Avoiding Personal Injury Report Pitfalls

Should I fill out the personal injury report?

YES, you need to fill out your injury report as soon as possible after your injury, as almost all railroads have rules that require their employees to fill this report out as close to the accident as possible. Ideally, you need to fill out the personal injury report before you leave the yard and go to the accident scene if possible.

However, you do not have to complete a personal injury report until you are capable in body and mind. Suppose you are in shock, pain, in the hospital undergoing treatment, or taking medications that could affect your ability to complete the report competently. In that case, you can agree to fill out the information later. Again, if you cannot fill it out at the hospital, you can always wait to do it. A supervisor doesn’t have to do it immediately at the hospital. They don’t need to put words in your mouth. You don’t need to allow them to fill it out for you. You can say once you feel up to it, you will immediately fill it out.

Do not let your supervisors or management fill that report out for you.

The report has specific questions that help the railroad if an injury claim is filed and goes to court. Some of these questions might be:

  • Did the company do anything wrong that contributed to your accident?
  • Was there any broken or defective equipment that failed?
  • Were there any unaddressed safety issues?
  • Was there an issue with the lighting?


We’ve had clients in cases answer these questions with no, indicating that the railroad did nothing wrong. No equipment had failed. There was nothing defective about anything that was done during the accident. Answering no to these questions on your report when safety hazards contributed to your accident can hurt your case and limit your compensation.

Be short and to the point.

If you can fill out the personal injury report, be short and to the point. Explain exactly what happened and if there is an issue with equipment, with lighting, if there was a safety issue, etc. You need to put that on that personal injury report because the railroad will use that report against you to say that you didn’t think that the railroad did anything wrong at the time of your accident.

Below are some Personal Injury Form Downloads for your convenience:
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