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Is Railroad Work Becoming More Dangerous?

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Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Is Railroad Work Becoming More Dangerous?

Reduced crew levels on trains in recent years mean we read about fewer accidents involving railroad workers.

But that’s not to say the railroads are getting safer. Concerns about fiery crashes involving oil trains have fueled fears they may be becoming more dangerous.

And the reduction of crews on some of these trains may be making accidents more likely.

Tanker cars have ruptured in numerous crashes

Tanker cars are prone to rupture

Last year, railroad workers from across the country aired their concerns about these fuel trains at a conference in Chicago.

Chicago is a major hub for fuel trains carrying crude oil from the Bakken shale in North Dakota to different parts of the country.

Two years ago, a CSX train carrying highly volatile crude oil derailed in Lynchburg in Virginia, causing a massive fire. Fortunately, nobody was injured. These trains travel through Richmond and Williamsburg to an oil terminal in Yorktown.

The conference hosted by the progressive labor group Railroad Workers United in Chicago united concerned railroad workers and local residents who are concerned about safety on the railroads.

There have been a series of accidents involving oil trains. Many of the tank cars that are used are old and prone to rupture. In 2013, a parked oil train took off and crashed in the town of Lac-Mégantic in Quebec, Canada, killing 47 and causing massive damage and environmental devastation.

The fact the train was operated by a single man may have been a factor in this terrible accident.

Union members claimed the staffing and management made by the big railroads are controlled by the bottom line rather than the needs and rights of railroad workers.

The National Transportation Safety Board blamed a defective rail on the Lynchburg crash. The rail had been discovered the day before the derailment occurred but it had not been scheduled for repair until the day after the accident, reported the News & Advance.

Railroad workers who are hurt on the job can make a claim against their employer under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA).

At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers our veteran railroad accident attorneys have helped many workers to make claims. John Cooper has national credentials in FELA law and has represented injured workers across the United States. Contact us at (757) 455-0077 for a free consultation.

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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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