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Minneapolis Personal Injury Law Blog

Getting accountability for injured railroad workers

Minnesota residents work hard to earn a living for themselves and their families. This is especially true for railroad workers, who often put in long hours on the job and perform difficult work.

Railroad workers also face unique dangers as compared to other professions. For example, as discussed recently in this blog, railroad workers often face a different work schedule than other kinds of workers. The different work schedule can impact the person's sleep patterns, resulting in fatigue and sleep disorders.

Railroad workers at higher risk of fatigue, injuries

One of the most undervalued things in Minnesota residents' lives may be a good night's sleep. In today's hectic world, it is easy to get wrapped up with other tasks, or to lose sleep in order to put in extra time at school or work.

This is particularly true in the case of fatigued railroad workers, who have a different sleep pattern than many other working adults. With different work schedules, railroad workers are more likely to get less sleep than others, which often leaves them fatigued and suffering from sleep disorders.

Five family members die in vehicle-train accident

Though trains can be an efficient way to travel, they pose significant hazards to drivers when motor vehicles must cross their tracks. All throughout Minnesota individuals must go over railroads to get to their jobs, homes, and schools. While most people make it through rail-road intersections without incident, not all individuals are so lucky.

Just recently, a terrible tragedy occurred when a family's van was hit by an Amtrak train. The family of six was driving to church when their van was struck by a moving train. The impact of the collision caused the deaths of the parents and three young girls; a fourth female child was injured in the train accident but is expected to survive.

Understanding the options available to train accident victims

Train accidents can cause significant devastation in the lives of victims and their families. Accidents associated with railroad crossings are oftentimes catastrophic and can lead to serious injuries and fatalities. It is important for victims of train accidents and their families to be familiar with the protections available to them when they have been harmed in a train accident.

At the end of 2009, there were 136,041 public at-grade crossings in the United States. Of those crossings, an estimated 42,301 had gates; 22,039 had flashing lights; and 1,196 had highway traffic signals, wigwags and bells. During 2009, there were a total of 1,896 accidents at public highway rail crossings. The railroad accidents resulted in a total of 705 injuries and a total of 247 deaths. Train accidents can occur in a number of situations, including at unguarded railroad crossings.

Safety experts push for an end to car "accidents"

It is often said that words have meaning. Using certain words instead of others can make a big difference in how something is perceived or interpreted by Minnesota residents, as some words carry more weight than others.

Recently, traffic safety officials around the United States took note of this concept in the context of car accidents. They noted that, in most cases, a car accident is not an accident at all, in the sense of how that word is ordinarily used. Instead, these incidents are the result of human behavior. Indeed, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 94 percent of crashes were caused by human behavior.

Gathering the right evidence after a car crash

In the immediate aftermath of a shocking accident, it can be difficult for Minnesota residents to explain what happened. After a sudden car crash, for example, the individual who was hit by another vehicle may be at a loss to understand what just transpired. In the minutes, days and weeks after the accident, the pieces of the puzzle can start to come together as to how the accident was caused. Those involved in the incident can tell their sides of the story, while witnesses who observed the event may also shed light on what they saw. There may also be other evidence that can come into play when the cause of a crash is in dispute, like accident reconstruction reports that explain how the accident was likely to have occurred.

Recently, this blog has discussed the serious problem that is posed by distracted driving. In the aftermath of an accident, evidence can also arise that shows the crash was caused by distracted driving. For example, in the absence of an admission by the other driver, there may be cell phone records or social media posts that show that driver was on his or her smartphone in the moments before the crash happened.

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