation in almost any case, but the steps you take if you are injured while working in the railroad industry might be a bit different than steps taken by someone injured in a different workspace. This is because railroad injuries could be covered under the Federal Employers Liability Act.

Unlike workers' compensation plans in most industries, compensation under FELA requires that an employer is somehow liable for the injury. This means extra steps might be included in the claim review process, making it important for an injured worker to document his or her case and seek assistance with a claim.

Immediately following an injury, a worker should report the issue to a supervisor. Complete a report detailing the injury in keeping with your employer's guidelines. Most employers have specific forms and requirements for such reports.

After turning a report in to your employer, create your own document reflecting the incident. Include information about what you were doing at the time of the injury, contributing actions of the employer and other staff members, the conditions of equipment and the environment at the time of the accident and any other information you think is important to the incident.

Depending on the situation, you might need to seek medical attention immediately -- even before filing paperwork and making your own documentation. If medical attention isn't immediately required, it's still a good idea to get checked out. Medical reports might also help you make a case for compensation later.

If you are pursuing a FELA claim, consider consulting a lawyer and doing so before any hearing is conducted in the matter. A hearing decision before you are legally ready can derail your case and make it less likely the outcome will be in your favor.

Source: FindLaw, "FELA Claims: What to Do If You Are Injured," accessed Jan. 08, 2016

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