Even though its role as a mode of transportation has dwindled, the train is still vital to moving freight and goods across the United States, responsible for more than 15 per cent of all shipping tonnage in the United States. In fact, because of the relatively low costs of shipment and maintenance on freight trains (compared to trucking and flight), American business and industry’s reliance on the railroad is expected to grow significantly in the coming decades.
But before such growth occurs, the railroad industry should ensure that it can provide a firm and safe foundation well into the future. The railroad industry, which operates on tight budgets to maintain a competitive edge against other sectors of shipping, often fails to properly maintain the safety standards of its rail system. Such oversights are the cause of more than 3000 train accidents each year, resulting from track defects, signal defects, equipment defects and human error. On average, more than 900 people lose their lives each year as a result of these accidents.
The current state of tracks in aged and poor condition throughout many states, including Kentucky, shows that the cause for concern is real. Of the more than 3000 train accidents that occur each year in the U.S., about 1/3 are the result of track defects. Other preventable causes of train accidents are signal defects, equipment defects and human error.
FRA: Concerns with Highway-Rail Grade Crossings
The Federal Railroad Administration has recently expressed safety concerns with highway-rail grade crossings, rail crossings that are owned by private property owners primarily to allow roadway access over railroad tracks to residential, commercial, or agricultural areas not meant for general public use. Each year, about 400 accidents, and between 30 and 40 fatalities, occur at the more than 94,000 private crossings used by both freight and passenger trains.
FELA Law: Help for Injured Railroad Workers
When a railroad worker is injured, a different set of laws is applied to determine the compensation owed to the injured employee. The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) was enacted in the early 20th century to equip railroad workers with forceful legal means when their employers – railroad companies – did not protect their safety. As with many industries in those times, the railroad’s standards of safety were almost non-existent. FELA was part of a number of progressive legislative packages put forth during that time to pressure big business into taking more steps to protect the railroad’s workforce.
While safety regulations and enforcement have come far in 100 years, injury-causing accidents in the railroad workforce are still prevalent, with an average of more than 5000 injuries reported among railroad workers each year. When railroad workers are injured on the job, they can apply their entitlements under FELA to obtain maximum compensation for an injury. Despite many efforts since its inception to overturn the FELA, it remains an important and unique right that railroad workers possess, and one that Daryl T. Dixon can help them fully exercise.
Toxic Exposure Cases for Railroad Workers
In addition to accidents related to unsafe working conditions. railroad workers must also work around many types of hazardous chemicals. If a railroad employer fails to provide workers with appropriate equipment. In fact, many plaintiffs in the nationwide asbestos litigation that has been going on for decades are former employees of the railroad. Under FELA law, Daryl T. Dixon can assist railroad workers in cases of toxic exposure to chemicals, gases and other hazardous substances.
Get Help from a Paducah Railroad Accident Lawyer
Kentucky attorney Daryl T. Dixon represents those injured or killed in train accidents. To bolster his expertise of railroad law and liability, Daryl employs private investigators who’ve spent careers working for the railroad industry, and can identify when errors have been made or safety regulations have been ignored that contribute to injury or death.
If you’ve been involved in a train accident in Kentucky, contact Daryl T. Dixon, Paducah, KY railroad accident lawyer, today for a free review of your case.