The Federal Employers Liability Act protects the rights of railroad workers who suffer injuries while on the job.
However, there are various reasons why FELA claims may face denials, leaving injured workers facing uncertainty.
1. Insufficient evidence
Without compelling evidence, a FELA claim is vulnerable to denial. Injured workers must carefully document their injuries, the circumstances leading to them, and any negligence on the part of their employer.
2. Failure to report promptly
Timeliness is key in FELA claims. Failing to report an injury promptly can jeopardize a claim. Injured workers must notify their employer as soon as possible and follow proper reporting procedures. Waiting too long to report an injury may lead to a denial on the grounds of contributory negligence.
3. Inadequate medical documentation
Inadequate medical documentation can hinder a FELA claim’s success. To avoid denial, injured workers should seek immediate medical attention, follow prescribed treatment plans, and maintain detailed medical records. A well-documented medical history can strengthen the case against an employer’s negligence.
4. Lack of eyewitnesses
Eyewitness accounts can be pivotal in FELA claims, corroborating the injured worker’s version of events. Without witnesses, employers may dispute the circumstances of the injury. Workers should try to identify and gather contact information for any potential witnesses to support their claims.
In 2022, 6,252 railroad workers dealt with nonfatal injuries on the job. When those injuries mean lost wages and medical expenses, counting on a FELA claim is important. Although denial may seem like the end of the road, workers can take legal steps to get their due compensation.