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Michigan Yardmaster Injury Attorneys

Rail workers face some of the most dangerous work conditions of all occupations, and serious injuries are all too common. Under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), workers injured on the job are eligible to pursue compensation claims for their economic and emotional damages. However, FELA claims require injured rail workers to prove their employer was negligent to be successful. At Sommers Schwartz, our dedicated workplace injury lawyers have decades of experience helping injured yardmasters and other rail workers receive the compensation they deserve. 

What are a Yardmaster’s Duties?

With trains constantly arriving and departing, railyards can be highly stressful environments. A yardmaster has one of the most important jobs on the railyard, as they oversee and coordinate all train operations. Specifically, the yardmaster sets the configuration of the railyard, determining the routes trains will travel and ensuring smooth traffic. They are also in charge of moving, breaking up, and putting together trains, switching tracks, checking cargo, and generally solving problems as they arise. 

Types of Work Environments:

A railyard is a complex network of tracks that allow for the rearranging of rail cars and the environment in which yardmasters perform most of their work. Most railyards deal with all types of train cars, including tank cars, gondolas and all types of box cars. They also operate year-round, regardless of the weather conditions. At times, these factors make railyards extremely chaotic and potentially hazardous workplaces.

Common Yardmaster Injuries:

Although there are only about 44,000 yardmasters and conductors employed in the United States, the rate of serious injury and death amongst these workers is roughly double that of other occupations. 

Common types of yardmaster injuries include:

If you’ve been injured as a yardmaster, consulting with an attorney is the first step towards understanding your options and recovering your losses.

What Is a FELA Claim?

In most industries, employees injured on the job file a workers’ compensation claim. It allows the injured worker to obtain limited financial damages as they recover from their injuries. The benefit is that there is no requirement that the worker proves their employer’s negligence. However, traditional workers’ compensation laws do not apply to railroaders. 

Instead, the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) covers railroad injuries. Unlike workers’ compensation claims, FELA requires injured workers to prove that their injuries were caused at least in part by an employer’s negligence. 

While injured rail workers have the added burden of proving negligence, the upside to a FELA claim is that it permits a greater variety of benefits than those available under workers’ compensation laws. Specifically, while workers’ compensation only allows for the recovery of economic damages, FELA claims allow employees to be compensated for their pain and suffering damages as well.

Common ways that an injured railroad can establish railroad negligence include:

  • The failure to provide a safe working environment.
  • The failure to provide adequate training.
  • The failure to provide the necessary management and supervision.
  • The failure to warn workers about known hazards in the workplace.
  • The use of potentially dangerous work quotas.
  • Providing unsafe equipment for employees’ use.

Establishing negligence after a railroad accident can be challenging, as this legal determination requires advanced knowledge of both personal injury laws and the railroad industry. Injured workers who wish to learn more about their options should consult with an experienced railroad injury law firm for immediate assistance. 

Contact the Rail Injury Law Firm of Sommers Schwartz to Learn More

If you were injured while working as a yardmaster, you might be entitled to compensation through a FELA claim. Sommers Schwartz has assembled a team of dedicated railroad injury lawyers with decades of experience pursuing full compensation for injured railroaders. Our practice group is led by Arvin Pearlman, a nationally recognized authority in FELA claims. Mr. Pearlman has handled FELA cases since 1979, making him one of the most experienced attorneys in this complex and unique area of the law.

We offer free consultations, and there is never any fee unless we succeed. To learn more about how we can help you recover for your work-related injuries, give us a call at 800-783-0989 today. You can also reach us through our online form.

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