HILDEBRAND McLEOD & NELSON
Representing the Injured since 1926
Injured? Call 800-689-7066

Long derailment investigation comes to a close

Injuries that railroad workers suffer in California or other states fall under a law called the Federal Employers' Liability Act, or "FELA." This law permits workers to  recover compensation for financial as well as non-economic losses. However, full recovery often requires extensive investigation and takes some time to achieve.

Evidence of these systemic processes and the associated delays can be found in nearly every derailment investigation. For example, NTSB investigators took almost two years to release new information on a 2017 crash, confirming that the engineer was traveling at over twice the speed limit around a curve. 

Several other entities were named in the report as contributing to the engineer's confusion. These included the Federal Railroad Administration, Amtrak, Sound Transit and the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The investigation also noted several technical details surrounding the crash. The engineer did not apply the emergency brakes, and the train was approaching a curve at 78 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour speed zone. This report was the NTSB's final determination.

It often takes safety investigators a significant amount of time to assess crash sites, collect testimony and analyze evidence and data from the scene. During this time, preliminary results may be available, as they were for this 2017 accident. This information will be useful in establishing an FELA claim. However, long investigation times usually conflict with an injured workers' needs for prompt compensation. 

Of course, not every railroad-worker injury is the result of a derailment. Poorly maintained equipment, neglected work premises, or dangerous work practices, among other things, create an unsafe work environment. Even these less dramatic incidents are serious and warrant full investigation from a legal perspective.

Source: Statesman Journal. Human error caused deadly Amtrak Cascades crash in Washington, NTSB finds. AP. May 21, 2019.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact Us To Schedule A Free Consultation

Call us toll free at 800-689-7066 or use the email contact form to tell us about the circumstances of your injury or wrongful death case. We offer a free consultation and handle all FELA, FRSA and personal injury litigation matters on a contingency-fee basis. No fees unless we help you recover financial damages in a settlement or trial verdict.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Email us for response

Our locations

350 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
4th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612

Toll Free: 800-689-7066
Fax: 510-465-7023
Map & Directions

700 North Brand Blvd.
Suite 860
Glendale, CA 91203

Toll Free: 800-689-7066
Fax: 323-669-8549
Map & Directions