Rail yards are in constant motion with rail cars, locomotives, cargo, and heavy machinery always moving in different directions. The risk of being crushed against, underneath, or between these massive pieces of equipment is ever-present. If you were injured in this way, please reach out to a railroad crush injury lawyer immediately. You could secure much-needed compensation by working with a skilled railroad injury attorney.
How Do Railroad Workers Sustain Crush Injuries?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, crush injuries most commonly occur during coupling and switching operations. A coupler is a mechanism used to connect rail cars together in a train, and the mechanism that connects the couplings to the rail cars is the draft gear or draw gear. Modern couplers are required to connect automatically upon impact. The standard freight-car coupler is a “clasped-hand” device that couples automatically when one or both knuckles are open and cars are pushed together. Upon impact, the knuckle moves into the closed position and a lock then drops in place, securing the coupling. Cars are then uncoupled by lifting a lever that reaches from the coupler to the side of the car.
The “automatic” coupler is not fully automatic, however. After coupling, a switchman still must climb between the cars to connect the air hoses for the brakes. Such tasks often put them in harm’s way between cars and out of a locomotive operator’s sight. Workers hooking up freight cars can be crushed between the couplers of two cars being joined or are run over by the moving section of train being joined to or separated from the remaining cars.
Injuries in Repair Shops
Crush injuries on the railroad can happen in a variety of other ways as well. In railroad repair shops, for example, heavy equipment is often being lifted, turned, or maneuvered into place through the use of machinery such as lift cranes. Given the size and weight of railroad equipment, if something goes wrong, it is usually catastrophic.
Compensation for Crush Injuries
Crush injuries can cause significant pain, suffering, and disfigurement. Experienced railroad crush injury attorneys can assist an injured worker in determining the railroad’s liability under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). Whether an injury occurs to do a faulty coupler or by the actions of a co-employee, the railroad may be liable to the employee for their lost wages, including into the future, and for their pain and suffering.
As part of its investigation, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, concluded that the most common crafts impacted by crush injuries were conductors, brakemen, signal workers, and switch operators, though other crafts also suffered these injuries.
Sustained a Railroad Crush Injury? Contact a Lawyer from Doran & Murphy.
Railyards can be dangerous places. A railroad crush injury lawyer is available if you require legal guidance in getting financial help. If you or a loved one suffered one of these devastating injuries, please contact us today for a free consultation.