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Railroad Injury Law Blog

Connecticut railroad accidents: Focusing on recovery

Many Connecticut railroad workers and their families have been devastated in the aftermath of serious train collisions. Railroad accidents often make national news headlines because they are so disastrous, often resulting in fatalities. Many of those who survive endure long, arduous recoveries.

Railroad worker injuries are covered by the Federal Employers Liability Act. While many people call the FELA "workers' compensation for railroad workers," it is not a correct comparison because workers covered under their employers insurance programs are typically prohibited from suing their employers for negligence. The FELA, however, enables injured railroad workers to file personal injury claims against negligent employers.

Railroad accidents often caused by negligent vehicle drivers

If a Connecticut train is moving along the tracks and a negligent driver is nearby, it could possibly lead to disaster. Railroad accidents often occur when cars try to beat a train at a crossroads. In such situations, if employees of the railroad were to be injured, they would typically file claims to collect benefits under the Federal Employers Liability Act. This is the system that provides injury benefits to workers and also allows workers to sue their employers if they believe they are liable for their injuries. 

recent tragedy in another state involved a car and two locomotives. Police say they think the motorist was trying to beat the gate but failed to make it through the crossroads before two opposite-bound trains collided with it. Both trains combined were carrying approximately 1,000 passengers.

Family being notified of fatal railroad worker injuries

When accidents happen along Connecticut railroads, the National Transportation Safety Board typically launches investigations. During preliminary investigations, there are often a lot more questions than answers regarding how railroad worker injuries might have occurred and what or who may have caused a particular incident to occur. The name of a man in another state was recently withheld from the media until his family members were notified of his death.

The sudden tragedy happened at a rail yard in a large city. The NTSB immediately dispatched investigators to the scene. The worker was reportedly carrying out his normal duties during the switching of cars when the terrible accident occurred.

Outdoor work hazards that may affect Connecticut railroad workers

As a Connecticut railroad employee, you might enjoy working outdoors. In fact, your love of nature, coupled with your love of trains may have been a significant factor toward your career choice. Perhaps you spend hours in a train yard or work on a maintenance crew that checks and repairs sections of track. Even if you carry out your primary duties inside a locomotive, you may have to navigate the outdoors on a regular basis during an average workday, as well. 

Numerous outdoor hazards can place your health and safety at risk on the railroad. Your employer must provide proper training and equipment to help you and your co-workers lower that risk. It's an obligation no employer should ever neglect. Sadly, some do, and the result is disastrous, especially when workers suffer injury or fatality because of it. Being aware of potential hazards improves safety and knowing where to seek support if you fall ill or suffer injury can help you achieve as full a recovery as possible.

Railroad disability benefits can help you make ends meet

If you're injured on the job at a Connecticut railroad company, you may have to take time off work during recovery. Depending on the severity of your injuries, this could mean days, weeks or even months. Many workers are unprepared to meet their daily living expenses when suffering from injuries that make them unable to return to the workplace. Railroad disability benefits are meant to provide temporary financial relief during such times.

In order to qualify for such benefits, you must not be receiving any wages from your employer. You'll also need a doctor to sign a written statement that documents your condition and any care you have received according to his or her diagnosis. An application for disability benefits should be filed within 10 days of the onset of your injury; otherwise, processing might be delayed.

Railroad accident sends conductor to the hospital with injuries

If a Connecticut railroad worker is injured on the job, the Federal Employers Liability Act enables the employee to file a personal injury claim if employer negligence was a causal factor in the incident. A railroad accident recently occurred that landed a conductor of a railroad in another state in the hospital. Rescue workers who were dispatched to the scene came upon a situation that necessitated use of hydraulic rescue tools.

The accident happened near a cement company that shuttles trains cars from its property out to a main line. A conductor was reportedly exiting a train when a shuttle wagon that moves train cars suddenly rolled right into him. He became trapped between the shuttle wagon and the train.

Railroad accident in another state prompts evidence challenge

When a Connecticut locomotive and commercial vehicle collide, it often results in fatality or serious injury to workers, passengers or vehicle occupants. Such situations often lead to criminal charges, personal injury litigation or both. A railroad accident that occurred in another state involved congressional members of the Republican party, and an attorney acting on behalf of the man who was deemed liable for the incident is challenging the state's evidence against his client.

The fatal collision occurred in 2018. Republican lawmakers were traveling on an Amtrak train on their way to a retreat. A garbage truck collided with the train, and police at the scene obtained a warrant to order that the truck driver undergo a blood test to check his blood alcohol content.

Train signals are factors in many railroad accidents

Any passenger boarding a Connecticut train can reasonably expect that the engineer has had proper training and clearly understands the train signal system and other safety tools meant to keep riders safe along the tracks. Engineers are not the only ones who benefit from such knowledge. In fact, passengers who do a bit of research ahead of time may be able to use what they learn to help improve their own travel safety.

Railroad signal lights are similar in code to roadway traffic signals. It is a universal system where green means go and red means stop while yellow alerts caution. Rail signals help drivers of non-locomotive vehicles to know when train tracks are clear and safely accessible.

Is your loved one suffering from an asbestos-related illness?

If you are one of many Connecticut residents who is a caregiver for someone suffering a terminal illness, you understand how physically and financially challenging, as well as emotionally traumatic, such situations can be. If your loved one suffered an asbestos illness due to railroad work, you likely recall the day a doctor diagnosed his or her condition. From then on, your priorities centered on helping your family member enjoy the highest quality of life possible in the time he or she has left.

It can be difficult to know what to talk about or not talk about as you assist a terminally ill loved one with his or her daily needs. Current health condition is a factor to consider when determining what types of conversation to have. Your loved one will be dealing with physical, emotional, spiritual, financial and, perhaps, legal issues in the weeks or months ahead. Building a strong support system can be helpful to both of you.

Railroad worker injuries led to $3.5 million jury verdict

Connecticut railroad workers often find themselves at risk for injury as they carry out their duties in the normal course of a workday. Railroad worker injuries often lead to litigation if an injured worker believes employer negligence was responsible for the incident. Sometimes, the worker may also be deemed partially responsible as was the case with a recent jury verdict in another state.

The situation involved a man who is still currently employed with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, the largest freight line in North America. In 2014, the worker was involved in a terrible accident when a rail car ran over his foot. His injuries were so severe that doctors had to amputate his leg below the knee.