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

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

Taking Control of Your Car or Motorcycle Accident Insurance

One of the most difficult aspects of recovering from a car or motorcycle accident can sometimes be claiming compensation from an insurance company. It is stressful, time-consuming and usually frustrating. It would probably be a good idea contact a car accident lawyer to find out something about the process beforehand so that you know what to expect if it happens to you, and to make the most of your claim.

Rushing your claim can often work to your disadvantage. Without a clear and complete understanding of every aspect of your coverage, accepting a settlement for the sake of resolving the matter quickly may mean you are shortchanging yourself. By taking the time to see the matter through carefully and competently you can help to protect your rights and interests.

Here’s how an auto accident insurance claim should go:

  1. Immediately after the accident, contact your insurer and give him the facts of your accident.
  2. Make records of everything, and keep your documentation in one folder for easy access. This includes police reports, receipts, estimates for property damage, medical and hospital bills in case of injury, and all other expenses pertaining to the accident. Include loss of income due to missed work.
  3. Get a valuation for your car and/or cost of repairs. Use this as a basis of comparison to the proposed value provided by your insurer to see if you are getting a fair deal. If there is a discrepancy between the two values, you will have a basis for your counter proposal.
  4. Have an auto accident insurance lawyer go over your policy to find out what you should be getting when the time comes so you can negotiate intelligently with your insurer.
  5. Let the claims adjuster know that you have done your homework so that he or she will deal fairly with you. Keep in mind that the adjuster works for your insurer, not you. It is their duty to look after the insurer’s best interest, which is to keep your claim as low as you will allow. Don’t be afraid to push for what you are entitled to.
  6. Carefully review any settlement that is offered you, preferably with an auto accident insurance claims lawyer. If you think the settlement is too low, negotiate for a higher amount. Adjusters usually have some leeway when it comes to negotiating.

Don’t be afraid to take control of your auto accident insurance claim. Ignorance can cost you a fair settlement, so educate yourself.

read more

Personal Injury Lawyers

Personal Injury

When a child is involved in an accident, the injuries sustained can range from mild and simple to serious and life threatening. It should not be taken for granted because of the fragile state of a child, since any injuries can have a lasting effect on him or her.  And although it is impossible for a child to never get hurt all throughout their childhood, once the injury is caused by the carelessness of another person, a parent can then file for the child’s personal injury compensation claim.

For example, a day care center may be held at fault if a child is hurt as a result of a lack of adequate supervision. This can include children being hurt by other children in instances where adult supervision would have easily stopped the altercation from escalating to that point. Being fed spoiled food is another reason a parent might need a personal injury lawyer to represent him or her in the name of their child. It is unfair that your child has to go through the pain at someone else’s negligence.

A personal injury lawyer can advise parents or guardians of the injured child to get compensation, not only to have financial help during the hospitalization and treatment of the injuries, but also to make the guilty party responsible for their actions. There are many ways in which a child can get injured where compensation can be asked:

  1. Accidents where the child is a passenger in a vehicle
  2. Accidents where the child is a pedestrian or cyclist
  3. Medical negligence or injuries from dangerous products
  4. Accidents in amusement parks or funfairs
  5. Injuries sustained at school
  6. Accidents abroad or while on holiday

Not only can the injury acquired by the child from the accident cause physical pain and suffering, they can also bring about emotional and psychological impacts on the child as he or she grows up. Also, the medical fees and treatments can be hard on the family’s budget. This is why it is vital for the parents to get compensation, in order to ensure that the responsible party does not get away with the accident, and also to make sure that the medical care for the child’s injuries are well taken care of.

If your child has been injured because of the carelessness or ill will of another person, then he or she is entitled to file for a compensation claim. Consulting about this option with trustworthy and competent personal injury lawyers can help thoroughly explain how to proceed with such matters.

read more