Derailment Claims under FELA

Derailment is one of the causes cited in personal injury claims in Federal Employers Liability Act or FELA. A derailment occurs when the train or part of a train leaves the railway tracks while it is in motion; it is also referred to as a disruption of the proper guidance of the railway. In most cases, a derailment occurs due to negligence.

Negligence is the gross failure of a party that has an obligation to keep people safe to uphold that duty. For example, a railroad company has an obligation to ensure that it’s railways and trains are up to code and safe to use. Train conductors have an obligation to operate the train at an appropriate speed. Station employees have to make sure the carts are attached properly. It goes on and on. One person’s failure to uphold his or her obligation to keeping the railroads safe can result in tragic accidents that leave innocent people with severe injuries. Victims of such accidents have a right to file an injury lawsuit to seek compensation for their medical expenses.

Common causes of derailment

  • Rail Breaks – A rail break causes derailment because the missing or detached portion causes a train to jump out of the track. The reasons for rail breaks may be due to metallurgical fatigue, manufacturing defects, brittling due to wheelburn, wheel out of round, and excessive cold weather tension. Regular track maintenance can detect (potential) rail breaks that will effectively prevent a derailment due to rail breaks.
  • Misalignment – Track failures due to misalignment can be caused by too-wide spaces between rails, buckling under hot weather, incorrect track geometry, flood waters compromising the integrity of the track support, cyclical harmonic harmonies, problem with rail profiles and unconstrained rail rotation. In many cases, these situations can be avoided or remedied with regular inspection and proper testing of the rails.
  • Human Error – Some derailments are caused by poor judgment or management, especially when it comes to loading. The usual suspects when it comes to a derailment include uneven loading, incorrect loading of middle cars when traveling a reverse curve with light cars, and inexperienced handling of the train. This is why it is important for routine rail inspections.

FELA Claims

If a railway employee is injured or dies due to a derailment, there is a good chance that the railway operator is liable due to inadequate inspection and maintenance procedures. Under FELA, an affected employee can claim for compensation if there is proof of negligence on the part of the employer. FELA claims can be complicated, so it would be advisable to retain a lawyer conversant with the intricacies of a FELA claim in the appropriate jurisdiction. This will ensure a reasonable chance of getting just compensation for injury and damages resulting from a derailment.

 

Railroad

read more

Plumbing Problems In Your Home

ALD PlumbingWater leaks in any area in the house can cause serious damage if left unattended. Unfortunately, fixing the leak by yourself can often cause more harm than good, as a lack of professional training and, more importantly, experience may leave home-repair jobs fixing only a portion of the leak and exacerbating the underlying problem. Plumbing can be a complicated thing, so unless you are a professional, it is always best to call for a plumber.

There a lot of benefits to hiring an experienced plumber, rather than working on the leaks yourself. For one, professional work is almost always better. They not only fix the leaking sinks or faucets, they also dish out tips which can help you in preventing the problem from occurring again, or can advise you on how to get quick fixes should you come across the same issue in the future.

Most professional plumbers also perform high quality repairs, ensuring that their customers are satisfied with their jobs and that the leaks are fully fixed and that the problem does not resurface. Making sure that the repairs are lasting is one way to see if you have hired a professional plumbing service or not.

Lastly, getting professionals to do the work guarantees that they are done in the fastest time possible.  Faucets, sinks and other utilities are used every day, which is why professional plumbers try to repair these problems as quickly as possible to ensure that their customers will be able to use them as soon as possible.

Getting the right plumbing services to help you fix any issues in your house can help prevent you from incurring unnecessary expenses for renovations and repairs caused by water leaks. When looking for plumbing services, look for benefits such as warrantees, customer reviews, and even their availability, in order to determine which service would be best for you.

read more

Taking Photos and Videos at the Scene of an Accident

There are some things you have to do when you are involved in a car accident to ensure that your rights are protected. One of the most important of these is documenting the scene of the car accident through photos or videos.

