Train accidents may not be something that you spend a great deal of time worrying about. You may believe that train travel is something that rarely occurs. There are actually 12 million cargo containers transported by train each year in the U.S. Fortunately, most railroad tracks pass through unpopulated areas. However, enough trains pass through cities and towns to make train safety a concern.
Accidents with trains occur more often than you may think. About every three hours in the United States, a person or a vehicle is hit by a train. In 2013 alone, there were almost 12,000 train accidents, which include 736 fatalities. More people are killed each year in train accidents than in airplane crashes.
Because of the sheer size of trains and the speed at which they travel, when an accident between and train and an automobile occurs, the train usually wins. It can take a train a full mile to brake, even after it has hit something, which can make the aftermath of an accident even worse. If a driver is involved in a train accident, he or she is almost 20 times more likely to die than if he or she was involved in an accident with another vehicle.
The tragic thing about train accidents is almost all of the accidents can be prevented. Almost 94 percent of train accidents are due to risky behavior on the part of a driver. About half of all vehicle-train collisions occur at train crossings with active warning devices. Many drivers believe that they can beat the train, or fail to look carefully before crossing a railroad crossing. Be patient – it may take a while for the train to pass, but that’s better than losing a bet that you can beat the train. You should also never assume that a particular set of tracks isn’t used anymore just because you have never seen a train there.
Besides railroad crossings, the tracks are another danger zone, particularly for pedestrians. Playing on train tracks is illegal and dangerous. It may be fun to ride a motorcycle on the tracks, but it’s illegal. Also, the tracks themselves are a hazardous walking surface, which can lead to falls, which can lead to serious accidents with a train.
If you are involved in an accident with a train, you may be entitled to compensation if the railroad was negligent in any way. If the accident occurred because of defective railroad equipment, such as a broken crossing alarm or dangerous tracks, you may be entitled to compensation from the railroad. If the accident occurred because of the train’s engineer’s negligence, you can also be entitled to compensation. However, your case will not be easy. Railroad companies are notorious for vigorously defending against lawsuits. They have high-quality attorneys who will fight hard to ensure that you do not get a fair amount of compensation.
If you have been injured in a train accident, call a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Time limitations do apply, and if you wait too long to file a case, you may be unable to obtain any compensation. At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that anyone who is injured because of the negligence of a railroad should obtain a fair amount of compensation from the railroad.
If you have been injured in a train accident, call San Francisco personal injury attorney Micha Star Liberty at Liberty Law at 510-645-1000 or 415-896-1000. She works with clients throughout the Oakland-San Francisco area, including Hayward, Fairfield, San Jose, Berkeley, Tracy, and the surrounding areas. She will be happy to speak with you about your case. Call to learn more.