Switching operations present some of the most dangerous situations when it comes to railroad injuries. With multiple people having different responsibilities for moving heavy equipment, a single mistake can have devastating consequences. If you have been injured as a result of railroad switching operations, a dedicated railroad injury attorney might be able to help. Pursuing compensation for railroad switching injuries can be challenging without the guidance of an experienced railroad injury lawyer.
Common Switching Hazards
Most switching injuries result from avoidable human errors. In many cases, the failure of the railroad to follow proper safety protocols is to blame. The largest contributing factor to switching injuries is unexpected train movement. When train movements are not adequately communicated to all those in the zone of danger, railroad workers face a greater risk of injury. In addition, unexpected jerking movements known as “slack action” frequently cause injuries to workers performing switching operations.
Slips and falls are also common causes of switching injuries. Workers might fall in the path of a moving train or fall from a train and suffer an injury due to the impact or unstable ballast.
Sometimes collisions occur during switching operations as well. For example, if a train is too long for a track siding and cars are left on an active mainline, a collision could occur. Other injuries can result from faulty equipment, motor vehicle collisions, and unsecured or runaway rail cars.
Pursuing Compensation for Switching Injuries
Financial compensation may be available to railroad workers that suffer injuries during switching operations. This compensation is available through a federal law known as the Federal Employer’s Liability Act. Also known as the FELA, this law works in a similar manner to a state-operated workers’ compensation system. Unlike workers’ compensation, however, claims for on-the-job railroad injuries require proof of the railroad’s negligence in causing the injury, even in part. This requirement is automatically satisfied if an injury is caused by something that is in violation of certain safety regulations, such as faulty coupling systems.
Compensation for railroad switching injuries can be significant. A successful claim could provide an injured worker with compensation for past and future medical expenses as well as:
- Permanent or temporary disability
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of future earning power
- Lost wages
- Mental suffering
The injuries associated with switching accidents can be life-altering. Thankfully, a lawyer experienced with these types of claims can provide much-needed legal advice.
Contact a Railroad Switching Injury Attorney Right Away
If you suffered a work-related injury during a railroad switching operation, you may be entitled to compensation. By pursuing a FELA claim, you could recover for the damage caused by your injuries. Pursuing these claims can be complex, especially if you attempt to do it on your own. Call now to learn how a railroad switching injury lawyer could help.