Train & Railroad Accidents

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:49 by admin
Rail service in the United States has decreased over the last several decades, due in large part to the popularity of air travel. Other than regional commuter lines, today's primary passenger rail carrier is the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, more commonly known as Amtrak. Amtrak began service in 1971 and currently carries over 60,000 passengers each day.

While generally safe, rail travel has seen its share of accidents, including 2,768 train related mishaps in 1999 alone. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regulates passenger rail safety and requires that Amtrak and other carriers report all accidents to the FRA. The FRA defines a railroad accident as any "collision, derailment, and other event involving the operation of on-track equipment and causing reportable damage above an established threshold; impacts between railroad on-track equipment and highway users at crossings; and all other incidents or exposures that cause a fatality or injury to any person, or an occupational illness to a railroad employee." This definition includes many admittedly minor incidents; nevertheless, 932 people lost their lives in railroad related accidents during 1999 and many more were injured. For more statistical information please contact the FRA.

The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) was originally enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1908 and protects railroad workers whose work impacts interstate commerce. The FELA gives workers the right to settle with, or sue, their railroad employer in state or federal courts. The FELA is different from workers' compensation in that it allows a worker to file a lawsuit, obtain a jury trial and be awarded monies for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, or permanent impairment or scarring, without pre-set caps or formulas. A rail worker must show some state or federal regulation has been violated or show fault or negligence on behalf of the worker's employer in order to recover damages from the railroad.

Diseases affecting railroad workers include: asbestos diseasesilicosislung cancersmesothelioma,  diesel exhaust lung disease, chemical solvent/solvent exposures, chemical caused lung/breathing disease and cancers, carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive stress/cumulative trauma disease, repetitive stress knee, hip, neck, back, elbow or shoulder injuries/syndromes, cancers from radiation/radioactive exposures, and any other occupational injury or disease attributable to the railroad workplace.

If you have been seriously injured in a train or other railway accident, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit. Railroad workers who have been injured should do the same.

Attorneys associated with will evaluate your case free of charge. In addition, you will not pay any fees or costs unless your attorney recovers money for you. Please click on the free Ask An Attorney button to take advantage of this valuable service.

See Also

  1. 2003 METRA Commuter Train Accident - Chicago
  2. 2004 Mississippi Amtrak Train Derailment
  3. Airlines, Cruises, Buses & Other Mass Transit
  4. Los Angeles Metrolink Commuter Train Accident
  5. Norfolk Southern Train Accident - Graniteville, South Carolina
  6. Broken Bones: Overview
  7. Burns: Overview
  8. Dislocation: Overview
  9. Head & Brain Injury
  10. Joints & Muscles: Overview
  11. Loss of Limb
  12. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Overview
  13. Scars: Overview
  14. Spinal Cord Injury
  15. Wounds: Overview
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