Frequently Asked Questions
How much time do I have to commence a FELA lawsuit against my railroad employer?
The statute of limitations is three (3) years. However, it may not be apparent in some cases when the three-year time limit starts to run. Therefore, you should seek advice from a knowledgeable attorney regarding your situation.
How are you paid for your work?
We do not take a fee in an injury case unless you make a recovery. We charge a percentage of the amount recovered. This is known as a "contingency" fee.
Will Brian Reddy personally work on my case?
A claims agent from the railroad wants to take a statement from me regarding my case. What should I do?
The railroad employs claim agents to protect the railroad's interest. The claim agent does not work for you. Consider this: if your case ever goes to a trial, the claim agent who wants to take a statement from you now will most likely sit at the table with the railroad's lawyers in court. Any information you provide to the claim agent will be given to the railroad's attorneys, and they will go through it with a "fine tooth comb" to see if they can twist anything you say and use it against you at trial. If you have been dealing with a claim agent, we urge you to consult with a knowledgeable attorney before giving any statement. At Reddy Law, we are happy to discuss this with you without charge or obligation.
How can I recover my loss of earnings or other damages for an injury while staying at a hotel or being transported by a vehicle provided by my railroad employer?
Assuming either the limo/jitney or the hotel acted negligently to cause your injury, then you may be covered under the FELA. Railroads are not allowed to dodge their responsibilities under the FELA by telling you that you must deal with the hotel or limo company yourself. These other companies are considered railroad agents for FELA purposes. The railroad can be responsible for any negligence of these agents. This is known as "vicarious liability." The railroad may also be responsible, based on its actions or failures, such as failing to act on complaints about an unsafe condition at the hotel or an unsafe driver working for a "limo" or "jitney" transportation company.
Are you available to address a meeting of workers and their spouses to educate them about their rights if injured?
Yes. Brian Reddy has addressed numerous groups on this topic, often at a local union meeting. If you would like him to attend such a meeting, don't hesitate to get in touch with us and we'll be happy to schedule it.
Does the FELA apply to non-transportation department employees such as office workers, or maintenance and repair workers?
Yes. The FELA applies to all railroad employees, provided it engages in interstate commerce. As a practical matter, virtually all railroads in the United States engage in interstate commerce.
If I bring an FELA claim, will I have to go through a trial in court?
Not necessarily. Most FELA cases handled by Reddy Law settle before trial. However, it is essential to remember that should a case not settle, the law provides a right to a jury trial for recognized FELA claims. Therefore, it is to your great advantage to have an attorney who will effectively negotiate a settlement, and who has a track record of success when a settlement can't be reached, and a jury trial is necessary. With Reddy Law, that is what you will get.
Who is responsible if I am hurt while being deadheaded?
When a railroader is injured while deadheading, the railroad quickly points the finger at the cab company and denies that it is responsible for the worker's injury. However, just as the law recognizes the railroad's right to contract these transportation jobs out to cab companies, federal law mandates that the railroad is legally obligated to provide its employees with a reasonably safe workplace. Under the Federal Employers' Liability Act, the railroad's duties are non-delegable, meaning it cannot shift its responsibility to third parties such as cab or "limo" companies.