Whether you have been working for the railroad for one day or many years, you are at risk of injury every time you go to work. Most days, you will return home from work unharmed. However, just one day—just one injury—could change the course of your life.

Accordingly, it is important to know how train accidents commonly occur and when your employer may be liable for your injuries.

Train Accidents Caused by Human Error

Human error is a significant cause of train accidents. A mistake by a railroad company, a conductor, a switch operator, a mechanic, or another railroad worker can endanger the safety of everyone on board the train and working in the vicinity of the railroad. Some examples of human error include:

  • Distraction

  • Drowsiness

  • Speeding

  • Improper braking

  • Failure to properly align railroad switches

  • Miscommunication between workers

  • Failure to train workers appropriately

While there are regulations in place to help prevent train accidents caused by human error, mistakes by railroad workers remain a leading cause of train accidents in the United States.

Train Accidents Caused by Equipment Failure

Safe train travel depends on a lot of equipment. A problem with just a single piece of equipment could result in a serious train accident. Some examples of equipment failure include:

  • Signal malfunctions

  • Track issues

  • Mechanical issues

Many of these issues could be prevented with timely safety inspections and repairs.

What to Do If You Are Hurt in a Train Accident

If you have been injured, or if you have lost a loved one who was working on the railroad, then it is important to know that you have rights and that you may be entitled to a legal recovery for the harm that has been done. 

However, railroad accident cases can be complicated. You may have a workers’ compensation claim, a legal claim against your employer, or a third-party claim. Railroad workers are typically covered by a federal law known as the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). Under this law, your employer may be liable for your injuries if the employer was negligent or failed to provide you with a reasonably safe work environment.

Our experienced railroad accident lawyers will thoroughly investigate your case to determine what caused your injury and we will help you get the fair and just recovery that you deserve. Please contact us via this website or by calling 1.800.362.9329 to schedule a free initial consultation and to find out more about how we can help you during this difficult time.

Paul T. Hofmann
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Focused on personal injury, with an emphasis on maritime, railroad and construction worker tort claims.