There are currently 600 railroads in the United States traveling on thousands of miles of train tracks across the country. Freight trains, passenger trains, and even sightseeing trains make daily trips across all types of terrain in every state. Rail travel is one of the safest modes of travel available, yet there are still over 3,000 train accidents and over 1,000 train crash deaths reported each year in the U.S. When a train accident occurs, the injuries are often serious or deadly.
For over 50 years, the Media personal injury lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. have been helping victims who have been injured or suffered the wrongful death of a loved one in a train accident claim the compensation they deserve. The dedicated and compassionate lawyers at the firm understand how emotionally and financially devastating the injuries from a train accident can be, and they are committed to helping the victim and their families claim the maximum amount of compensation available to them.
There are many different types of train accidents, but derailments cause the most widespread damage and injury. What makes a derailment even more tragic is the fact that they are one of the most preventable types of train accidents. They most commonly happen because of a deviation from standard safety protocols. Poorly maintained tracks, debris on a track, overloaded freight cars, and faulty locomotives are some of the most common causes of this type of train accident. When a train derails, passengers and freight are thrown about at incredible speeds. The result is often broken bones, brain injuries, spinal and musculoskeletal injuries, as well as serious cuts and lacerations.
Railroad Crossing Accidents
Railroad crossing accidents are another type of train accident that can lead to serious and fatal injuries. Broken signals and inoperable gates at railway crossings create a risk to cars and pedestrians that may cross the tracks unaware of the oncoming train. Some train accidents occur because trains fail to sound their horns or use their lights when approaching a railroad crossing. Bushes, trees, and shrubbery can obstruct the view of an oncoming train in an intersection, and objects sticking out from the side of a train car can lead to an accident at a railway crossing.
Collision with Object
Collisions between trains, or those between trains and cars or people are another type of train accident that results in catastrophic injury. Cars that try to beat a train across a railroad crossing can suffer extensive damage when hit by an oncoming train, leaving all those traveling in the vehicle with tragic injuries. Even pedestrians can collide with an oncoming train when they too try to cross in front of it. When someone sees or hears an oncoming train, it is never wise to try to beat that train across the track.
Secondary Train Crash
Train accidents sometimes happen as a secondary accident. A passenger waiting for a train may slip off the platform and be struck by an oncoming train. Human error such as failing to give correct coordinates, traveling too fast in inclement weather conditions, and failing to see or adhere to traffic signals can have serious consequences. Animals such as deer, bear, and stray dogs or cats can wander onto a train track and cause a train accident.
Accidents Caused by Human Error
One of the most horrific train accidents in recent history occurred in California in 2008 when the train conductor of a commuter train failed to stop at a red light and collided head-on with a freight train. The wreck killed 25 and injured 135 people. What made the accident even more tragic was the fact that investigators blamed the collision on the conductor of the commuter train who was texting just moments before the collision.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) regulate railroad safety and investigate the cause of a train accident to determine who may be liable for damages. There are strict rules for notifying a railway company of your injury, and additional deadlines for filing a claim for your injuries. Consulting with a qualified and skilled personal injury lawyer can ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you recover the maximum compensation available to you.
If you have been injured or someone you love has been killed in a train accident, the Media train accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. can help you recover the compensation you need and the justice you deserve. Call us today at 610-565-3700, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Our offices are located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania and serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, and Bucks County.