Working on the nation’s railroads is a challenging and often thankless job. However, you are responsible for keeping the nation’s economy afloat, as railroads are imperative to transporting goods across the country. However, when you are hurt in a train crash while working, you may feel even more alone and underappreciated, as your employer may not take the necessary steps to help you receive the compensation you deserve. As such, it’s imperative to keep reading, as you’ll discover how these accidents occur, who can face liability, and how a FELA lawyer can help you recover the funds you are entitled to.

How Do Train Accidents Happen?

Unfortunately, due to the nature of trains, accidents can happen. However, these are often the result of negligence on behalf of others, meaning they aren’t just work-related risks, but rather preventable injuries. As such, understanding the cause of train accidents can help you understand whether or not your environment is safe. The following are examples of the common causes of train accidents:

  • Improper track maintenance
  • Failure to remedy broken crossing signs and signals
  • Overloaded or unbalanced cars
  • Failure to maintain cars
  • Using broken equipment, like defective railcar couplers
  • Failure to take necessary precautions when moving cars

What Injuries Can Workers Sustain?

When a worker is involved in a train crash, they can experience a wide variety of severe and life-altering injuries. These include fractures, amputations, traumatic brain injuries, crushed limbs, spinal cord and back damage, scarring, and disfigurement.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for workers involved in a train crash to be killed at the scene or succumb to the injuries they sustained.

It’s important to note that workers involved in a crash can also experience exposure to hazardous materials. For example, if a train carrying pesticides crashes, workers in the area may inhale or even come in physical contact with the chemicals. Exposure to these hazardous substances can lead to a variety of cancers and other illnesses.

Who Can Be Held Liable Under FELA?

The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) is a set of laws that help ensure railroad workers have a safe environment and that their employers are held liable for injuries that occur because of their negligence.

If you can prove that your employer was negligent in any form, such as failing to ensure equipment was free from damage or to properly train employees, they can face liability for any injuries endured by workers.

It’s imperative to understand that pursuing a FELA claim is incredibly complex. As such, it is critical to consult with an experienced attorney. However, you shouldn’t consult any personal injury attorney, as this process should be handled by an attorney familiar with the complications that can arise during a FELA case. That’s why it’s in your best interest to consult the team at Doran & Murphy. Our lawyers have the experience necessary to help you navigate these challenging times. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you.