Train/railroad accidents are different from regular vehicular accidents like cars, motorcycles or buses.
Unlike those other vehicles where you can take some precautions to avoid accidents, your life is mostly on the hands of the train operator during the entire ride.
The victims in a train accident though are not exclusively passengers. They could be:
Motorists Other vehicles like cars and motorcycles can be involved in a train collision in railroad crossings.
Pedestrians People waiting on a train stop or those near or crossing a railroad can also be struck by an out of control train.
Employees Railroad workers can also be victims in a railroad collision or any accident during train operations.
Since state laws are not really applicable to railroad employees and they cannot take advantage of workers compensation, they can sue the railroad company for damages through the Federal Employers Liability Act or FELA.
Aside from on the job accidents that injure or kill employees, there are two other common railroad accidents. These are:
This could be single crashes where the train is removed from the tracks by force; it could be a collision between two trains on the same track; or it could be a collision with another vehicle like a car or with pedestrians.
The most common causes of Railroad crashes are:
Poor design of railroad crossing leading to limited operator vision
Failure to blow horns at required distances
Trains running beyond speed limits
Failure to trim plants and vegetations that obscure train paths
Malfunctioning crossing arms, warning bells and warning lights
Absence of crossing guards at dangerous intersections, especially at locations where there is a history of previous crashes
Collisions and crashes are not the only danger that people should look out for in trains. Dangerous chemicals and other toxic materials could be transported through trains and a crash could expose not only the passengers, but the nearby communities as well.
It could lead to different types of illnesses that could affect the lungs, skin, heart and other internal organs.
Most often, these diseases need lifetime treatment.
The most common causes of toxic exposure after a train crash are:
Federal regulations violations
Poor design and maintenance of railroad tracks
Negligent acts of train operators and employees
Insufficient and poor training and supervision of railroad employees
Trains running in excessive speeds
Improper linking of train cars
Improper loading and storage of toxic and dangerous materials
Train/railroad accidents are usually fatal and leaves the victims with deep emotional distress and financial difficulties.
Those who survive the accidents are often left disabled so their ability to earn and help their families is also largely affected.
The best option would be to take action against those who are liable for the train accident and recover damages brought upon by the death or personal injury.
Consult with an expert train accident attorney for legal advice.