I Work Hard,
I Fight Hard,
I Get Results
-Alan R. Goodman
Railroad accidents are known for causing tragedy when they involve a pedestrian or motor vehicle on the tracks. Railroad collisions can be caused by many events or a combination of events, such as inattentive vehicle drivers, poorly trained railroad workers, or lack of upkeep on a train. An important factor in preventing railroad collisions is the regular maintenance of the equipment, signage, and alert systems at or near railroad crossings. When these are not properly maintained, drivers are incapable of seeing an oncoming train and may pull out onto the tracks and be hit.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has listed the most common causes of injuries to non-railroad workers.
Passengers on board a train that was speeding or that had poorly lined switches could quickly become victims of an train collision. Injuries and deaths sustained in these types of accidents deserve to be addressed legally, as the victims are entitled to compensation to accommodate their medical bills, recovery costs, and pain and suffering. A Good Law Firm in Springfield is ready to address your case legally.
Railroad accidents do not only affect the passengers of a train car. In addition, the workers, operators, and other nearby persons are at risk as well. With approximately 1,000 accidents happening each year in the United States, the number of injuries and corresponding deaths is at a staggeringly high number.
At the top of this list is human error, contributing to the greatest number of railroad accidents in the country. Following closely behind is track defects, as they often cause in-motion trains to derail or collide in some other equally catastrophic way. Railroad employees must also be on alert when trains are stationary because they are still susceptible to accidents. This is especially true in rail yards where maintenance is performed on the locomotives. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that yard engineers have some of the highest rates of occupational injuries.
The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) was established in 1908 to protect the rights, safety, and wellbeing of railroad workers throughout the nation. Originating from our history's Industrial Revolution period, FELA was a federal agency response to the increase in injuries and accidents that quickly began building as a result of the country's rapid expansion. Prior to the inception of FELA, very little regulations existed for the employers and employees of the railroad occupation. Once compared to the job of a soldier by President Harrison, railroad workers were soon protected under the newly formed Federal Employers Liability Act.
According to the stipulations of FELA, a railroad employee can sue his / her employer for negligence that led to an accident, injury, or death. Railroad workers that are injured on the job or become ill as a direct result of the performance of their job duties have the legal right to bring a lawsuit against the railroad company employing them. Initially, the act was successfully in reducing the number of railroad accidents to occur each year. However, its stipulations are only as good as they are enforced, and rail employees continue to be injured or worse in accidents that could have been prevented while on the job.
Common perceptions of railroad accidents are of horrific crashes and devastating derailments. While these are no doubt a reality, they are not the only ways that railroad workers and passengers can be injured. Common among many employees in the railroad industry is the development of serious illnesses that jeopardize their health, sometimes for good. Many different toxic chemicals and hazardous substances are present in rail yards. For example, asbestos, a material proven to be deadly when ingested / inhaled at high amounts, was used regularly in the industry until it was banned in 1989.
Several more dangerous substances remain present in these areas, including diesel fuel, lead, benzene, and liquefied petroleum. Victims of over-exposure to these kinds of hazardous materials are more susceptible to developing breathing / lung problems, certain types of cancer, and even suffering from a weakened immune system. At our firm, a Springfield personal injury lawyer has handled these cases before and is widely experienced in representing victims.
At A Good Law Firm, we have represented countless individuals in Springfield and the greater Massachusetts area for over three decades. We are ready and determined to defend your case and advocate for your compensation.
Contact us at (413) 650-1988 to receive a free consultation.