Frequent and usually catastrophic
Federal Railroad Administration statistics show that nearly 1,000 people are killed annually in railroad accidents and many thousands more are severely injured. In fact, a train accident occurs every 90 minutes in the United States. The statistics also show that a train carrying hazardous materials runs off the tracks and spills its load once every two weeks.
The railroad company is often responsible for these accidents because of the railroad’s failure to properly maintain the tracks or provide adequate warning of an approaching train. In many rural areas, railroads have not installed gates or warning lights and have failed to cut vegetation that blocks a driver’s view of potential oncoming trains.
Litigating against railroad companies can be very complex because of the many regulations that govern their operations and maintenance. RPWB railroad accident attorneys have experience handling railroad crossing accident and train derailment cases. In 2005, RPWB was appointed co-lead counsel in the consolidated cases arising from the Graniteville, South Carolina train derailment and chemical spill.
Recovering damages for railroad employees
RPWB railroad accident attorneys can also help railroad employees injured in work-related accidents or diseases file suits against their employers or other railroad employees under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). These are not workers' compensation actions. And, unlike workers' compensation actions, in a FELA action, if negligence is proven, workers can receive much higher amounts. RPWB attorneys have represented railroad workers in such cases with significant success.