Once an injured worker has filed a FELA claim, it is obvious that the railroad company will try to defend itself. The railroad company may send claims agents, railroad officers, and even attorneys to collect information from the injured worker. But, some of this information may end up being used against the injured worker and damaging their chances of receiving compensation. As such, any injured worker should consult an experienced FELA attorney before speaking with any representative of the railroad company.
The following tactics and arguments are some of the more common defenses used by railroad companies. However, this is not an exhaustive list, so it is always wise to speak with a FELA lawyer before talking to any representative of the railroad.
As some injuries may initially seem minor, many railroad workers will postpone seeking medical attention. If there is a delay between the date of the injury and the diagnosis by a medical professional, the railroad company may try to claim that the injury occurred outside of the workplace. If you are injured during your work with the railroad company, seek immediate medical attention, regardless of how minor the injury may seem at first. Visiting a doctor immediately after receiving an injury can establish a documented connection to the injury causing accident. Do not allow any other railroad employee to convince you that you should not seek medical attention.
It is not uncommon for a railroad company to hire a surveillance team to follow the injured worker and videotape their actions in an attempt to record footage of activity that is inconsistent with or contradicts the medical reports following the accident. The surveillance team may follow the injured worker going to medical visits, running errands, or performing any activities that would suggest that the injury is not to the extent claimed. If you have been injured as a result of work for a railroad company, you should speak to a FELA attorney to help ensure that your rights are not violated.
Representatives of the railroad company will try to find inconsistencies and errors in your report if you file an injury claim. It is common for the injured worker to be contacted multiple times by representatives of the railroad company in order to find discrepancies between your reports and those of your coworkers. The injured worker’s statements will be recorded and compared to the injury reports, witness statements, claims agents’ reports, and even medical notes. You should contact a FELA attorney before making any statements about your injury. Securing a FELA attorney can help protect you from direct interaction with representatives of the railroad company.