Every year at this time, you start the process of gathering information for your tax return. You look for expense receipts, W2s, 1099s, 1098s for interest deduction on a mortgage, evidence of charitable contributions and/or gifts to non-profit organizations, written log of vehicle mileage, etc. Maintaining accurate records and collecting these documents are important to file an accurate tax return, maximize your refund and defend against any IRS tax audit.
As an injured railroad worker, you should have the same mind set when it comes to in handling your FELA claim. The process of gathering information and documents should start immediately after your railroad work injury.
The railroad’s claim agent and legal department will be doing just that, but for its benefit, not yours. The railroad knows that in order for an injured railroad employee to recover financially for an FELA claim, the railroad worker, unlike a worker compensation claim, must prove the railroad was negligent.
Consider your FELA claim like going through an IRS audit. You have to prove every aspect and detail of your claim. If you don’t have the proof, you may find that you have lost your claim against the railroad.
In a FELA claim, you (not the railroad) have to prove:
- An incident occurred at work.
- The incident was a result of the railroad failing to provide a safe work place or safe equipment.
- The incident resulted in your being injured.
- The extent of your injuries.
- That your injuries caused you to be unable to work and/or ever return to work.
The railroad is not there to help you prove your FELA claim, because it is not in its financial interests to help you. You have to prove your case. And similar to an IRS audit, you don’t want to go it alone. You want to have someone representing you that knows the law and has experience in those matters.
Hoey & Farina knows the law and are experienced FELA / railroad work injury lawyers. We have a proven track record representing injured railroaders and the families of injured or killed railroad workers. We are the help you need when going up against the railroad.
When contacted by an injured railroad worker, our law firm begins immediately collecting facts and information necessary to prove the FELA claim. This is a process which is important to start as soon as possible to better the chances of having a successful outcome of a railroad injury claim. Part of this process often includes a site investigation and/or preserving evidence such as a broken grab iron, defective brake or tracks not in compliance with federal law. This often requires obtaining a court order. Again, failing to take immediate action could allow the railroad to alter or repair possibly critical evidence. The end result could mean you will be unable to prove your FELA claim.
Other relevant information which needs to be collected, some of which may seem trivial at first but could become vitally important as the case proceeds, includes:
- Exact date, time, and location of the accident
- Names and numbers of witnesses to the accident
- Names and contact information for all medical providers (doctors, therapists, hospital, etc.) regarding this injury and any past injuries
- Employment information (seniority date, job title, union name, local / division #, wage history, filed tax returns)
- Union information
- Date and/or copy of personal injury report
When you have been injured on the railroad, there is no reason to go it alone. Help is a phone call away and available any time you need it. Call Hoey & Farina, your FELA claims lawyers / railroad injury attorneys at 888-425-1212.