You have the right to settle your case yourself with the claim agent. It is also your absolute legal right to hire a lawyer to represent you regarding a FELA injury claim. Remember, the nation’s railroads have lawyers representing them in every single state of the union. Likewise, the rail labor unions have designated legal counsel that are experienced FELA trial practitioners to counsel and represent you in court.
If you choose to hire a lawyer, the railroad cannot harass or discipline you or your co-workers, who may have witnessed your accident. To do so would be a serious violation of the strict provisions against such conduct specifically provided in the FELA.
The choice is yours as to whether to settle or try your FELA case. You may choose to settle your case before you go to court pursuant to negotiations with the claim department. On the other hand, you may choose to take your case to court and try it either before a judge or jury. The choice is yours. Your claim may be litigated in either Federal Court or State Court in your own state, the state where the accident happened, or the state where your employing railroad is located.