There are at least five good reasons to hire a railroad injury attorney. The old adage that anyone who chooses to represent himself has a fool for a client applies to railroad injury cases just as it does with any legal case. Like it or not, the complications involved in a railroad injury case require experienced handling. In addition, railroad injury attorneys typically work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that one never needs to pay them unless they achieve a settlement or a courtroom victory.
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Five Reasons to Hire a Railroad Injury Attorney
1. Railroad Injury Law is Unique –
The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) was passed by the government in 1908 to protect railroad workers injured on the job. FELA differs from state worker’s compensation laws and state automobile injury laws. Railroad employees injured in workplace accidents may recover damages based on their losses, which can include past, present and future wages; pain and suffering; and loss of enjoyment of life.
FELA gives engineers, brakemen, switchmen and other railroad employees the right to sue for on-the-job injuries in state or federal courts. The railroad law has been strengthened by both Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court over the years to provide good protection to injured railroad employees.
To recover damages under FELA, however, a plaintiff must show some that negligence by the railroad caused the plaintiff’s injury. It takes an experienced railroad injury attorney to gather the evidence needed to put such a negligence case together.
2. Experience is Everything
Whether the injury claim is something as simple (relatively speaking) as carpal tunnel syndrome, or as complicated as trauma injuries, it is critical to have an attorney who knows FELA and has experience in railroad law. The FELA provides every railroad worker with the right to sue in state or federal court, and the choice of venue is something an injured person would be wise to discuss with an experienced railroad injury attorney.
3. Accept a settlement offer, propose another, or go to trial?
Whether to accept a settlement offer, propose a different settlement, or go to trial is a decision best discussed with experienced railroad counsel. There are so many factors to consider, including a long history of legal precedents and other crucial information which most laymen will not know or fully understand. An experienced railroad injury attorney can help an injured party separate wheat from chaff, and choose the individual’s best option for success.
4. Railroad Attorneys win more Compensation than Attorneyless Plaintiffs
Statistical evidence compiled by the Transportation Research Board, National Research Counsel Special Report 241 concluded: “Statistical evidence has established that of all injured railroad workers, the 20% of injured railroad workers who hire attorneys receive 70% of the money paid out by the railroads. The remaining 80% of the injured railroad workers who don’t hire attorneys split only 30% of the money paid out on FELA claims.”
5. The Railroad Hires its own Attorneys
The railroad’s own attorneys will question any injured railroad worker following any accident or compensation claim. Those questions are designed to find ways to minimize or negate any railroad liability. A railroad’s attorneys favor the railroad, period. An injured worker without his own counsel is at a severe disadvantage. Anything the injured worker says to a railroad attorney may be used against him. A good railroad injury attorney working for an injured man helps protect him against saying anything that might unfairly affect his case. Knowing what not to say can be as important as knowing what to say.