Railroad injuries may range in severity from minor scrapes and bumps to catastrophic injuries and death. The strategy you use in a personal injury lawsuit after a railroad accident depends largely on whether you are an employee or a patron.
Railroad workers typically are not able to collect damages under workers’ compensation laws. Instead, their claims must go through a process dictated through the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). To recover damages under FELA, workers must prove their injuries were the result of negligence on the part of the rail company. One may prove negligence by showing the railroad failed to:
- Provide proper, safe tools and equipment for workers to use on the job
- Regularly inspect and maintain all equipment and tools
- Select the safest possible methods for workers to get their jobs done
- Provide enough workers to complete the work safely
- Enforce various safety rules
- Provide appropriate instructions and training for all workers
Passengers have a slightly less complicated road to collecting damages in a personal injury claim. Railroads are responsible for injuries to passengers if they do not use the “highest degree of caution” in transporting passengers to their destinations. A passenger could recover damages for injuries stemming from a train crash, a slip on a platform or any other incident that would be considered under the railroad’s purview.
If you suffer an injury in a railroad accident, you would proceed in much the same way you would if you had been involved in a car crash. You should document everything, take pictures and keep thorough medical records, sharing all of this information with your attorney.
If you or someone close to you has been injured in a railroad accident, consult a Bradenton personal injury lawyer at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh as soon as possible.