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Van Law Firm Recent Posts

How Injured BNSF Worker’s $3.5M Award Was Determined
Posted by Van Law Firm March 15, 2019

Comparative negligence played a significant role in how a BNSF Railway worker’s final injury award was determined. Although the jury returned a verdict of over $7.1 million, the worker only received almost $3.5 million for injuries he suffered while working at a rail yard because he was determined to have been 51% at fault for the accident. Unlike in traditional workers’ compensation cases where injured workers receive benefits regardless of […]

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Cumulative Trauma on the Tracks
Posted by Van Law Firm December 14, 2018

Cumulative trauma injuries accumulate over time and often result in severe injuries for railroad workers. Railroad workers operate in hostile environments where life-changing accidents are common, but cumulative stress injuries caused by repetitive motion, exposure to toxins, vibrations, loud noises, or sustained positions can be just as debilitating. Cumulative Trauma Explained Cumulative trauma refers to a series of small injuries or prolonged exposure to a hazardous environment or physically demanding […]

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Railroad Workers at Risk: Arc Flash
Posted by Van Law Firm September 12, 2018

Arc flashes are a constant and potentially fatal threat to railroad workers. Arc flashes are concentrated bursts of energy that explode outward from electrical equipment. They are caused by a broad range of incidents including insulation failures and corrosion. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) both recommend standards to prevent arc flashes. How Do Arc Flashes Happen? An arc flash occurs when two […]

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5 Ways Railroads Try to Avoid Liability in a FELA Claim
Posted by Van Law Firm June 14, 2018

Railroads use a variety of tactics to attempt to avoid liability for FELA injury claims. Unlike workers’ compensation laws, which do not require the worker to establish fault in an injury case, a successful FELA claim requires the injured worker to prove that the negligence of the railroad caused the accident. Knowing what the carrier’s defense might be can help injured railroad workers and their FELA attorney build a stronger […]

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Railroads Are Not on the Fast Track to Safety
Posted by Van Law Firm March 15, 2018

Railroads are required to install positive train control technology but a report by the FRA shows that while some railroads have made significant progress, many freight and commuter railroads are not on the fast track to safety and have yet to install a single radio tower or equip a single locomotive with PTC technology despite a mandate from Congress. PTC could increase safety and reduce FELA injuries. But even with […]

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