FELA Claims due to Delayed Medical Treatment

The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) is a United States federal law that was enacted in 1908 to provide compensation to railroad employees who are injured while on the job. Unlike state workers’ compensation laws, FELA allows injured railroad workers to sue their employers for damages and requires proof of negligence on the part of the railroad to recover. Delayed medical treatment is one way in which a railroad may be negligent under FELA.

Table of Contents

1. What Constitutes Delayed Medical Treatment?

Delayed medical treatment refers to situations in which a railroad fails to provide prompt and adequate medical care to an injured employee. This can include failing to provide immediate first aid, delaying in transporting an injured worker to a hospital, or neglecting to inform a doctor about the nature and extent of the employee’s injuries.

2. Examples of Delayed Medical Treatment

There are many ways in which a railroad may delay medical treatment for an injured worker. Some examples include:

  • Failing to call an ambulance immediately after a serious accident
  • Telling an injured worker to return to work instead of seeking medical attention
  • Ignoring an employee’s complaints of pain or injury
  • Providing inadequate first aid, such as applying a tourniquet too tightly
  • Failing to inform emergency room doctors about the specifics of the accident and the employee’s injuries

3. Proving Negligence in FELA Claims

To succeed in an FELA claim based on delayed medical treatment, an injured worker must prove that the railroad was negligent and that this negligence caused or contributed to their injuries. This can be done by showing that the railroad failed to provide reasonable medical care after an accident, and that this failure made the worker’s injuries worse.

4. Damages in FELA Claims

If an injured railroad worker proves that the railroad’s delayed medical treatment was negligent and caused them harm, they may be able to recover a wide range of damages under FELA. These can include compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and disability or disfigurement.

5. Statute of Limitations for FELA Claims

FELA claims are subject to a three-year statute of limitations, meaning that an injured worker must file a lawsuit within three years of the date of their injury. If the worker does not file a claim within this timeframe, they will be barred from recovering damages.

6. Hiring a FELA Attorney

FELA claims can be complex and require a thorough understanding of the law and the railroad industry. An experienced FELA attorney can help an injured worker gather evidence, build a strong case, and negotiate with the railroad or take the case to trial. It is important to find an attorney who has a track record of success in handling FELA cases involving delayed medical treatment.