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Railroad accidents not always reported as they should be

There are thousands of miles of railroad tracks running through Connecticut and many other states. Most of these tracks carry freight and passenger trains, while some run commuter locomotives that travel back and forth between close-distance areas. When railroad accidents occur, injured workers are entitled to benefits to help cover their medical expenses and other costs associated with their injuries.

Problems can arise for workers if their accidents have not properly been reported to the Federal Railroad Administration. It is the railroad companies themselves who are tasked with filing such reports. There is no guarantee, however, that railroad employers can be counted on to follow the rules.

Injured railroad workers are protected under the Federal Employers Liability Act. The FELA is different from workers' compensation, which most non-railroad employers are required to purchase to provide benefits to employees injured on the job. The FELA also allows an injured railroad worker to file a lawsuit against an employer whose negligence was a causal factor to the worker's injuries.

The FRA says that more than 300 reporting violations occurred in 2018. There were also more than 3,000 HAZMAT violations involved in the incidents that were reported. When all paperwork is properly filed, it is easier for injured workers to navigate the system because there is a paper trail associated with the accidents that caused them injury. Things can get quite complicated, however, if railroad employers fail to report railroad accidents to the FRA. If an injured Connecticut railroad worker believes an employer has violated federal law, support may be sought by requesting consultation with an attorney experienced in railroad litigation.

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