Due to the speed at which they travel and size of both passenger and freight trains, even train accidents of a minor scale can result in devastating personal injury and death. While the Federal Railroad Administration has taken steps in recent years to ensure the safety and security of passengers and vehicles at railway crossings, human error and negligence still results in approximately 4,000 train-vehicle collisions annually.
Common Causes of Train Accidents
In the United States, a railroad crossing accident happens about every 90 minutes. Many of these are caused by automobiles trying to beat the train through an intersection. Other mishaps include derailments, train-pedestrian accidents and chemical spills that harm nearby residents. Human error and track problems have been cited by the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) as the top reasons for train accidents. As with any public transportation, passengers and bystanders deserve a standard of safety. Train accidents most often happen due to this standard being breached by human negligence or misconduct, such as:
- Ignorance regarding train and/or track mechanical problems
- Obstructed vision
- Driver operating under the influence of drug or alcohol
- Driver fatigue
- Inaction to remove debris from tracks
- Operator error
Railroad Crossing Accidents
Railroad crossing accidents are one of the most common types of train accidents, resulting in approximately 1,100 injuries and 400 deaths each year. The driver of a private automobile occasionally causes the accident by getting stuck in the tracks, but defective signals and train operators neglecting to warn drivers and pedestrians of approaching trains is the most common cause.
When train derailments occur, all passengers, surrounding neighborhoods and pedestrians are put at risk. Train accidents of this nature can result in devastating injuries to massive amounts of innocent civilians and cause extensive property damage.
If the derailed train was a freight train carrying dangerous chemicals, spillage is possible, which can result in irreversible personal injuries and cause panic-stricken evacuations of residential and commercial areas.
Train Accident Injuries
The injuries sustained due to a train accident can be catastrophic. In addition to the possibility of wrongful death occurring, common injuries associated with train accidents include:
Many train accident injuries require immediate and prolonged medical assistance. Victims are bound to have medical bills stockpile, lose wages during recovery and may have a diminished quality of life.
What should I do after a train accident to protect my interests?
Receiving medical attention is your first priority and, along with that, you should continue to document all treatment. Proving a personal injury case can also depend largely upon preservation of evidence and immediate investigation. While skid and gouge marks are still fresh, investigators have a much better chance at determining fault. Don’t waste any time before establishing contact with investigative authorities and hiring a train accident lawyer.
If I’m in a train accident who is ultimately at fault?
Claims can be brought against all those who are found negligent and have contributed to a train accidents. Those parties may include individuals, businesses, and government entities. It is important to determine whether a railroad accident occurred through noncompliance of safety laws.
What happens if a person dies because of a train accident?
A wrongful death lawsuit can be brought in cases where a loved one has died as a result of a train accident. An experienced attorney with knowledge of wrongful death actions can best advise you about the kinds of damages recoverable, who can bring this kind of action and on whose behalf it may be brought.
Attorney Jerrold Mayro Represents Victims in Phoenix, Arizona
Train accident victims need the counsel of an experienced train accident attorney who will fight to obtain maximum compensation for their damages. At The Mayro Law Firm, Phoenix train accident injury attorney Jerrold A. Mayro is available to help you through this trying period and will work diligently to successfully resolve your case.
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury due to a train accident in the Phoenix, Mesa, or Tucson, Arizona area, please contact our Arizona train accident office today or call (602) 604-8400 to schedule a consultation with Mr. Mayro.