We recently reported on the immediate steps a railway worker should take if injured at work. But questions also arise about what an injured worker should do when asked to provide a report of a workplace injury. Witnesses to railway accidents also raise these same questions. Please find below several tips to keep in mind when completing a railway accident report.
Contact Your Designated Legal Counsel (DLC) and Union Representative
You should contact your DLC and union representative (if applicable) before you submit any railroad accident report. These people are your allies in ensuring your legal rights are upheld. You have many legal rights the railroad will attempt to ignore or diminish when a railway accident takes place. Calling your DLC and union representative will ensure you have experts on your side.
Note as well that your DLC will explain to you your rights under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA).
Understand that the railroad will immediately begin gathering evidence to scrutinize your report. Be aware that the railroad will also quickly mobilize its Claims Department or similar agents to begin gathering evidence to undermine your credibility.
Things to Include in a Report
You should try to include the following information when completing a railroad accident report:
- Clear facts about what occurred (say what happened, not why it happened),
- An account of any tool, task, order, procedure, or condition that you considered unsafe at the site of the accident or nearby,
- An identification of others on site or nearby (including any person’s name, title, and contact information), and
- A request for a copy of your completed report.
Things NOT to Include in a Report
When completing an accident report, you should NOT:
- Attempt to assign or take on responsibility for what occurred,
- Use terms like “I should have…” or “I shouldn’t have…”
- Make any comment or statement on whether the accident could have been prevented.
Please stick to the facts and try not to offer your personal opinions or suggestions.
Contact Rossi Vucinovich for Help
If you sustained a railroad injury, please contact our law firm for help. Rossi Vucinovich PC has been helping railroad employees and people injured in railroad accidents recover from railroad injuries for over 50 years. We are dedicated to helping you obtain the benefits you need to treat your injuries, pay your bills, and continue supporting your families. Do yourself a favor and contact us today to get the legal help you deserve.