Injuries in Rail Yards
While rail yard work has gotten safer over the years, it remains a dangerous occupation that poses a high risk of injury to workers. Thanks to the passage of the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) in 1908, rail yard workers can now hold their employers financially liable for negligence that leads to an employee getting hurt on the job. The FELA is different and better than state workers’ compensation.
Making a successful FELA claim or filing suit over injuries in rail yards is more complicated than filing a workers’ comp claim would be in a different line of work. Seeking assistance from a dedicated railroad accident attorney from Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers could make a world of difference in your case.
Causes and Effects of Rail Yard Injuries
Between moving train cars and locomotives, heavy machinery that may malfunction, ballast, debris, and uneven surfaces that present a myriad of slipping and tripping hazards, and risk of exposure to live electrical systems, rail yards are full of dangerous conditions that could cause serious harm to an unfortunate worker. Common injuries that rail yard workers in Virginia experience due to workplace accidents include:
- Deep lacerations
- Spinal injuries
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain damage
- Back and neck injuries potentially leading to nerve damage
- Crushing injuries that may lead to internal organ damage and/or loss of limb
In addition to the risk of physical injury from a one-time accident, exposure to the numerous toxic—and often carcinogenic—substances in rail yards can cause equally severe harm in the long term through the development of chronic illnesses. Accordingly, current or former rail yard workers who contract asbestosis, mesothelioma, leukemia or lung cancer as a result of the conditions they were exposed to at work could potentially seek money for the harms and losses through a FELA claim or lawsuit.
Pursuing a FELA Claim After a Rail Yard Accident
FELA establishes the standard that rail yard owners and operators must meet in the interest of minimizing the risk of harm to employees. A railroad must provide a reasonably safe place to work. If a railroad company carelessly fails to meet this standard and contributes in some way to an employee suffering a work-related injury and illness, FELA allows the impacted employee to file suit against his employee based on that negligence. Violation of a safety statute or regulation also may give rise to railroad company liability.
To win a strong financial recovery under FELA for an injury in a rail yard your FELA lawyer should collect as much documentation regarding the injury as possible, including medical records, any accident report(s) filed with the employer, photographs of the injury, and potentially testimony from witnesses to the incident that caused the injury. Following this, a railroad accident lawyer could negotiate on an injured worker’s behalf for a full and fair settlement or seek a favorable verdict in civil court.
A Virginia FELA Attorney Could Help File Suit Over a Rail Yard Injury
Injuries in rail yards often have devastating and life-altering consequences, as injured workers often have to deal with long-term disabilities or disfigurements and expensive medical bills on top of losing income and even their railroad career. Fortunately, the Federal Employer’s Liability Act provides a means for rail yard workers who get hurt or ill due to work-related conditions to seek compensation from their negligent employers.
Achieving success with a claim like this often takes significant legal knowledge and experience, both of which an attorney from our dedicated firm could provide for you. Call today to learn more about your FELA railroad work case.