Legal Update – November 20, 2020

Practice Point:  If you are injured working on the railroad, you are not covered under State Workers’ Compensation Laws.  When most people go to a medical provider, they are asked:  “Did this injury happen at work?”  The medical provider then will not allow treatment until it is approved through the workers’ compensation case manager. As a result, treatment for a railroad worker’s injury is delayed or refused because the medical provider is looking for workers’ compensation approval that simply does not exist.  To give clarity, DSM gives each of our clients an informational card to show their medical provider that explains the uniqueness of processing medical claims for treatment of injuries sustained at work on the railroad. 


That card states:  “Railroad workers are not covered by any State Workers’ Compensation Laws.  They are covered by a Federal Statute called the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) for all of the on the job injuries sustained while working at the railroad.  Insurance coverage for when a railroader is hurt comes from his/her own union negotiated health insurance policy which pays for the treatment without going through the hurdles in State Compensation Programs.  Under FELA, neither you nor your injured patient has a duty to provide medical information to the railroad or obtain the railroad’s approval for treatment.  His/her medical insurance pays you.  The patient’s medical information is covered by doctor-patient privilege, which is not waived.  You will get paid.”


Contact us at 1-800-321-7815 or at and we will make sure you receive one of these informational cards.

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