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Railroad Vocational Rehabilitation

Railroad Vocational Rehabilitation

Following an injury which prevents a railroad employee from returning to work in their former craft where they have accumulated years of seniority, there are many issues the employee is faced with regarding the future and vocational options. Does the injury render the employee totally disabled from all work or just from returning to his/her former craft with the railroad? The answer to this question directly impacts the potential economic damages in a FELA case and the railroad is well aware of this fact.

To address this issue, and with the goal of minimizing the employee’s economic damage argument to a jury, the railroad may begin an aggressive letter-writing campaign offering vocational training, alternative employment positions within the railroad in other cities, offering front-line supervisor positions with no job seniority protection, and offers to pay for schooling or job retraining. The railroad will make these offers to employees who have potential FELA claims and hope that these letters are ignored. At trial, this tactic positions the railroad to argue that the employee refused all of the help offered by the railroad and thereby, the employee has failed to take steps to reduce his/her economic damages.

Some railroads will offer injured employees voluntary “light duty” or “restricted duty” work intended to get the employee back to work quickly and ease immediate financial concerns the employee may have. Depending on the nature of the injury and the individual circumstances of the employee, accepting the railroad’s “light duty” program may be in the best interest of the employee. However, it is important to know that there are usually strings attached to any such offer, including signing a medical records release authorization and giving a recorded statement to the claims agent.

Great Lawyer!

Jeff Chod was my lawyer in a suit against MRL in Missoula Montana.He
distinguished himself in a very professional manner. His hard work,
extensive knowledge and attention to detail enabled me to get a
satisfactorysettlement. He was easily accessible and quickly attended to all my
questions and worries. I highly recommend Jeff to anyone due to his work
ethic and willingness to go that extra mile to insure his client gets the best
possible results.

~ Brian, Victor, MT
Changed my life

I met Mr. Chod in 2007. It was the best decision I have ever made to
hire him. I was injured and scared, and he did not know me, but gave
me confidence, told me to focus on getting better and he would take
care of the rest. Amazingly he did and I made also a friend for life.

~ Tony, Amelia, OH
My experience was outstanding

As a former MOW employee for Wisconsin Central Railroad in need of an
injury attorney, it has been my experience that good FELA attorneys are hard
to find. After having to fire my first attorney due to a very frustrating
experience, I found attorney Chod and from that point on, my experience
was nothing short of outstanding. Jeff treated me personally with
compassion as if I were his only client and understood completely
the seriousness of my injury. He fought a very long and
tough battle against a team of very high powered attorneys
with due diligence...

~ Todd, Wausau, WI
Railroad Incident

I hired Mr. Chod after I had an incident at a mine here in
Wyoming when I worked for the Union Pacific Railroad
and he did an excellent job of settling my case. Mr. Chod
worked well with myself and the doctors he talked to and
other railroad employees.

~ Connie, Douglas, WY
When you need a winner, he is your guy...

In September of 2014 I suffered a career ending injury at BNSF Railway. The RR choose to not do the right thing even though I continued to have faith in them. I talked to Jeff on a recommendation of a friend after many broken promises by BNSF. I had only done one thing wrong that night, and that was trusting BNSF to accurately train, and prepare a operator to safely work along side me. I talked with Jeff and he helped ease my mind and finally realize that the RR was not conducting themselves in my best interest or livelihood. My injuries physically were were permanent and the PTSD was overwhelming and learning to deal with it was life altering. Jeff worked tirelessly for me and my future well-being. He fought them like David and Goliath and we won.

~ Lisa, Memphis, TN
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