Kansas rail yard accident leaves worker, family unsure of future

Many seriously injured workers in Kansas might be able to relate with the struggle of a man from a small town near Wichita. His sister described him as an active, “innovation type of guy.” In other words, he isn’t accustomed to sitting still. He owned a bakery for a decade and even operated a theater for a stint.

Then he started working for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, and one night on the rail yard changed everything.

In early July, shortly after 2 a.m., the man fell beneath a train car as he helped other workers get a train ready for departure. The car’s wheels pinned the upper part of his legs against the tracks. For 45 minutes, he remained there in extreme pain and conscious, until workers were finally able to lift the car and get him out.

The work accident has kept him in the hospital ever since, and he and his family aren’t sure of what the future holds.

The community in Wellington, where the man has been an active church member and president of the chamber of commerce, has rallied around him. A special fund was set up at a local bank, and community members organized a bake sale and benefit dinner.

These are all commendable efforts in an injured man’s time of need. His rehabilitation may be long and difficult, and his family has likely considered their options for obtaining workers’ compensation to cover the cost of future medical treatment.

Calculating such costs can be a daunting task, and seriously injured employees would be wise to take the proper legal steps to ensure that the compensation is sufficient to the demands of the injury.

Source: The Wichita Eagle, “Town of Wellington to raise money for railroad worker hurt in accident,” Raymond Howze, Aug. 2, 2013