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Railroad accidents: Danger increases in populated areas


There are tens of thousands of miles of railroad track interconnected throughout the United States, including numerous rail systems that run through Connecticut. Every time a passenger or freight train runs along a track, workers on board and all others in the vicinity are at risk for injury. Railroad accidents that occur in downtown, populated areas are especially dangerous.

In another state two fatal train accidents have occurred so far this year in the same town. A resident said one of his best friends was killed in one of the accidents. He says something needs to be done to improve safety for other local people, as well as train workers because trains are moving too fast to be able to stop if an object or person is obstructing their paths in downtown areas.

In this particular Tennessee town, trains are not permitted to travel more than 35 mph. However, even at that speed, a train may not be able to come to a full stop in time to avoid a crash. The man who spoke said his 50-year-old friend of 30 years was one of two people who were struck and killed when they stepped onto the tracks and a train couldn’t stop in time.

In situations where victims are passengers or pedestrians, not workers, they may consider filing personal injury or wrongful death claims through the civil justice system, if the evidence suggests negligence by the railroad or another party. Many Connecticut train workers have suffered serious injuries or death in railroad accidents that have occurred at crossroads or in heavily populated cities as well. Workers who survive their injuries and immediate family members of those who don’t may seek guidance regarding the Federal Employers Liability Act, which is the employment benefits system through which railroad worker injuries are processed. Since railroad employees do not receive workers’ compensation benefits, it is critical that they clearly understand the FELA.

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