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Railroad Injury Blog

FRA Issues New Industry-Wide Advisory Concerning Speed Restrictions

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Today the FRA (Federal Rail Administration) issued an industry-wide safety advisory concerning compliance with speed restrictions. This advisory came less than one week after the FRA issued an emergency order directed to the Metro-North Commuter Railroad (MNCW) requiring it to take steps to ensure its operators obey speed limits.

A link to the FRA’s press release regarding the advisory can be found here.

By Matt Darby

2 Killed In Collision WIth MARC Commuter Rail

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Yesterday, two people were killed in Baltimore as a the result of collision between a car and a MARC commuter rail. None of the train’s crew or any of passengers were injured.

A link to the news story can be found here.

By Matt Darby

FRA Issues Emergency Order In Response To Metro-North Tragedy

Monday, December 09, 2013

On Friday, the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) issued an emergency order in response to the Metro-North Commuter Railroad (MNCW) accident that occurred on December 1st. The order requires Metro-North to modify its existing signal system to ensure speed limits are obeyed and provide two qualified employees to operate trains where the speed restrictions are in place until the signal system is updated.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is quoted in the FRA’s press release as stating: “Safety is our highest priority, and we must do everything we can to learn from this tragic crash, and help prevent future derailments.”

FRA Administer Joseph C. Szabo was also quoted as stating: “Even with a 43 percent decline in train accidents nation-wide over the past decade, we must remain steadfast and vigilant to ensure passengers and employees are safe. The public deserves better and our mission is to drive continuous safety improvements.”

The FRA’s press release can be found here.

By Matt Darby

Conrail Responds To Paulsboro Lawsuit

Thursday, October 03, 2013

The Associated Press reported yesterday that Consolidated Rail Corporatoin (Conrail) had responded to a lawsuit filed by Plaintiffs claiming damages arising from the Paulsboro, New Jersey derailment that occurred on November 30, 2012. That derailment resulted in the release of more 100,000 pounds of vinyl chloride gas. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Camden, New Jersey claims, amongst other things, that Plaintiffs are entiled to medical monitoring to detect any long-term effects they might suffer from their exposure to the vinyl chloride gas. Conrail has filed with the Court a motion to dismiss this claim and the claim of trespass from the vinyl chloride.

A link to yesterday’s article can be found here.

By Matt Darby

Amtrak Injury Report

Thursday, October 03, 2013

The Amtrak injury report is called a NRPC 260. It is important that the form be completed accurately and completely. Any information regarding the cause of the injury should be included.

The important sections of the NRPC 260 are:

  • Descibe fully how the accident occurred: In this section, it is important to provide a brief description of what happened.
  • Describe cause of accident: 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.
  • Describe injury/ Illness: In this section, it is important to list any areas of your body in which you are feeling pain or discomfort. The railroad may argue that any area of your body not listed in this section was not injured in the accident.

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

By Matt Darby

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

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