Pictures and videos don’t lie. It tells the story without fear of misinterpretation or misrepresentation, and you need to preserve the evidence in situ. This is important if you find yourself defending your position in an insurance claim or a lawsuit. Thanks to advances in technology, you will probably have a camera handy through your mobile phone or tablet which takes decent photos and videos. Photos and videos are persuasive arguments in proving your case. In the event that you don’t have such a facility or it is unavailable i.e. low in battery, any camera will do.  Use the date and time stamp if the feature is available to provide information that may have relevance later on.

The scene of the accident includes the position of the vehicle or vehicles at the point of contact. You also need to document the surroundings to provide context i.e. at an intersection at night during a storm. If you can, document using at least three different angles, and take near and far shots. Other details that may escape your notice at the time will be captured and may prove to be crucial during an investigation. At the very least, photographic documentation will help refresh your memory when you recount the car accident to your insurer, lawyer, during a deposition or at trial as the case may be. Take as many photos or as long a video as you can manage. If storage or film is limited, capture the important details first.

Here is a list of things that you should prioritize:

  • The vehicles and the damage sustained
  • Skid marks
  • Crash debris
  • Site of the accident
  • Weather conditions
  • Any injuries sustained

Check the photos and videos you have taken before leaving the scene of the accident to make sure that you have enough usable ones. If you think you have a personal injury claim, take your evidence to a car accident lawyer for an assessment.

read more

What To Do Directly Following a Car Accident

Being involved in a car accident is an incredibly scary experience. The fear of sustaining an injury or losing your life causes a huge surge of adrenaline that can make it difficult to keep a level head directly afterwards. However, it’s important to remember what you should do after being involved in a car accident, since forgetting some of these steps can make getting an insurance claim or medical costs covered exceedingly more difficult than they should be.

One of the very first things you should do is check to see if anyone is seriously hurt. If so, call 911 immediately. If everyone seems to be in decent condition, call the police anyway. Their presence can serve as a mediator between you and the other driver and they can also generate an accident report, which will prove valuable when it comes time to make an insurance claim.

Be sure to photograph the scene of the accident, including damage to your vehicle and any other vehicles involved.

When talking to the other driver or the police, never say that you are unhurt. Some car accident injuries do not surface for days or even weeks. Additionally, do not apologize to the other driver, as that implies that you are at fault for the accident. Exchange insurance information with the other driver. Be sure to get his or her name as well as some form of contact information. This way you will be able to get in touch if you have further questions later on.

While being in a car accident is a jarring experience, being confident in what to do afterwards can help make it a little bit easier to handle.

 

read more

Used Cars

For many people, cars are a necessity in this day and age. Without automotive transportation, it would be impossible for many to go to work and back, never mind taking trips and holidays. While not everyone has a private pilot’s license, most individuals over the age of 16 in the United States do have a driver’s license.  However, with everyone feeling the pressure of living on a budget, buying a new car may be out of many individuals‘ price range.

Although there are perks in buying a new car, it can be a bit hard on the pocketbook. One way to help solve your car troubles is to consider buying a used car. In fact, there are some significant benefits in choosing to buy used cars instead of new ones.

One thing that sets used cars apart from new ones is their affordability. A typical new car costs more than $20, 000, and that is excluding taxes and fees. A used car, on the other hand, typically costs four figures or less. This huge difference in price can save more for other equipment and options which you might need and use in the future.

Another thing to consider is the considerable number of options that people can choose from. While new cars at dealerships are limited to the most recent makes and models, used car dealerships can offer a wide variety of different makes and models of vehicles.

Buying a used car may also be a better option from a value perspective, since the value of a new car goes down significantly after only a couple of years of ownership. In contrast, the value of a used car tends to decrease much more slowly.

When looking for used cars, most companies can help by offering you trade-ins, in-house financing, and even credit reporting. Finding the one that you are most comfortable with and that offers you the best service can help you to get the best deal possible from buying a used car.

read more