Being a railroad worker is dangerous business. In 2015, there were 3,919 accidents and incidents related to railroad work. That included 240 deaths and 1,430 injuries. There were also 691 accidents involving trains, 46 train collisions and 490 train derailments. If you are a railroad worker and have been in an accident you will need a good lawyer. The Federal Employer Liability Act (FELA) governs the treatment of railroad workers. FELA lawyers are the ones who handle these cases. Finding the right one can make all of the difference to the way the case is settled. Here are some tips for finding the right FELA attorney for your case.
- Talk to other workers. Railroad workers see a lot of accidents and problems on the nations railways so the chances are good that you know someone who has had to look to FELA lawyers for help. Ask how your colleague found their FELA attorney and what they thought of the experience of working with them. You may not end up using the same person but you can get your search started that way. The lawyer they saw may be able to refer you to others.
- Ask about the lawyer’s record in the courtroom. You want to find a FELA lawyer who has gotten their clients great settlements outside the courtroom but you also need them to have courtroom experience. When you find a lawyer who has a decent number of good verdicts under their belt, you know that while you do not ever want to go to court on one of these cases, you will be prepared to do so if you have to.
- Get a FELA lawyer with a fierce reputation. You want a lawyer who is known for being the best. The FELA legal arena is a closed universe. People know each other and they talk. You want your FELA lawyer’s good reputation to speak for itself. Even if you do not go to trial, their reputation can go a long way.
- Find a lawyer that knows the lingo. You want a railroad lawyer who talks the talk. All industries have their own vernacular and the railroad industry is no different. You want to talk to FELA lawyers who have investigators who both are able to talk to railroad workers and know what they are talking about. The best railroad lawyers will be able to talk to railroad workers and get their story in their language, using railroad terminology and the like and then be able to take that information and make it understandable to laypeople who will make up any juries. The average person does not know all of the vernacular and terms that are widely used in the railroad industry.
- Make sure the lawyer has the staff to handle your case. Not only does your FELA lawyer need to understand the lingo and railroad law, their staffs need to as well. The law firm needs to have access to all of the equipment and facilities to properly execute mock trials and handle depositions that are taped. In an ideal world, your FELA lawyer will be on the cutting edge of the field.
- Make sure you can trust your FELA lawyer. You want to go to a lawyer that you can trust fully. You should feel that they are looking out for you and are ready to really fight for your case. The last thing you need after you have been injured in a railroad accident is a FELA lawyer who is just looking to punch a clock and get a paycheck. You need them to make your case a priority. There are a lot of FELA lawyers out there. You do not need to go to someone who does not take the situation as seriously as they should.
- Get a lawyer who is prepared for court. Your case may never make it there but your case should be made ready to make that trip if needed. This is one way that FELA lawyers get the best settlements for their clients.
No railroad worker wants to need to look for FELA lawyers but these tips will help you find the right one if you need to do just that.