Introduction to Train Accidents
According tot he Federal Railroad Administration's Office of Safety Analysis, there are approximately 14,000 train "accidents and incidents" resulting in over 9,000 injuries and over 800 deaths every year. Train accidents involve passenger trains, subways, or local light rail systems. They can happen at crossings where safety equipment fails or at unprotected crossings. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there are approximately 2,000 train derailments throughout the United States every year. These derailments can cause serious injury or death, particularly if the train is carrying hazardous substances.
Collisions between Trains and Motor Vehicles
The Federal Railroad Administration reports that on average there are over 300 fatalities in the United States each year as a result of collisions between trains and motor vehicles. Moreover, there are over 1,000 non-fatal injuries throughout the nation involving train accident cases. In collisions between motor vehicles and trains, the occupants of passenger vehicles face significant risk of death or severe injury. A modern freight train can weigh between 4,000 and 8,000 tons with a typical load. Understandably, the damage that can be inflicted on a motor vehicle by such a train can be absolutely catastrophic.
Accidents at Railroad Crossings
The National Transportation Safety Board reports that approximately 40% of all public railroad crossings are not protected by lights and safety gates. Unprotected railroad crossings pose a major threat, especially in populated areas where railroad lines cross major roads. The risk of a train accident is seven times greater at crossings without gates than at crossings with gates. If it can be proven that the rail company was in some way responsible for an accident, such as a failure to obey rail speed limits or failure to replace a faulty crossing gate, there may be legal liability to the injured person.
There are also cases involving serious injury or death which occur because of collisions between two trains. In cases where a train has collided with another train or crashed as a result of human error or a mechanical defect, the train company may be legally liable. In certain circumstances, liability may also exist where a pedestrian is injured by a train if the train was being operated negligently.
Protecting Your Rights
In any accident involving injury or death arising out of the operation of a train or other railroad device, legal advice by experienced attorneys is essential. The attorneys at the Sinas Dramis Law Firm have the experience you need to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. The first step is to understand your rights. In this section, we help you to know the law on Train Accident Injuries.