FELA - Train accidents and railroad accident reconstruction

Reconstructing accidents and injuries between trains and vehicles, and railroad workers on the job.

Train accidents require greater depth and sophistication to reconstruct compared to roadway collisions.

There are similarities between trains and road vehicles; for instance, they both have wheels and engines. But a heavy car could weigh 3 tons, a fully loaded tractor-trailer could weigh 40 tons, a single locomotive could weigh 200 tons and pull a train with a weight of 12,000 tons. Reconstructing accidents involving trains are more complex than most other types of accidents because of the potentially vast amount of data that could be available, and the ability and experience to analyze it. The complexity and depth of analysis would require an organized and sophisticated approach in order to understand what precipitated an accident. Sometimes testing is required in order to add an additional piece of information to the puzzle that needs to be solved.

railroad accident crash
Railroad accident involving a train collision with a motor vehicle

An example of an analysis of a truck-train collision could include: review the truck engine control module data and the locomotive event recorder data, surveying the roadway and tracks, analysis of time stamped radio transmissions of the train crew and dispatcher and the cell phone records of the truck driver, the truck and train dimensional and cargo records, and photographs and measurements of the damage to both. In addition, the review of truck driver logs, gas and toll receipts, police and railroad accident reports, interviews and aerial photographs, the potential of available surveillance video, and on-site testing to evaluate site lines and other human factor issues make the analysis of this type of collision beyond the scope of most accident reconstructionists. Dr. Strauss not only has experience with this type of analysis, but his many years of scientific research in obtaining and analyzing large data sets allows him to analyze all available data in a methodical manner, and teach it to the trier of fact.

railroad accident aftermath

In addition to collisions involving trains, the work that railroad workers perform is typically very physical and can involve heavy objects or molten metal, at night, in the winter, on unsteady footing, or stopping roadway traffic at crossings. The potential for injury or death is higher than in most occupations. The need for proper training, following regulations and rules, and using appropriate safety equipment can make the workers safer.

Dr. Strauss can investigate personal injury claims of workers falling from trains or ATV's, crushing injuries and has experience working FELA injury cases.