South Dakota FELA Attorneys
At their peak, railroad companies in South Dakota had laid 4,420.5 miles of track. Today, 1,839.5 of those miles remain, the rest having been abandoned.
Four main railroad lines operate in South Dakota today:
- D & I Railroad
- Dakota Southern Railway
- DMVW (Dakota Missouri Valley and Western) railroad
- BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe)
Even though South Dakota has lost more than half its trackage, railroad accidents are still frequent in the state. The causes of accidents that occur most commonly include:
- Coupling injuries
- Exposure to diesel fumes and toxins
- Frequent use of heavy machinery
- Heavy freight loads
- Track and equipment defects
- Length of time it takes to stop a speeding train
- Train versus motor vehicle accidents at crossings
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, hundreds of railroad workers were injured or killed each year. Railroad building was growing at a feverish rate across the country. The more tracks that were laid and the more trains that ran, the more injuries and fatalities occurred.
By 1908, outrage among the public and pressure from the railroad workers labor unions had pressured Congress to the point where it passed the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). Up until then, because railroad workers weren’t protected by workmen’s compensation, the workers had nowhere to turn for compensation for on-the-job injuries.
Railroad Workers Face Serious Injuries Every Day
Common railroad injuries are:
- Broken bones
- Head and neck injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Crushed bones
- Joint injuries, especially of the knees and shoulders
- Traumatic brain injuries
Because of FELA, railroad workers injured while on the job, have been allowed to sue their railroad companies for damages. This includes not only damages for physical injuries, but for pain and suffering, and for both current and future lost wages.
If a worker is fatally injured while at work, the family has the right to sue and recover compensation from the company. Our South Dakota FELA lawyers are experts in the complexities of FELA law. They are particularly skilled in representing a railroad worker injured on the job and in obtaining a just award.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a railroad accident, you might want to speak with a South Dakota FELA attorney. You can contact our experienced FELA law firm by calling (800) 773-6770 or by sending us an email.