Houston Railroad Accidents and FELA Lawyer(281) 283-8500
Improperly maintained tracks, mechanical failure, and driver inexperience can result in a catastrophic train or railroad accident. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to receive compensation under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act.
As a train or rail worker, you are part of a hands-on, high-risk industry that requires a great deal of physical effort and precision. One small mistake or an ounce of carelessness puts your entire crew, passengers, and pedestrians at risk. When something goes wrong or another person is negligent, causing an accident and you harm, you will need a Houston railroad and FELA lawyer from The Krist Law Firm, P.C. right away.
Railroad industry accidents and injury claims are unique. They are not like your typical vehicle accident or workers’ compensation claim. They often involve federal laws like the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), Federal Safety Appliance Act (FSAA), or Boiler Inspection Act (BIA). You need an attorney with extensive experience in federal law in order to make a successful claim. We can help you navigate the complex process.
Call us today at 281-283-8500 to schedule a consultation and learn how you can fight for compensation.
The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) was enacted in 1908 and protects most railroad workers. It enables you to sue your employer for injuries that are the result of the employer’s or a coworker’s negligence. FELA sets the health and safety standards that railroads, rail yards, and other related businesses and workplaces must meet. It requires all “common carriers by rail” and any employer involved in the “management and operation of the business” of a railroad to provide workers with reasonably safe environments.
Under FELA, railroad employers have a duty to:
- Provide a reasonably safe work environment with adequate equipment, appropriate tools, and safety devices
- Inspect the work environment to ensure it is hazard free
- Provide adequate training and supervision to employees
- Enforce safety rules and regulations specified in FELA
- Ensure workers have reasonable work quotas
If you were injured because of your employer’s negligence, contact our FELA lawyers today about moving forward with a FELA claim. Under this type of claim, you must prove that your employer was negligent and this negligence played some role, even small, in causing your injuries. Your employer could have been negligent in a number of ways, some of which may have been health and safety regulation violations. However, your employer did not have to violate a health or safety law in order for us to prove negligence.
If we can establish your employer was negligent under FELA, we will pursue compensation for your past and future:
- Medical costs
- Wage loss
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Other Federal Laws That May Apply to Railroad Accidents
If you are a railroad company employee and you were injured at work, contact us today to learn about the federal laws that may apply to your situation. In addition to FELA, rail workers may be covered by:
- Federal Safety Appliance Act (FSAA) – Under the FSAA, you may have the right to seek compensation from your employer for accidents that were not the result of negligence. If your accident and injuries were the result of a failure of couplers, steps, ladders, running boards, grab irons, or any part of the train’s braking system, contact us today. Railroads must follow a strict standard in regard to these parts and more. If they fail to uphold this standard and that leads to your injuries, you may have a FSAA claim.
- Boiler Inspection Act (BIA) – Under this federal law, all railroad carriers must ensure all parts of a train are in proper condition and safe to operate without workers facing any unnecessary risk of injury. If you were injured because of an unsafe condition aboard a train, you may have a BIA claim.
Train & Railroad Industry Accidents
Rail workers are consistently at risk for moderate-to-catastrophic injuries. They can be injured during numerous types of accidents, the most common of which include:
These take place when two trains collide on the same set of tracks because of improper signaling, switching, or communication.
Rail crossing accidents
Accidents can take place where trains cross roads, trails, and other tracks when the intersection lacks proper warning systems or those in place malfunction or fail.
Trains may come off the track for a number of reasons, including improper maintenance, switching, signaling, or communication.
Collisions with rail workers
Trains may hit individuals who are working on the tracks.
Couplings are used to connect train cars to an engine or each other. These couplings may fail due to a product defect or improper maintenance.
Heavy equipment accidents
If heavy equipment used by rail workers is not properly secured, maintained, or operated, it can cause significant accidents.
Unsecured footholds or grab irons
Workers need secured and properly maintained footholds and grab irons. If these are defective, not firmly attached, or not well maintained, workers may fall.
Hazardous materials spill
Trains often carry hazardous materials. If these leak or spill, they could injury nearby crew members.
Employer Negligence in Train and Railroad Accidents
Another common reason for rail workers’ injuries is the employer’s negligence. As a railroad industry employee, you are entitled to a reasonably safe environment. If your employer fails to maintain a safe workplace or provide you the equipment and gear you need to do your job safely, you face a significant risk of injury.
Railway accidents and injuries commonly occur because of:
- A lack of proper safety gear and equipment
- Poorly maintained equipment
- Cluttered environments
- Lack of workplace inspections
- Inadequate staffing or supervision
- Inadequate training
- Safety and health regulation violations
Common Rail Worker Injuries
Common rail industry accidents may lead to moderate injuries. However, many of these types of accidents are known to lead to catastrophic injuries that lead to permanent disfigurements and disabilities. Some of the most common injuries rail workers suffer at work are:
- Mild, moderate, and severe traumatic brain injuries
- Bone fractures
- Amputations or crushed limbs
- Neck, shoulders, and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Serious lacerations
- Chemical exposure, including chemical burns
- Fire-related burns
Liability for Train and Railroad Accidents and Injuries
If you are a rail worker and suffered an injury at work, you should contact our experienced railroad accident lawyers as soon as possible. Determining what happened, who is liable, and how you can obtain compensation may be complicated. At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we are prepared to thoroughly investigate your situation and determine the next best steps.
In many situations, your employer will be liable for your injuries. If you were part of another industry, you would likely move forward with a workers’ compensation insurance claim. But as a railroad employee, workers’ comp does not apply to you. Instead, you are protected by other federal laws that may offer a greater opportunity for compensation.
There are also circumstances under which your employer is not responsible for the accident. If a third party, whether they were a worker from another business or a pedestrian, is at fault for the accident and your injuries, then you may have the right to bring a third-party personal injury liability claim instead of or in addition to your claim against your employer.
An Employer’s Most Common Defense: Comparative Negligence
When you are hurt, your employer is not your friend. Even if your supervisor or the claim agent appears sympathetic, they will be looking out for the railroad company’s bottom line. One of their most common defenses when you bring a FELA or other negligence-based claim is that you were also or entirely at fault. Your employer will investigate your claim and look for evidence that you were in someone way negligent and contributed to your own injuries. If they can establish that you are partially responsible, your compensation may be decreased. If you were a majority at fault, you may be barred from recovering compensation entirely.
Contact Our Houston Railroad Accident and FELA Lawyers Right Away
If you are a railroad worker and were injured on the job, contact our experienced train and railroad accident lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. as soon as possible. As a rail worker, your injury claim is not a straight forward workers’ comp or personal injury claim. Various federal laws may apply to your situation, and you will need an attorney who has specifically handled train and railroad worker accidents like yours.
At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we have decades of experience in handling train, railroad, and FELA claims, and have helped our clients recover multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts. Contact us online or call 281-283-8500 to schedule a free consultation and learn about how we can help.