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Northern California FELA Railroad Injury Blog

Avoid Swimming Pool Liability Issues

With the amazing Californian weather, backyard swimming pools are quite popular. However, these fun spots are also very dangerous. They pose a risk to not only homeowners and invited guests but to anyone who can gain access to them. This makes it the pool owner's responsibility to ensure the pool is as safe as possible and that access is restricted and monitored. Pool owners can avoid liability issues by making a few assurances.

Every pool owner should be aware of states laws regarding swimming pools. According to California Legislative Information, a swimming pool must have at least one approved safety feature. Features that can be used include:

  • Pool surface alarms
  • Enclosure of at least 60 inches, which cannot be easily climbed, with no gaps and a self-latching and locking gate
  • Exit alarms on doors leading to the pool
  • Removable mesh pool fencing meeting regulations with a self-latching and lockable gate
  • Approved pool cover

Are catastrophic injuries treated differently than in the past?

If you or someone you know suffered a catastrophic injury in California in the past, the chances of that injury leading to death were quite high. However, thanks to medical advancements, chances of surviving such injuries has increased, along with long-term care options. According to Business Insurance, in some situations, injuries that once would leave a worker disabled for life are now treatable and the person may even be able to return to work.

These medical advancements make catastrophic injury claims more complex for employers and insurance companies. Because your chances of surviving such an injury are increased, you will likely need continuous care for a long time. This means the damages owed to you will be more expensive. However, on the plus side, you also have a greater chance of being able to return to work, which is a good thing for everyone.

Why are truck drivers so exhausted?

That truck driver you see on the road in San Francisco may have already been on the road for hours, but the trip alone is probably not enough to contribute to deadly fatigue. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, although truck drivers often do work as many as 14 hours a day, there are other contributors to the mind-numbing exhaustion they may suffer.

Getting enough hours of sleep is essential to remaining alert during the day, but when you sleep can be just as important as how long. Your body naturally wants to rest from midnight to 6 a.m., and again between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. When a truck driver’s schedule interrupts this cycle, it can lower alertness and performance.

What is the Federal Employers’ Liability Act?

If you work for a railroad company in California, then you have probably heard of the Federal Employers' Liability Act. As defined by the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, the FELA provides you with protection if you are injured because of negligence on the part of your employer. To get benefits, though, you must prove in court that your employer was at fault and their actions or lack of action led to your accident.

Negligence can be proven through showing your employer did not provide you with a safe working environment. This could be showing safety equipment was not provided or the employer did not manage a situation to reasonably reduce the risks of an accident. In general, your employer will be held to the standards of a reasonable person and how he or she would have acted in the same situation. Mental and physical injuries are covered by the act. In addition, surviving family members can file under the FELA if your death is caused by a railroad accident due to employer negligence.

Why are seniors more susceptible to falls?

If you identify as a senior and live in California, your chance of suffering an injury relating to a slip or fall is considerably higher than that of the rest of the state’s population. Your risk of taking a tumble is so significant, in fact, that falls are the single-largest cause of injury, fatality and hospital visits among older Americans like you.

There are a number of reasons that you are more likely to fall and suffer injury as an older person. Many falls result from environmental circumstances, such as loose carpeting, poor lighting or insufficient handrails. As a senior, you may have poor vision or balance, or weak muscles, which may make these environmental hazards more difficult to navigate or avoid.

Conductor sues Union Pacific for dangerous condition at workplace

A conductor for Union Pacific Railway Co. has filed a lawsuit against his employer for failing to provide a safe working environment. The conductor filed the lawsuit at the end of May, about two months after he slipped and fell on a platform for the rail car he was working on. The conductor was trying to switch railroad cars, but a slippery substance on the platform caused him to slip and fall.

He suffered serious injuries as a result of the fall, include injuries to his neck, back, ankles and knees. The injuries were not fully described, but they were allegedly "disabling" according to the complaint. The lawsuit goes on to allege that Union Pacific failed to provide a safe place to work, failing to inspect its cars and appurtenances, and failing to warn of unsafe conditions. The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages for the pain and suffering of the plaintiff.

Welcome to our FELA and Personal Injury Blog

Hello, and thank you for taking the time to visit the Hildebrand McLeod Nelson blog page. For more than 90 years, attorneys at our firm have been helping injured railroad workers and their families file for injury compensation under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA). But we are more than just a FELA law firm. We also represent people injured in any kind of accident caused by another party's negligence, including injuries from motor vehicle accidents, property owner negligence and defective and dangerous products. The goal of this blog is to educate and inform. We will keep the page updated with relevant stories about FELA, workers compensation and personal injury litigation, from a local and national perspective. 

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