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Railroad Injury Law Blog

Train yards are high-risk areas for railroad worker injuries

Working on a Connecticut railroad is definitely not without its risks. In fact, railroad work is considered one of the most dangerous types of jobs in the United States. Certain job duties pose a higher risk for railroad worker injuries than others. A desk job is undoubtedly safer than working as a conductor or lineman.

For instance, on-the-job accidents often take place in train yards. These are busy places, and moving rail cars from one location to another can be quite dangerous. A recent tragedy occurred in another state that resulted in a worker's death.

Do you qualify for occupational railroad disability benefits?

The Federal Rail Safety Act protects railroad workers in Connecticut and other states when they engage in certain legally protected activities, such as reporting a hazardous safety condition on the job. If you suffer an occupational injury that results in disability, as well as inability to perform your duties in the workplace, you may qualify for railroad disability benefits. As with most benefits programs, you must first meet certain conditions to show that you are entitled. 

If you're seeking occupational disability benefits, you must be able to prove that the last paid employment you held was with a railroad and that you haven't been interviewed for other employment within a certain amount of time. You must also be able to show that you have a permanent disability that occurred on the job. The disability in question must have caused inability to perform any of the duties you had in your regular occupation on the railroad.

Million dollar update on railroad worker injuries case

Although workplace discrimination is illegal, many Connecticut railroad employees still worry about possibly losing their jobs if they were to report an injury or call out an employer regarding unfair treatment in the workplace. A conductor who suffered severe railroad worker injuries in an incident in another state told the court he was blacklisted by the company for reporting his injuries. His case was recently updated when a judge ordered an additional $1 million to be paid beyond the $2.1 million he was awarded in a jury trial last year.

When the accident occurred, the man was injured when a door latch on a locomotive stuck, as he was trying to open it to exit the train. Upon trying to re-enter the train, he was thrown back onto the ballast when pain seared through his hand and wrist when he tried to hold onto a hand rail. A district court judge has denied Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad a re-trial.

Fatal railroad worker injuries prompt investigation

Duties on a Connecticut railroad sometimes include relocating rail cars from one section of tracks to another. Any type of work that takes place directly on railroad tracks can be dangerous. That is why railroad employers are obligated to provide proper training to help keep their workers as safe as possible. If railroad worker injuries occur because of employer negligence, the Federal Employers Liability Act enables an injured worker to file a personal injury claim in court.

A recent tragedy occurred in another state on the property of a former army depot. Two railroad employees were assigned to the task of moving rail cars to another location. An accident took the life of one of the workers.

Railroad accidents involving passengers prompt investigations

When a passenger on a Connecticut train is injured during travel, there are often a lot of questions that need answered. When passenger-related railroad accidents occur in this state or any other, it typically prompts official investigations that may last weeks or even months. A disturbing video has led to such an investigation in another state after a woman suffered injuries that occurred as she was exiting a train.

The woman reportedly got her hand stuck in a door while she was getting off the train. The train began to move, and she was dragged on the tracks underneath the train. The woman can apparently be seen talking to a railroad employee on the surveillance video a few moments before the horrific accident occurred.

Connecticut railroad tracks may be placing you at risk

Whether you've been working on a Connecticut railroad for decades or just recently started a new job, there are certain issues that may place you at risk for injury. Your employer can help reduce that risk and, in fact, is legally obligated to provide proper training and safety equipment to help you and your co-workers stay safe.

Track safety is of particular concern to people in your line of work. Your life may depend on the condition of the tracks. If your employer has not fulfilled the obligation to maintain track safety, you are at risk for collision that may result in serious, even life-threatening injuries. The Federal Employers Liability Act is especially important to railroad workers who suffer workplace injuries. 

Railroad worker injuries: When legal issues arise during recovery

Working on a Connecticut railroad is often demanding, tiring and dangerous. Railroad worker injuries can occur at any time. Some injuries are the result of sudden, unexpected accidents, while others develop slowly, over time, due to the type of work a particular employee must carry out on a daily basis.

Such situations often involve repetitive strain injuries. This can cause partial or full disability that may even prevent a worker from being able to return to his or her duties. In fact, the most serious cases may impede a person's ability to ever work again, not just in the railroad industry but anywhere.

1 train, 2 railroad accidents on the same day

Connecticut readers may recall an Amtrak collision that involved multiple members of the United States Congress in 2018. This week's headlines tell of another collision that occurred on the same line of tracks. In fact, for the first time in the Buckingham Branch company's 30-year history (a railroad owned by CSX), a single train was involved in two separate crashes on the same day.

Sadly, both collisions resulted in fatalities. Both collisions also involved pedestrians, one of whom was a 39-year-old male. The tragedies occurred approximately three hours apart, and a distance of approximately 16 miles was between the two crash sites. A railroad company CEO said the back-to-back collisions involving the same locomotive were a tragic coincidence.

Strong support necessary for railroad worker injuries

In Connecticut and across the country, working on a railroad is dangerous. Any number of issues can arise on any given day that could result in serious railroad worker injuries. If such an incident occurs, it is critical that an injured worker know where to seek emotional, medical, financial and legal support in the weeks and months following the accident.

Many of the injuries that occur in railroad accidents are quite severe, such as electrocution, burns, traumatic brain injuries or loss of limbs. If you survive these types of injuries, chances are, your ability to independently function during the normal course of daily life might be significantly limited. Such injuries often result in partial or full, temporary or permanent disability. 

Railroad accidents: When passengers are severely injured

Trains are a common mode of transportation in Connecticut. Many people use them to commute to and from work. Railroad companies are obligated to provide proper training and equipment to keep workers and passengers safe. When railroad accidents occur and passengers are hurt, investigators must determine whether negligence was a causal factor in a particular incident.

A light rail train operator in another state has come under fire regarding a derailment that caused a passenger to be ejected from the train. She suffered a serious foot injury. Several other passengers suffered severe injuries in the collision, even though initial post-accident reports stated that only minor injuries were suffered.