Railroad Crossing Accidents
Railroad crossing accidents happen more often than you think. According to train safety organization Operation Lifesaver, railroad crossing accidents involving a pedestrian or vehicle occur every two hours. That’s 12 accidents a day in the United States alone.
There are more than 209,000 railroad crossings in the United States. Illinois is one of the top five states with the most railroad crossings. In 2013, there were 2,090 railroad crossing accidents in the United States. Approximately 954 people suffered serious injuries and 249 were killed.
If you suffered serious injuries due to a railroad crossing accident, get help from the Chicago train accident lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.. We can help determine liability and how to get you on the road to recovery.
Call us at (312) 236-2900 today for a free consultation to see how we can help.
A train smashing into a car or pedestrian can cause any number of injuries. Due to the weight and impact of the train, many accidents result in fatalities.
More often than not, injuries tend to be serious. They may consist of broken bones, brain injuries, and back and neck injuries. The injuries could lead to paralysis and amputation.
It’s not uncommon to suffer from long-term or even lifelong injuries. Railroad crossing accidents may cause injuries that require expensive medical treatment. You may be unable to walk or perform daily activities on your own. You may never be able to work and earn income ever again.
In many cases, the railroad company is at fault. Railroad companies have a duty to operate their trains safely. These duties include providing proper training, checking crew members for fatigue and substance abuse, keeping the train under the speed limit, making sure the horn or whistle is used appropriately, and performing train maintenance.
Liability may also fall on the track owner. The track owner is in charge of not only the train track, but the adjacent land it sits on. The company that owns the train is not necessarily the company that owns the track. Therefore, if a train is involved in an accident caused by a defect in the track or crossing gate, then the track owner may be the liable party.
The duties of a track owner include installing and maintaining gates and lights, maintaining the tracks, and removing obstructions such as trees and bushes at railroad crossings.
In some cases, the train manufacturer may also be to blame. If a component of the train was not functioning properly at the time of the accident, then safety could be compromised, placing the blame on the manufacturer. It is important that all mechanical and electrical systems are working properly. These include headlights, warning lights, brake systems, whistles, horns, bells, communication systems, and coupling mechanisms.
The city or county could also take the blame, in rare cases. If the area where the vehicle crosses the tracks – the roadbed – was poorly maintained, then the city or county may be at fault. This depends on the design and location.
Sometimes the fault lies with the motorist. Motorists have a duty to drive in a safe manner and follow signs and controls at railroad crossings. Driving around a gate and accelerating to beat a speeding train are not safe maneuvers. They can result in serious accidents and leave you to blame.
If any of the duties listed above are breached, then the party can be accused of negligence. Liability may fall with one or more parties.
Getting Legal Help
If you were injured at a railroad crossing, the first step is to seek medical help for your injuries. The next step is to obtain legal representation.
The Chicago train accident lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can investigate the accident and determine where liability lies. Multiple parties may be at fault. The railroad company will try to place the blame on you, the driver, but we’ll uncover the evidence needed to prove otherwise.
Proving liability in a railroad crossing accident can be a challenge, but Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. is up to the challenge. Let us provide you with the customer service and aggressive representation you deserve. The sooner you act, the easier it’ll be to get your case started.
Schedule your free consultation with Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today by calling us at (312) 236-2900.