Paying Medical Bills after an On-Duty Railroad Injury

How do I cover my expenses when I’m out of work?

Immediately after going to the doctor, file for your railroad retirement board sickness benefits.

As a railroad worker, you’re putting money into the railroad retirement board from every paycheck you get. Many of that is for retirement once you get your 20 or 30 years in. You can start drawing from that retirement plan with the railroad retirement board, but you are entitled to sickness benefits in addition to those benefits. It’s essential to apply for those as soon as you see your doctor because it takes some time for those benefits to come in.


Filing for disability insurance

Suppose you have disability insurance, file for it after seeing your doctor. Your union has probably told you also that it’s essential to have disability insurance. Many of the blocks talk to their members about getting disability insurance immediately once they start working. So if you have it, claim those benefits so that you have both sickness benefit money coming in and also disability payment money coming in so you can pay your bills.

If you don’t have disability insurance, the sickness benefits only run for a certain amount of time, so again, it’s essential to talk to a lawyer that specializes in railroad law to help you figure out how you’re going to take care of your family and yourself while you’re recovering from your injury.

Watch out for advances from the railroad

Often the railroad will offer injured workers advances. However, you will have to pay those advances back.

While this may seem tempting at the time, while you’re worried about how you’ll live, it’s better not to take advances from the railroad. First, those advances often come with the requirement that you don’t talk to a lawyer. They’ll say, and the claims agent will tell you, “Look, I’ll take care of you. Just don’t talk to a lawyer. I’ll give you advances and your full paycheck and work this out.”

Often that means they want you to settle your claim for much less than it is worth. They use the advancements to say that they took care of you and you should take care of them. It’s better to go through your disability policy and your sickness benefits and talk to a lawyer who knows how these claims work to protect you and get total compensation for your injuries.

Mr. Poolson recently represented me in a lawsuit. I could not be more pleased at the outcome. He is very personable and cares about each and everyone of his clients. He keeps on top of everything and keep you informed of everything that is going on in your case. Very professional and I will definitely use his firm again if the need should arise.
Sharon F.


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