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Metro-North collision sends worker to hospital

Connecticut residents may have heard about the railroad accident that took place on Sept. 29 in Norwalk. This was the second time in two and a half months that a collision led to a Metro-North Railroad employee being hospitalized.

Around 3:55 a.m. that day, two track cars bumped into each other on out-of service tracks between South Norwalk and East Norwalk, resulting in a low-speed collision; track cars rarely exceed 5 mph according to a Metro-North spokesman. As a precautionary measure, one Metro-North employee was taken to the hospital for observation.

Since no trains were involved and since the accident took place on out-of-service tracks, no line of service experienced delays. The Federal Railroad Administration has not commented on the incident.

A similar incident occurred on July 12 in Bridgeport. Around 1 p.m. near Harbor Yard, two trains collided and injured three Metro-North employees. The company's spokespeople spoke of the collision as a "bump" or a "tap." As per the requirement, Metro-North Railroad reported the incident to the FRA, which began to investigate.

Though these two incidents did not result in serious injuries, some do. In 2014, a 52-year-old man who had been an employee of Metro-North for 27 years was struck and killed by a train while working on a track that was supposed to be inactive.

Railroad workers who incur a traumatic, occupational or toxic injury do not file a workers' compensation claim like other employees; they file a FELA claim instead. They will need to prove that the accident causing their injury occurred through the railroad company's negligence. If successful, victims may receive compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and mental distress. It might be important for victims to hire a lawyer to defend them from accusations that they are to blame for the accident.

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