A horrifying accident occurred in Oakley over the Thanksgiving holiday. A legally blind man was struck and killed by a freight train on Saturday afternoon. The accident occurred around 4 p.m. on the East Cypress Road crossing just east of Main Street.
The man was walking toward Bethel Island to meet with his wife, who was picking him up. He was crossing over the tracks and tripped. After he fell down, he became disoriented. A train was coming, and although he tried to avoid it, he dove into the tracks instead.
The railroad crossing was closed for about two hours after the accident occurred for a police investigation. The crossing was equipped with gates and lights, which appeared to be operational at the time of the accident. Police are calling the collision a tragic accident.
Although this Oakley train accident was simply a tragic accident, and may not have been caused by any negligence on the part of the railroad or the train conductor, many accidents are caused by the negligence of the railroad. Some common causes of train accidents include:
- Reckless driving
- The failure to sound a whistle or a warning
- The failure by the train operator to pay attention
- Alcohol or drug abuse by the train operator
- Derailments because of defects with the train or the tracks
- Negligent security at trains or railroad stations
- Inadequate barriers at crossings
- Inadequate warnings at crossings
Each year in the U.S., it’s been estimated that there are 3,000 train accidents that cause 1,000 deaths. About half of those accidents occur at unprotected crossings. Eighty percent of railroad crossings don’t have adequate warning devices. With over 600 railroads operating in the U.S., and 200,000 miles of train tracks, it’s natural that accidents would occur from time to time. Train accidents can cause huge amounts of damages. Even when trains are moving at slow speeds, their sheer weight and force can result in devastation if they hit a vehicle or an individual. Almost all train accidents can produce death and/or catastrophic physical injuries.
Some train accidents can cause only one death or one person to be catastrophically injured, whereas other train accidents can cause hundreds of people to be affected. After a train accident, you should seek prompt medical attention. You should also speak with an attorney. Train accident cases can involve massive amounts of damages, and it’s important that an experienced personal injury attorney help with the case. There can be a variety of entities liable for your accident, including train companies, maintenance companies, design and engineering companies, other drivers, and other parties. Railroads have teams of lawyers and investigators on their side that are ready to spring into action whenever an accident occurs. If you wait around after an accident, evidence can be lost and witnesses’ memories can fade.
If you have been involved in a train accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. If a loved one has been killed, you may be entitled to damages for wrongful death.
At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that anyone who has been involved in a train accident that was caused by the negligence of another party is entitled to a large amount of damages, and should fight for their legal rights. Call Micha Star Liberty, San Francisco personal injury attorney, at 510-645-1000 or 415-896-1000 to learn more about your legal rights. She works with clients throughout the San Francisco Bay area, including Oakland, Hayward, San Jose, Berkeley, Silicon Valley, Sacramento, and the surrounding areas. Call to schedule a free consultation.