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Railroad Accidents in Western Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh injury law firm

Railroads are vital to the United States, which has over 100,000 miles of rail line within its borders. Each year, millions upon millions of tons of goods are shipped via rail, one of the most high-volume, low-cost and energy-efficient methods of shipping available. With rising gas prices, congested streets, and concern over global warming, each month more and more Americans turn to commuter railways for their transportation needs.

The convenience of railways is not without cost. Each year:

  • Thousands of railroad workers are injured or killed while at work
  • Thousands of vehicles or pedestrians are struck by trains at rail crossings
  • Hundreds of rail passengers are injured or killed while on the train
  • Many trains carrying hazardous materials derail and spill their loads

Rail Crossing Accidents

Persons injured or killed by a train at a crossing may have a claim for negligence against the railroad and sometimes in the form of a wrongful death action. Often the railroad failed to properly maintain the tracks or to provide adequate warning of approaching trains. In many rural areas, railroads do not install gates or warning lights and fail to cut back vegetation that blocks a driver’s view of approaching trains.

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Passenger Accidents

Railroads are obligated to use the highest degree of care and diligence to protect their passengers. Railroads owe this duty to their passengers while they are within the train’s passenger compartments, moving between the train’s cars, and boarding and unloading. Railroads must also protect their passengers from harmful acts by third parties, including attacks by other passengers.

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Injuries to Rail Workers

Rail workers are protected by the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), which governs the liability of most railroad employers for work-related injuries suffered or occupational diseases contracted by their workers. Under FELA, employees can recover money benefits when railroad negligence contributed to their injury. The railroad does not have to be the sole cause of the worker’s injury, as long as the railroad contributed to the injury or disease, even slightly, the worker can recover.

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Claims Against Railroad Companies and Statutes of Limitations

Litigating against railroad companies can be very complex due to the many laws and regulations that apply to the operation and maintenance of railways. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries because of an accident involving a train, contact Rudberg Law Offices, LLC for a free consultation. Our attorneys have decades of experience representing injured persons in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Specific time periods apply as to when an injured person can file a claim for compensation due to the injuries suffered in a railroad or train accident. For instance, if you are injured as a result of a railroad or train accident and you are not a rail worker, you only have two (2) years to file a lawsuit for your injuries. Rail workers have three (3) years to bring a claim under FELA for their injuries. Therefore, it is very important that legal representation is sought as soon as possible.

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Additional Information

For additional information, you may find the following links useful:

Contact a skilled accident lawyer in Pittsburgh

If you have been injured in any type of accident caused by the careless or wrongful actions of others, call the Pittsburgh accident attorneys of Rudberg Law Offices, LLC for assistance at (412) 488-6000, (866) 306-2667, or complete our quick contact web form.