The FELA attorneys at Cahill Goetsch & Perry, P.C. explain how the FELA litigation process works and what you might expect from a New Jersey FELA award.
If you are an employee of a railroad working in New Jersey and have sustained an occupational or traumatic injury on the job, then you are protected and entitled to benefits under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA). FELA was established to protect railroad employees from unsafe working conditions, and establishes guidelines for litigation and awards in situations when railroad employers have failed in their duty to provide safe working conditions for their employees. The benefits available to an injured employee under FELA litigation include awards for medical treatment, lost wages, damages for pain and suffering, as well as death benefits to families who have lost a loved one as a result of a railroad work injury.
Under New Jersey FELA laws, an injured employee may file a claim against a railroad company if their injury was caused by the negligence of any railroad employee, by the unsafe condition of the railroad’s equipment or property, or by the company’s procedures, training, instruction, or supervision.
The litigation process begins when the injured employee reports the injury to the employer and fills out the appropriate documentation. The claim is investigated by the employer. Negligence must be established in order for the injured worker (plaintiff) to receive an award from the employer. The employer (defendant) may attempt to dispute the plaintiffs’ claim by suggesting that the plaintiff was partially to blame for the injury. This comparative negligence is often the main focus of the defense and will decrease the value of the plaintiff’s award if it can be proved that the plaintiff was at all responsible for the injury. If the parties cannot agree on a favorable settlement then a court trial will take place and a judge or jury will decide the amount of the award.
Effective representation by an experienced New Jersey FELA attorney is crucial to your FELA litigation suit. The FELA law firm, Cahill, Goetsch & Perry is a concerned advocate for railroad injury victims in the Northeast.