Trains are a fast and efficient way to move large amounts of people and goods around the country without the worry of traffic. Unfortunately, the rail system that makes trains so useful can also cause devastating accidents. While vehicles on a road can swerve to avoid a collision, trains are bound to a track and need ample warning to brake and begin to slow down. This design means that when collisions do occur on a railroad, they are almost always head-on collisions at high speed that can cause significant injury and damage.
Railroad accidents can involve a number of different vehicles, including freight trains, passenger trains, light rails, automobiles, and more. Any vehicle that runs on a track or may obstruct a track could be severely damaged in a train accident. The primary causes of railroad accidents include poor track maintenance, operator inexperience or inattentiveness, mismanagement of train traffic, poorly marked railroad crossings, crossing gate failure, or driver negligence. Any of these errors can cause a train to derail or collide with another vehicle, resulting in injury or death for train passengers, crew, bystanders, and nearby residents.
The railroad industry has a responsibility to make train transit safe for those on board and those who may cross a train’s path. An operator who fails to perform his or her job duties or who receives incorrect instructions could cause an accident and the company may be held liable.
Likewise, if a railroad crossing is poorly marked or the gate fails to operate properly to protect cars from the oncoming train, the railroad company may be legally responsible for injuries and damages resulting from the accident. While railroad accidents are relatively rare, the high speed collision often results in deaths, severe injuries, burns or contamination from spilled toxic materials, damage from overturned cars, and more.
If you have been injured in a railroad accident, the railroad company may be responsible for your injuries and damages and you may be entitled to compensation. To learn how to initiate your claim for compensation, please contact the Waukesha personal injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.® at (800) 242-2874.