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Railroad Injury Law Blog

Crash ranks among worst railroad accidents in company's history

Anyone who has ever been involved in a Connecticut train wreck understands how terrifying such situations can be. Railroad accidents often result in serious injuries to passengers or workers and, in worst cases, sometimes end in death. A derailment that occurred in another state in 2013 has been listed as one of the worst train wrecks in the company's history. 

Connecticut railroad workers and others may have read about the incident when a train engineer fell asleep on the job, ultimately leading to the deaths of four people and injuries to dozens of others. One of the engineer's co-workers was paralyzed in the collision. Court proceedings remain ongoing as to who might be held legally accountable for negligence regarding the derailment.   

Support for Connecticut workers injured in railroad accidents

If you or your loved one were seriously injured in a railroad accident, what are some of the things you think you would need most in order to recover as fully as possible? Connecticut railroad accidents often result in fatalities, and those who survive may suffer loss of limbs, bone fractures, brain trauma, spinal injuries and more. Many such injuries require emergency surgeries and long-term follow-up care.  

The railroad system does not provide traditional workers' compensation when employees suffer injuries on the job. Instead, the Federal Employers Liability Act enables workers to file personal injury claims against employers, based upon evidence of negligence. FELA is the system through which all railroad worker injury incidents pass regarding financial recoveries against an employer.  

Railroad accidents: Danger increases in populated areas

There are tens of thousands of miles of railroad track interconnected throughout the United States, including numerous rail systems that run through Connecticut. Every time a passenger or freight train runs along a track, workers on board and all others in the vicinity are at risk for injury. Railroad accidents that occur in downtown, populated areas are especially dangerous. 

In another state two fatal train accidents have occurred so far this year in the same town. A resident said one of his best friends was killed in one of the accidents. He says something needs to be done to improve safety for other local people, as well as train workers because trains are moving too fast to be able to stop if an object or person is obstructing their paths in downtown areas.  

Connecticut railroad workers don't want to be added to this list

Connecticut railroad employees face many challenges and risks on the job. Maybe you went to work for the railroad right out of high school, following a long line of family ancestry in the industry, or perhaps you came to your job later in life, after you were already married and raising a family. Either way, when you step off a platform, onto a train, you are at risk for injury. Your employer hopefully provided required training and safety equipment to lower your risk.

Throughout the years, there have been many serious train wrecks in the United States, some in Connecticut. In the past 25 years, some of the deadliest accidents in American history have occurred. Long ago, railroad workers were virtually unprotected, with no way to seek recovery for their losses if they survived an accident. Nowadays, you can navigate the Federal Employers Liability Act process to obtain benefits or seek legal accountability against your employer if warranted.

Connecticut railroad worker injuries leave questions unanswered

A Connecticut state representative publicly expressed his frustration recently, following a train collision. Several railroad worker injuries occurred, and the senator seemed to suggest that he was upset at the way the railroad company tried to downplay the issue. The situation has raised questions regarding railroad safety in this state.  

Two locomotives were reportedly pulling trains on the same track when the accident occurred on a recent Thursday. The trains were approaching Bridgeport's Harbor Yard when one of them somehow collided with the other from behind. There were six railroad employees aboard one of the trains at the time. 

Contentious situation arises after railroad worker injuries

Connecticut railroad employees address issues related to workplace accidents through a system that operates under rules according to the Federal Employers Liability Act. FELA is a system designed to help those who suffer railroad worker injuries to seek full recovery for their losses, as opposed to workers' compensation programs that do not allow workers to file personal injury claims against their employers. A man in another state is currently involved in a legal battle against both his railroad employer and his union representatives.  

The worker suffered an injury on the job in 2013 although the details of the incident were not disclosed. At some point, however, his employer agreed to allow him to take an extended leave of absence because of a serious health condition related to the incident. Less than six months later, he was fired.  

Railroad worker injuries often leave questions left unanswered

Connecticut railroads and others throughout the nation are known to be dangerous in many respects, especially for workers. When tragedies occur that result in railroad worker injuries, investigators often have their work cut out in trying to determine the exact cause of a particular incident. Some duties on the railroad pose a particular risk for injury, such as loading docks.  

It was while a train was being loaded with silica and sand when a recent accident took place. A 42-year-old man was on duty at the time when, for some unknown reason, two cargo cars became detached from the rest of the train. Both cars reportedly derailed, resulting in the man's serious injuries.  

When overnight track work leads to railroad accidents

Connecticut railroads and others have line workers whose job it is to maintain the tracks. Often, these workers report for duty at night or in other down times when trains are not active on the tracks where they're working. Some assignments, such as one that two workers were recently taking care of in another state, necessitate line workers entering tunnels, which sometimes leads to railroad accidents. In this particular instance, the two workers had no idea that a tragedy was about to occur.  

Local trains, as well as those that travel from one end of the nation to the other, are run by strict protocol that is meant to keep workers and passengers safe. If a job requires a worker to enter a tunnel, there is typically a system in place to prevent trains from entering until the workers have safely exited. Something went terribly wrong the day the two co-workers were doing their job; a train not only entered the tunnel, but hit both men, pinning them up against the tunnel wall.  

How well do you understand the FELA process?

You may be one of many Connecticut railroad employees who come from a long line of railroad workers in your family. Perhaps your father, grandfather or even great grandfather worked in the same industry. In fact, their stories may have ignited the first sparks of interest that led you to follow the same employment path even though your loved ones may have told you how dangerous work on the railroad was for them. 

It remains one of the most dangerous types of jobs in the U.S. today. However, you and your fellow co-workers receive protection in ways that past generations of railroad employees did not. Advanced technology has brought about better safety equipment, and the system through which injured workers may claim benefits has also changed. Every railroad worker should be familiar with the Federal Employers Liability Act, commonly referred to as the FELA. If you suffer an injury on the job, you can reach out for immediate support. 

Railroad worker injuries included a fatality in recent tragedy

Connecticut railroads are dangerous places as are all other rail systems across the nation. Railroad worker injuries often result through human error, system malfunctions or employer negligence. In fact, a recent tragedy occurred in another state that left one young worker in serious condition. His colleague did not survive the accident.  

Local deputies were called to the scene after two trains reportedly collided. A locomotive and several freight cars derailed. The man in serious condition is a 26-year old employee of the railroad. Another worker, age 63, was killed in the sudden collision. The younger worker was transported by helicopter to a hospital equipped to handle his needs.