Often after a Railroader gets injured on the job, he or she receives a friendly phone call from a claim’s agent requesting a recorded statement concerning how the accident occurred and the injuries sustained. Often, the claim’s agent makes it appear that such a statement is standard procedure and is required by the Railroad’s rules. Other times, the claim’s agent indicates that an injury claim cannot go forward without such a statement.
Neither are true. While an injured Railroader is required under the Railroad’s rules to report an injury and complete an accident report as soon as possible, there is no rule or regulation that requires a recorded statement be provided to a claim’s agent. As a result, DO NOT GIVE ONE. The purpose of the recorded statement is to help the Railroad and not you. The claim’s agent is going use the statement regarding how the accident occurred to try to minimize or eliminate the Railroad’s liability under the FELA.
See here and here. He or she will likely ask you questions concerning the cause of the accident in a way that twists the truth about what really happened. Also, the claim’s agent will use the statement to diminish your clam by asking questions in a manner that minimizes the injuries you sustained. Remember, the statement is RECORDED. That means that once you have given it, you can’t go back and change or correct what you said even if you made a mistake.
By Matt Darby