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Railroad Injury Blog

FRA Shuts Down Due To Lack Of Appropriations

Thursday, October 03, 2013

The Federal Rail Administration (FRA) is a victim of the federal government shutdown: read about it here.

By Matt Darby

FRA Holds Emergency Meeting Regarding Hazardous Materials Transport

Friday, August 30, 2013

Yesterday, August 29, 2013, the FRA Safety Advisory Committee held an emergency meeting to consider additional rail safety measures for hazardous materials transport. The Committee makes recommendations to the FRA regarding rail safety issues. It is composed of representatives from throughout the rail industry. The meeting was in response to the derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada that occurred earlier this summer.

The FRA press release regarding the meeting can be found here.

By Matt Darby

Norfolk Southern Railway Company Injury Report

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Norfolk Southern injury report is called a Form 22. It is important that the Form 22 be completed accurately and completely. Any information regarding the cause of the injury should be included.

The important sections of the Form 22 are:

  • Describe What Happened: In this section, it is important to list any defective equipment, unsafe conditions or other factors that may have caused or contributed to your injury. Do not include any extra information that is not relevant to the cause of your injury.
  • Do You Desire Medical Treatment At This Time: If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort as a result of the incident, you should seek medical care. Under the FRSA, the railroad cannot interfere in any way with your medical care. In addition, if requested, the railroad must take you to the closest appropriate medical facility. See here.

It is important to obtain a copy of your injury report. Refer to the report if questioned at a later time about the cause or nature of the injury.

Here is an image of Norfolk Southern Form 22: click here.

By Matt Darby

Recorded Statements Are A Bad Idea

Monday, July 01, 2013

Often after a Railroader gets injured on the job, he or she receives a friendly phone call from a claim’s agent requesting a recorded statement concerning how the accident occurred and the injuries sustained. Often, the claim’s agent makes it appear that such a statement is standard procedure and is required by the Railroad’s rules. Other times, the claim’s agent indicates that an injury claim cannot go forward without such a statement.

Neither are true. While an injured Railroader is required under the Railroad’s rules to report an injury and complete an accident report as soon as possible, there is no rule or regulation that requires a recorded statement be provided to a claim’s agent. As a result, DO NOT GIVE ONE. The purpose of the recorded statement is to help the Railroad and not you. The claim’s agent is going use the statement regarding how the accident occurred to try to minimize or eliminate the Railroad’s liability under the FELA.

See here and here. He or she will likely ask you questions concerning the cause of the accident in a way that twists the truth about what really happened. Also, the claim’s agent will use the statement to diminish your clam by asking questions in a manner that minimizes the injuries you sustained. Remember, the statement is RECORDED. That means that once you have given it, you can’t go back and change or correct what you said even if you made a mistake.

By Matt Darby

FRA Releases New Smartphone App

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced today that it has released a new smartphone application, the Rail Crossing Locator. The FRA’s press release indicates that the app “provides the public with easy access to safety informaton about the nation’s more than 200,000 highway-rail grade crossings.”

The press relases goes on to state:

“The Rail Crossing Locator app works by prompting uses to enter a specific location, which then allows them to locate highway-rail grade crossings in their area and retrieve important information, such as the physical characteristcs of a crossing and the type of traffic control devices used. The app allows users to report information about grade crossings to the FRA to ensure the most accurate and up-to-date information is available.” The app is free and can be found at the Apple App Store.

A link to the press release can be found here.

By Matt Darby

New Jersey Transit Injury Report

Friday, May 24, 2013

The New Jersey Transit (NJT) injury report is called a Report of Personal Injury. It is important that the report be completed accurately. Any information regarding the cause of the injury should be included.

The important sections of the Report of Injury are:

Circumstances: In this section, it is important to list any defective equipment, unsafe conditions or other factors that may have caused or contributed to your injury. Do not include any extra information that is not relevant to the cause of your injury.

Nature of injury: If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort as the result of the incident, you should seek medical care. Under the FRSA, the railroad cannot interfere in any way with your medical care. In addition, if requested, the railroad must take you to the closest appropriate medical facility. Click here.

It is important to obtain a copy of your injury report. Refer to the report if questioned at a later time about the cause or nature of the injury.

Here is an image of NJT Report of Personal Injury: njt1 and njt2.

By Matt Darby

Amtrak To Get 70 New Locomotives For Northeast Corridor

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Washington Post reported last week that Amtrak is getting 70 new locomotives to run on its Northeast Corridor.

A link to the article is here.

By Matt Darby

Police Officers Sue As A Result Of Paulsboro Crash

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Courier Post Newspaper reported last week that police officers who responded to the November 2012 Paulsboro, N.J. crash of a Conrail train have filed suit alleging that they sustained injuries as a result of exposure to vinyl cloride. The lawsuit was filed in Philadelphia Superior Court.

The article can be found here.

By Matt Darby

Connecticut Post Article Points Out Problems With FRA

Friday, May 24, 2013

Yesterday, the Connecticut Post published an article that indicated that a recent audit of the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) was critical of its implementation of the Rail Safety Improvement Act (RSIA). The article stated that “A recent audit by the Office of Inspector General of the FRA response to the the mandate found substantial delays in implementing the required priorities, including those related to safety and track inspection.” The RSIA was passed by Congress in 2008. It directs the FRA to implement new safety rules and regulations concerning track inspection, hours of service and positive train control (PTC).

A link to the Connecticut Post article is here.

A link to the RSIA is here.

By Matt Darby

Rail Inspected Two Days Prior To Metro-North Crash

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Connecticut Post reported yesterday that the stretch of rail involved in last Friday’s Metro-North train collision had been inspected two days prior. This information was obtained from Robert Kulat, a spokesman for the Federal Rail Administration (FRA). The article goes on to indicate that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation is focused on two sections of rail found at the scene of the collision that appear to have broken apart at the joint assembly that holds them together.

Yesterday’s article can be found here.

By Matt Darby

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