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Railroad employee claims for on duty injuries sustained in an auto accident are quite common. Many times, the claims do not come under the provisions of the FELA and may require the employee to seek damages from a third party. Please note that each state has different rules and requirements to successfully proceed.
For instance, in the State of Illinois, an employee injured in a collision must prove that the third party was negligent and that its negligence proximately caused the employee’s injuries. Further, that the employee was less than 50% contributory negligent in the collision. The Statute of Limitations is also two years, unlike the three year provision in the FELA.
Railroad’s generally do not carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage for the protection of their employees. An employee should check with his/her own auto insurer to determine whether his/her own auto coverage will apply for on duty injuries.
The collective bargaining agreement with most Railroad’s contains an “Off Track Vehicle” provision. A claim under the “Off Track Vehicle” agreement must be brought in a timely manner. Generally, the claim is filed with the employee’s claim for short term disability benefits, such as Aetna.
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