"He who represents himself has a fool for a client."
- Abraham Lincoln

If you are a railroader and have been injured on the job, it might be in your best interests to hire an experienced FELA lawyer.  Here are some guidelines that will help you choose a lawyer to represent you:

1. What is the lawyer's FELA track record in court?

You need an lawyer that has not only settled FELA cases out-of-court for top dollar, but has won excellent jury verdicts  at trial many, many  and is prepared to take your FELA case before a jury if the very best out-of-court settlement is not offered.  (The lawyer who “won” at trial is the one who beat the out of court offer to settle – a figure which is never known by the jury)

Check with your union to see which lawyers are designated as competent FELA counsel.

2. Does the lawyer "talk railroad" ?

As you know, railroaders have their own special language. If your lawyer and his investigators can't "talk railroad", they will have a hard time getting the true facts from railroad witnesses.  An excellent FELA lawyer should also be able to translate these railroad terms and clearly communicate the facts to a jury at the time of trial.  Be certain your lawyer is fluent in railroad terminology and has a firm grip on the concepts and procedures involved in modern railroading.  Remember that the railroad retains lawyers with years of experience defending railroads--- and that most of their cases are won on the detailed FACTS about the incident and/or the particular railroad operations involved.

3. Is the lawyer properly staffed and equipped to handle FELA cases?

An attorney's staff needs to understand the intricacies involved in FELA law, as well as have the experience to properly investigate and manage your FELA case.    Also, look for an office with modern facilities such as:
  • State of the art computer networked and internet based research
  • Instant access to the vast resources of the Internet and important online services such as Westlaw, Lexis and / or FastCase.
  • Professional, in-house videography, photography and graphics capability.
  • In-house courtroom for specialized trial preparation such as mock trials and videotape depositions.
These things indicate a law firm that is at the leading edge of FELA law, and is not trailing behind other attorneys.

4. Does your prospective lawyer generate a feeling of trust?

AFTER you have done your other research, this is the most important question for you: Do you feel that a prospective law firm has your best interests at heart, or are they merely looking for an easy cut from a quick, out-of-court settlement?    While it is not uncommon for law firms to settle most cases out-of-court, better law firms will have a consistent history of obtaining good results at trial as well. Be wary of FELA law firms that have not obtained a FELA or other Jury Verdict in many years.

5. Look for a lawyer who prepares every aspect of your case for trial.

It is a proven fact: injured railroaders with experienced trial lawyers carry more clout than injured railroaders without lawyers, or those with lawyers who prepare their case only for out-of-court settlement. Any lawyer who does not prepare your case for trial, and is not willing to take your case before a jury (if a fair settlement is not offered) is not providing you with the best in legal representation.

Conclusion

Since all FELA attorneys charge basically the same percentage of recovery at the end of the case, wouldn't it be wise to choose a law firm that will provide the very best in legal representation?  Over years of FELA law practice, the Pfiester Law Firm has obtained fair and reasonable recoveries for hundreds of injured railroaders.

For further information, or a free, no-obligation, initial consultation on your FELA claim, call us today on our toll free number or email right now.
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