According to reporting from MySanAntonio.com, a tragic train accident recently occurred in Panhandle, Texas. Investigators have already confirmed the deaths of two workers, and one more worker is missing and is currently presumed dead. Deadly workplace accidents are devastating for the friends and families of the victims. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this heartbreaking time.
This Accident May Have Been Preventable
Somehow, the two freight trains that collided ended up on the same track, going in opposite directions. The two trains were both operated by Burlington North Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway. Some experts have already hypothesized that this accident would have been prevented if the trains had Positive Train Control (PTC) systems installed. Starting in 2018, all trains will be required to be equipped with PTC technology. Essentially, this type of technology, which will be installed in each train engine, uses GPS data, radio signals and advanced computers to identify the location of other trains. In the event that the PTC system detects a possible collision, it will slow the train down to a safe and immediate stop. It is possible that the technology could have saved lives in the case, and it is disheartening to think that company could be moving faster in upgrading the safety features of their trains. Even though the Federal PTC mandate does not become active for 18 more months, that does not absolve BNSF of liability. The two trains should not have ended up in that position. Texas companies owe their employees safe working conditions.
Texas Workplace Fatalities: Legal Options for the Family
Working on a freight train is an inherently dangerous job, companies must realize that fact and they must enact stringent safety protections. All companies should be held accountable if an injury, or death, results from their failure to provide their employees with safe working conditions. In the truly unfortunate event that your loved one suffers a workplace death, you have legal options. The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code gives immediate family members of the victim the ability to take action. Specifically, qualifying family members can bring:
- Wrongful death claim: This type of claim is meant to compensate the immediate family members for the damages that they have sustained in relation to the loss of a loved one. Compensation can be recovered for: emotional distress, loss of life enjoyment, loss of love and any other damages that have been sustained in relation to the accident.
- Survival action: This type of claim allows immediate family members to step into the place of the victim and pursue the legal action that would have been available to the. Any damages that would have been entitled had the victim survived, can still be sought using survival action.
Contact Our Office Today
If your family member has been killed while on the job in Texas, please do not hesitate to contact our wrongful death attorneys today. Let our team handle the legal issues while you focus on your family. Our firm always provides our clients with the full attention that their claim deserves. Initial consultations are free of charge.