New York railroad workers may have heard that on March 18, four people were taken to a hospital in Kentucky after a two-train collision occurred. The two trains were traveling just north of Lexington when they collided with each other at about 11 p.m., causing both locomotives and 13 train cars to derail and catch fire.
There were four engineers who were traveling on the trains. They were all taken to a nearby hospital for examination. Three of the engineers were released after it was determined that they had not suffered any injuries. The fourth engineer remained hospitalized, though his or her condition was not reported. The derailment caused a fire and what was thought to possibly be a potential chemical spill, though the chemicals turned out to be diesel fuel and vegetable oil.
In 2017, there were 1,190 reported train derailments and three train collisions in the United States. Of these, 378 were caused by a switch being improperly lined.
Unlike most other employees, railroad workers are not covered by workers' compensation. Instead, the Federal Employers Liability Act is responsible for protecting railroad workers who were injured while on the clock. The FELA covers both traumatic physical injuries, such as burns and head trauma, as well as occupational injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. However, railroad workers may only file FELA claims if the injury was caused by negligence on behalf of the railroad.
An attorney may help an injured railroad worker file a FELA claim in order to seek compensation for damages that resulted from a railroad injury. If there is evidence that proves that the railroad company caused the accident through negligence, the injured worker could potentially seek compensation for past and future income loss, mental distress and physical suffering.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Freight Train Collision In Kentucky Sends 4 To Hospital", Nina Golgowski, March 19, 2018