Train Accidents & FELA Claims
Statistically, trains are rarely involved in accidents -- but when they do crash, the results can be catastrophic. When trains crash, hundreds of people on board, traveling without safety restraints, may be killed or seriously injured. Neighboring communities may also be affected. Train accidents may be caused by derailments, crashes with other trains, crashes with cars or debris on the tracks, defective equipment, failure to maintain equipment or even bad decisions by railroad workers. Unfortunately, accidents with cars or pedestrians at railway crossings are especially common.
Railroad companies have a legal duty to prevent these accidents by taking reasonable care -- ensuring that railroad crossings and junctions are clearly marked, equipment is working and employees understand and perform their duties. If they fail in that duty, they are liable for the results, just as the careless driver of a car would be in an accident. Furthermore, railway workers enjoy special legal protections under a law called the Federal Employers Liability Act, which allows them to sue their employer for any on-the-job injuries. Rather than applying for workers' compensation benefits, railroad workers may sue their employers for work-related injuries. In addition to sudden physical injuries like broken bones, this includes illness from exposure to toxins and carcinogens (including asbestos) as well as hearing loss and other chronic injuries.
If you or someone you love was hurt in a train crash or other railroad-related accident, Suthers & Harper would like to help. To tell us your story and learn more about your legal options at a FREE consultation, please contact us online through our confidential evaluation form or call us toll-free at 1.800.320.2384.