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Tennessee Railroad Accident Attorneys

We help get railroad employees, passengers, and
victims back on track to a full recovery

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Railroad accidents cause thousands of injuries and fatalities each year.

In fact, trains are estimated to kill one person every 100 minutes in the United States. For those lucky enough to survive a railroad accident, the injuries sustained are often life-threatening and require extensive medical treatment.

The increasing railroad traffic in recent years means an even greater risk to both railroad employees and the public. This risk is made even worse considering the following factors:

  • More than 80 percent of crossings lack adequate warning devices such as lights and gates.
  • One third of crossings have no active warning device of any kind.
  • More than half of all railroad accidents occur at unprotected crossings.
  • At many crossings, warning time is so short that pedestrians and motorists are susceptible to injury from an approaching train.
  • Occupants of vehicles that collide with a train are 40 times more likely to die than if they had collided with another vehicle of comparable size.

In addition, railroad workers are exposed to many occupational risks, including brain injuries, electrocution, burns, spinal cord injuries, knee injuries, slip and falls, as well as exposure to hazardous substances such as asbestos, creosote, silica, and dangerous chemical solvents.

At Gilreath & Associates, we have extensive experience defending both the public and railroad employees affected by railroad accidents and other workplace dangers. Liability may be established against the railroad for any number of incidents, situations, or conditions.

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Railroad Worker Injuries

Working on the railroad is one of the most dangerous professions out there. From a lack of proper lighting in the freight yard to no safe walkway and debris everywhere. Perhaps it's unsurprising that the railroad industry's fatality rate is more than double all other industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In fact, between 1993 and 2002, there were a total of 1,221 railroad-related work fatalities. Frankly, it's no wonder Congress passed laws long ago to make railroad companies financially liable for their workers' injuries. Safety was a serious problem back then, and it still is today.

What is FELA?

In 1908, Congress passed the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) in response to the high number of railroad employee deaths in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Under FELA, railroad workers aren't covered by regular federal workers' compensation laws and are therefore able to sue for injury compensation.

In addition to recovering physical and medical expenses arising from an accident, FELA allows workers to seek compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other non-economic damages. These awards are decided by a jury based on comparative negligence, rather than by a workers' compensation benefits schedule. FELA awards are typically higher than most workers' compensation claims.

To receive benefits granted to injured railroad workers under FELA, however, workers must prove that their injury was caused wholly or partly by the negligence of a railroad employee, its agent or contractor, or from a faulty piece of equipment. For this reason, having an experienced FELA injury attorney on your side is essential.

Train Passenger Injuries
& Car Accidents

There are more than 300,000 public rail grade crossings in the United States — a fact that has a larger impact on our lives than you may realize. A car traveling 50 miles per hour can safely stop in approximately 50 feet, while it takes a train traveling the same speed more than a mile and a half to come to a complete stop — more than 150 times longer than a car.

Many crossings are unprotected or have inadequate warning signs for drivers, which can result in deadly collisions between trains and cars. When trains and vehicles collide, the train wins 100 percent of the time.

In 1996, the Department of Transportation issued a report called "Accidents That Shouldn't Happen" in which they commented on the unfortunate prevalence of these almost always preventable accidents. And yet, train accident fatalities reached a seven-year high as recently as 2014, according to federal government data, with 16 people killed.

What's worse: Experts predict this number will rise even further in the coming decades due to the massive energy-driven transformation now underway on U.S. railroads.

Holding railroad companies responsible for the injuries and losses of train passengers and the public in the event of a tragic accident requires in-depth expertise and knowledge of how modern trains operate.

For more than 50 years, Sid Gilreath and his team of skilled attorneys have taken on the railroad companies and won. We can hold negligent parties responsible for your injury compensation, whether that's an engineer, handler, or company.

Case Results & Settlements

Here are just a few examples of settlements and verdicts obtained by Gilreath & Associates attorneys in high-profile railroad cases:

Why Hire Gilreath & Associates?

Railroad claims are tough. These cases are often fraught with complexities and fiercely challenged by railroad companies or their insurers. Fortunately, we have extensive experience litigating railroad injury cases such as crossing collisions, train derailments, railroad worker accidents, and other personal injuries arising from this dangerous industry.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury involving railroad crossings, a train collision, or you were injured as a railroad employee, Gilreath & Associates can help you and your family obtain full and fair compensation under FELA and personal injury law. Our Tennessee railroad accident lawyers know what it takes to secure the best possible outcome.

Contact us toll-free today if you need expert legal advice or help with a railroad accident
injury matter in Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis or elsewhere in Tennessee.

More Answers to Common Railroad Injury Questions

In addition to the resources below, we invite you to visit our Tennessee Injury Guide and
train injury FAQ page for answers to commonly asked questions such as:

  • What are my rights under FELA?
  • What do I do if I get injured while working for a railroad company?
  • When should I see a lawyer?
  • Can the railroad company fire me if I hire a FELA lawyer?
  • Will I have to go to court?
  • What should I do if there's an investigation?
  • How long do I have to file a railroad accident or FELA claim?
  • How much can I recover?

The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyers at Gilreath & Associates offer free and personal consultation to help you evaluate your legal options.
Our attorneys are dedicated to helping you recover financially from an injury stemming from someone else's negligence.