The aftermath of a serious injury can quickly drain a family’s financial resources, and many railroad workers who get hurt on the job are left looking at a grim budget for their recovery. For families who are already dealing with major changes and emotional strain brought on by a worker’s injuries, the financial strain can be overwhelming—and it can extend far beyond the price of a single visit to the emergency room.
Unfortunately, even when the company’s negligence is responsible for a worker’s injuries, some railroads try to pretend that the costs can be summed up in the initial hospital invoice. Rather than help workers get back their feet, some railroads and their insurance companies will try to minimize claims, shirk responsibility, and pay out as little as possible. Ultimately, it’s up to victims to prove the full cost of their injuries despite their employers’ claims, and they must keep painfully detailed records to do so.
The Expense of a Railroad Injury Is More Than Just Medical Bills
Anyone who has suffered a serious, life-changing injury knows that the full cost of the losses is measured in more than just hospital bills. Although it’s not easy to look at what has been lost, victims of railroad injuries should take steps to carefully document the full costs of their injuries, including:
- Medical bills. Document all the costs of medical treatment, including bills related to emergency-room visits, ambulance services, office visits, surgeries, physical therapy, psychiatric visits, x-ray and imaging studies, and lab draws.
- Medication costs. Keep track of how much you spend on prescription medications, but don’t forget to also keep track of the costs of medical devices, supplies, and over-the-counter medications recommended by your doctor.
- Lost wages. Injured workers are often entitled to a portion of the wages they have already lost due to their injuries, as well as their future wages if they are unable to return to work. You may need tax forms, pay stubs, and other documentation to prove your wages, and it may be necessary to bring in an economic expert to help estimate your earning capacity and predicted wages.
- Out-of-pocket expenses. Under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), workers injured due to a railroad’s negligence can recover their costs for a number of losses, including transportation costs, caregiver costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses. If you need help documenting these expenses, seek the help of an experienced attorney.
- Future expenses. It may be difficult to predict what kind of care you might need in the future, but you can work with an attorney, your doctor, and even an outside medical expert to account for expenses in your ongoing recovery.
It’s not always easy to prove exactly how much an injury has changed life for an injured railroad worker and his or her family, but an attorney who is experienced with FELA claims can make sure that victims are able to account for everything they’ve lost. To get in touch with our experienced Houston legal team and discuss your concerns in a free case review, call our office directly, or fill out the confidential contact form on this page.