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The Verdict - The Lombardi Law Firm Blog
Here at the Lombardi Law Firm we add blog content that is personal to those involved in accidents. We write this way so you have an understanding of how we think and handle cases - your case. We invite you to call us if you think we can help you resolve your legal problems. We settle most of our cases, because we do the basic legal work necessary to understand the facts of your case. We offer on our website, relevant and concise information that you will be helpful to you as you get ready to settle or to try your case.
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Traveling by train is commonly a good option among the passengers who want to have a faster ride yet economically wise. But when the trip results to something inevitably injurious as in the case of railroad accident, then nothing could really be said safe about it.
A train that was backing up backed into a gate, bending it and then pinning Michael D. McGillen, Jr. and causing him serious injury. He was taken to Creighton University Medical Center by helicopter. The report has him in critical condition.
These are FELA cases and we have firms we work with on a referral basis that regularly handle these types of claims. FELA claims are large personal injury types of claims.
In other personal injury news a 68-year-old Ryan man died after colliding with two locomotives at a private Canadian National Railroad crossing in northeast Iowa. He is Kenneth Elmer Sweet who lived in rural Iowa near Cedar Rapids in Delaware County. Interesting enough the Iowa Highway Patrol technical investigator is quoted as saying warning signs and flashing lights are not, the big N-O-T, required at private crossings and trains don’t have to sound their horns or whistles at private crossings. Wouldn’t it be nice if warning signs saying this is a private railroad crossing were posted? That way we’d know they weren’t going to warn us before mowing us down.
The accident occurred late in the afternoon on August 11, 2010. The bicyclist is reported to be 70-year-old Paul Estrem from Decorah, Iowa. The pickup truck driver is a 27-year-old man from Spillville, Iowa. The pickup was westbound on Conover Road and appears from the report to have been on a bike path.
Burlington, Iowa - You've got three teenage passengers and driver. They are driving without headlights and approaching the railroad tracks where a BNSF Railway locomotive is quickly approaching. The police officer turns on her overhead patrol lights, the crossing arm activates and comes down, the driver jumps out and runs pell-mell right in front of the oncoming train does a hop, skip and jump to safety while successfully eluding the police officer. The driver forgot one thing though, to put the car in park. The only thing stopping it from rolling onto the tracks was the officer blocking its path with the City of Burlington cruiser. Badda bing, we gotta crash. Take a guess at whether or not alcohol was involved.
A pregnant mother, Heather Sheree Balven, from the St. Louis area (Hartford) was killed when a train struck the pickup truck she was driving. Well liked her fellow workers, she was a geotechnical engineer who was working at the time of the collision. She did soil testing at a pipeline construction site. She was 31-years old and had a two-year-old toddler at home. She was noted to be familiar with this railroad crossing.
There have be a few fathers and mothers out there with questions about what would happen to the children. In Iowa, which is probably different than Missouri, the husband and child would be paid workers’ compensation benefits. The husband would receive benefits for life, the children for their minority and if they attended college, for four more years. The husband would also check in with the Social Security Administration, his local SSA office, and apply for death benefits, which may or may not apply.
The husband of course should see a lawyer in the St. Louis area who is familiar with train crossing litigation to evaluate the site-distances and other potential issues.
Why do these collisions occur? Well there are many reasons including poor judgment being exercised by the car or truck drivers. Some people are just impatient and ignore the cross bucks. Here is an example that this reporting team caught on film.
In many of these instances the driver ends up a statistic.