With reports of four train accidents in two months, the holiday season exposed the dangers and risks of rail travel. In Texas, a freight train tragically crashed into a Veterans Day parade, killing four veterans and injuring 16. A week later, another commercial train derailed in New Jersey when a rail bridge collapsed. Two Amtrak passenger trains also collided with idle vehicles on the tracks in Florida and Michigan.
These four accidents shed light on the issue of railroad safety in the United States. Railroad accidents continue to occur despite stringent federal and state regulations, which require railroad companies to exercise a high duty of care. As the National Transportation Safety Board continues to search for answers in these train accidents, it will be interesting to see if changes will be made to improve rail safety in the future.
In addition to federal and state regulations, most states have laws in place that designate trains as “common carriers,” and an injured rail passenger may have legal recourse under a “common carrier” theory of liability. These laws impose a more stringent duty of safety on railroads. Typically, a common carrier is legally responsible for any damage or loss to passengers, property or goods that are within its possession.
The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) also protects certain injured railroad workers. An experienced FELA lawyer can help an injured worker determine whether or not the worker qualifies to file suit under FELA. If FELA applies to an injured worker’s case, FELA allows the worker to sue the railroad for damages caused by the railroad’s negligence, even if the worker was partly at fault for the accident.
Both commercial and passenger train accidents can cause destruction, life-threatening injuries and death. At Broussard, David & Moroux, our lawyers offer free consultations to all prospective clients. If you were injured in a train accident, our lawyers are here to help you recover the fair compensation you and your family deserve.
For a free consultation, contact Broussard, David & Moroux at 888-337-2323 (toll-free) or 337-337-2323 (local).