If a length of railroad tracks is considered non-operational, any trains moving through that area should be promptly stopped and re-routed until repairs can be completed. Failing to do so can seriously endanger anyone on the train, including railroad workers, as these damaged tracks may cause train cars to derail.
Accidents caused by non-operational tracks can cause severe injuries and, in the most tragic of cases, death. In order to protect railway employees injured in such accidents due to their company’s lack of sufficient track maintenance, the Federal Employers’ Liability Act, or FELA, allows such workers to seek financial compensation for their injuries and/or losses.
The Hazards of Non-operational Tracks
A damaged or unsafe length of track should be repaired quickly and avoided by any train traffic through well-planned detours. Employers who fail to take this initiative to protect their employees may subject their workers to the following dangers:
- Derailment accidents
- Injuries to nearby track workers, especially if a train derails
- Damage to the train, potentially causing serious safety concerns
It is an employer’s responsibility to communicate to their train operators and employees the location of non-operational tracks and what routes to use instead. If this information isn’t provided, railroad workers injured as a result may be entitled to file for compensation due to their employer’s negligence.
Non-operational tracks are a serious problem that can cause devastating accidents. Railroad employees injured due to railroad companies failing to repair these tracks should not have to bear the burden of these accidents, and fortunately FELA can often prevent this. To learn more about your protections under FELA as a railroad worker, call (212) 779-0057. The New York non-operational track attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP can help you understand your rights and options for filing a FELA lawsuit.