If you work for a railroad company, you know your job is dangerous. Serious accidents happen with surprising regularity—brake, switch, and signal operators are especially at risk. But many railroad workers are covered by the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), which provides compensation to railroad employees who are hurt or killed on the job. Under FELA, an injured railroad employee can file a lawsuit to obtain compensation for medical bills, lost work, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Five Ways Railroad Workers Are Hurt on the Job
FELA requires railroads to provide a reasonably safe work environment for employees. Still, railroad workers are often seriously injured or even killed on the job as a result of the following:
- Railcar coupling. Many serious railroad accidents have occurred while coupling (connecting) railroad cars. Although the use of automatic coupling devices has meant a decrease in these types of accidents, they still happen—resulting in serious injuries to railroad workers.
- Railcar movement. When railcars are moved, spotters and mirrors should be used to see in front of, behind, and underneath the cars to avoid hitting nearby railroad workers. When safety precautions are lax, pedestrian railroad workers can be severely injured or even killed.
- Railroad crossings. While safety measures are typically in place to prevent collisions between trains and motor vehicles, serious accidents still occur—sometimes due to insufficient warning signs or malfunctioning safety devices. These accidents can seriously injure both railroad workers and motorists involved in the collision.
- Track defects and equipment failure. When railroad tracks, trains, and other equipment are not properly maintained, derailments and other types of accidents can occur—severely injuring railroad workers as a result.
- Human error. Exercising poor judgment or failing to adhere to safety protocols contributes to or causes accidents that can result in life-altering injuries or fatalities for railroad employees.
Railroad accidents can cause significant life-altering injuries, and the medical costs alone can be staggering. But under FELA, railroad workers who have been injured in a train accident may be entitled to compensation from their employers.
Are you a railroad worker who was hurt in a train accident? Are you the family member of a railroad employee killed in a train accident? Our compassionate and knowledgeable legal team has extensive experience pursuing FELA claims, and we are here to help you understand your legal options. Call us today at (817) 380-4888 or fill out the online contact form on this page to schedule a complimentary case evaluation.