Railyard Accident & Injury

Many of the injuries suffered by rail workers result from rail yard accidents.  Statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Safety Analysis indicate that there were more than 20,000 reported cases of railroad worker injuries in the U.S. between 2006 and 2009.

Types Of Railyard Accidents

The types of accidents that occur in a rail yard often result in a serious, possibly life-threatening injury.  This should be of no surprise when one considers the kind of work performed in, and the kinds of activities inherent to, the rail yard work environment:

  • Heavy machinery activity—the equipment used to load, unload, and shift heavy cargo and railyard supplies
  • Mechanical switches and levers—all of these provide opportunities for pinching, crushing, or severing injuries
  • Moving engines and railcars—these are often over 100,000 pounds, and are an unfair match against any rail yard worker, many of which lose limbs or lives from accidents with these beastly machines
  • Toxic cargo—Containers that spill or leak risk potentially releasing corrosive acids, toxic fumes, or carcinogenic compounds
  • Flammables and explosives—locomotive fuel supplies and cargo loads capable of massive explosions and fire are a continual risk

Other types of injuries are heat-related injuries and illnesses.  These are common problems of rail yard workers, as are repetitive motion injuries and illnesses due to fumes exposure.  Rail yard injuries often occur due to train derailments, equipment failure, or train collisions.  Clearly the rail employee is facing daily hazards in their work environment—far more than those experienced by many other workers.  Consequently, rail employees need better solutions for recovering damages from their injuries than those offered to other types of employees.

Legal solution for those injured in a rail yard accident

Under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), railroad employees injured in work-related railroad accidents are permitted to file a lawsuit to recover financial damages from their railroad employers whenever negligence was caused by either their employer or by other railroad employees.  FELA provides a way for injured railroad employees to seek recompense from a source other than workers compensation insurance.

Workers compensation is traditionally the remedy to recover financially from work-related injuries.  However, workers compensation does not allow employees to recover punitive damages and under FELA injured rail yard employees can do so.  However, due to the complications of taking legal action against an employer and the complicated nature of FELA lawsuits, injured railroad employees should seek assistance from an FELA lawyer.

Our FELA lawyers have been representing injured railroad workers and their families since 1929.  A FELA lawyer from the railroad accident law firm of Yaeger & Jungbauer Barristers, PLC will work diligently and aggressively to protect the rail employee’s legal rights and pursue full compensation in a rail yard accident injury.  Contact us if you are a rail yard employee or the family of a rail yard employee who has been severely injured or killed on the job.