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Railroad Injury Law Blog

Railroad disability benefits: What you should know before filing

The Railroad Retirement Act provides annuities to Connecticut railroad workers and those in other states who become occupationally or permanently disabled. There is no question that railroad work is among the most dangerous jobs in the nation. If a serious injury occurs that prevents you from being able to return to the workplace, railroad disability benefits can help provide for your family's needs.  

In order to qualify for benefits, you must satisfy the requirements for the number of consecutive years you have worked on the railroad. There are differences between the eligibility factors for permanent disability and occupational disability, such as age requirements for those collecting benefits. You may be considered permanently disabled if your mental or physical health condition renders you to be incapable of performing any type of gainful work.  

Railroad accidents especially tragic when workers die

A railroad company in another state is grieving the loss of two of its employees. Connecticut railroad accidents that result in injury or fatality to workers are always tragic as well. On a recent Thursday evening, just shy of 8 p.m., lives were forever changed when a terrible crash occurred.  

Two men who were both veteran railroad workers were traveling on the same locomotive. Their train was heading in an eastbound direction. There was reportedly a parked train on the same line of tracks. The train with the two men on board slammed into the parked vehicle. There were two people in the engine of the parked train, but they were able to escape serious injury by exiting their positions before the collision took place.

Railroad accidents often involve automobiles and crossroads

Most Connecticut railroad work is associated with inherent risk for personal injury. Some railroad duties are no doubt more dangerous than others. Workers who are particularly at risk for injury include those who work directly on locomotives or tracks, such as engineers, conductors or linemen. When railroad accidents occur, automobiles, pedestrians and crossroads are often pertinent factors.     

A recent incident in another state resulted in crossroads being shut down at the scene and in surrounding areas. The shut-down is to remain in place until further notice from officials. The cross section where the accident occurred was secured, meaning there were lights or signs to regulate train and automobile travel.  

Railroad risks that often result in workers' injuries

Whether you have been working on a Connecticut railroad for years or have just recently started a new job, you may find your work both rewarding and challenging. If you're someone who has always loved to travel by train, then earning an income while doing so may, in fact, be your dream job. Railroad work can indeed be an enjoyable way to earn a living; however, it is definitely not without risk.  

There are certain issues that are ever-present on the railroad that can place you at risk for injury at any time. Your employer is obligated to provide proper training and safety equipment to help you reduce such risks as much as possible. If your employer fails in that duty, it can be disastrous.  

Who is liable for railroad worker injuries?

Connecticut railroad employers are obligated to provide proper training and equipment necessary to keep their workers safe. When railroad worker injuries occur on the job, employer negligence is often to blame. A recovering worker in another state believes his employer should be held legally accountable for the injuries he suffered during one of his shifts.

The man was reportedly entering the cab of a locomotive when an accident occurred that caused him neck, back and other injuries. In a claim he has filed against his employer, the man stated that the cab of the train was missing its floor. When he stepped in to carry out his workplace duties, he fell through the hole.

Officials say negligence caused fatal railroad worker injuries

Connecticut railroad workers will be interested to learn that the National Transportation Safety Board has released a report stating that human error is to blame for a tragic railroad accident that occurred last year in another state. Railroad worker injuries proved fatal for two people when a BNSF railway train hit workers who had been clearing  ice and snow from the tracks. A third person who had been working alongside the other two employees survived the incident.

The NTSB's report clearly states that proper equipment was not provided to the worker who was the acting lookout when the tragedy occurred. In fact, investigators say there should have been more than one lookout for this particular section of track. BNSF is accused of not following National Transportation Safety Board regulations.

Railroad accidents often prompt safety changes

Nearly one year after a horrific tragedy occurred on a northwest railroad, safety changes have yet to be fully implemented. Officials say they are on target to meet a December deadline, when new technology will be installed along the route to prevent similar railroad accidents from occurring in the future. The 2017 derailment resulted in several fatalities and dozens of people injured. Connecticut railroad workers understand how dangerous train travel can be but should at least be able to expect their employers to fulfill their obligations to help keep them, as well as passengers, as safe as possible.  

In the 2017 tragedy, there has been speculation that officials knew the train was not fit for travel that day. Investigation results estimate train speed to have been as high as 75 miles per hour when it rounded a bend in a 30-miles per hour zone. The massive vehicle plummeted over an overpass and onto a busy interstate highway below.  

Do you qualify for railroad disability benefits?

Any number of situations might occur that would prevent you from being able to work. Perhaps you are suffering from a temporary or chronic illness. Maybe you are expecting a child and have been unable to report to your workplace duties because of morning sickness or other pregnancy-related issues. Railroad disability benefits are available to help Connecticut workers who are unable to work because of injury, illness or other health conditions or situations, such as pregnancy or childbirth.

To be eligible for disability benefits, you must fall under one of the accepted categories. You also cannot receive any income from your employer at the time you apply for benefits. If you're currently receiving insurance payments of some kind, that should not keep you from qualifying for railroad disability benefits.

Railroad accidents often prompt safety questions

The Connecticut railroad system and all others in the nation are overseen by strict regulations and protocol. Especially regarding railroad accidents, employers and workers must adhere to these regulations when reporting mishaps, injuries or fatalities that occur on the tracks. If railroad administrators fail in their duties to keep their workers safe, they may be subject to personal injury lawsuits under the Federal Employers Liability Act.

A recent tragedy appears to have occurred in a train yard of another state. The situation has prompted many questions, but so far, preliminary investigations have not yielded many answers. A worker suffered fatal injuries in the incident.

Connecticut train yards high risk areas for railroad accidents

Railroad yards in Connecticut and elsewhere are dangerous places. Some track areas are more dangerous than others and are often scenes of railroad accidents. A recent tragedy in another state involved a train that was being maneuvered into a railroad yard and a worker who was on duty there at the time. 

According to a witness that has been assisting investigators regarding the recent incident, the worker at the railroad yard had been communicating by radio with the witness all night long while they worked their shifts. Early Monday morning, the worker stopped responding to the co-worker's radio communication, which raised concerns. The co-worker went to the station where the man was working to check on him and came upon the scene where a terrible accident had apparently occurred.