Knowing How to Prevent and Recover from Railway Accidents
Railway accidents can be devastating. When a train collides with a vehicle, it often results in fatalities. And when a train derails, it can cause serious injuries and death to its passengers. Brain injuries are especially common.
Railroad accidents often happen, though not all of them are serious. There are 209,000 railroad crossings in the United States, and in 2020, there were 5,402 accidents involving trains. There are a few typical causes of railway accidents.
Negligence is a major cause of train accidents. Negligence is a broad term that applies to someone not acting in a responsible way. In the case of a railroad accident, the tracks may be poorly maintained, or the railroad crossing arm may not drop-in time.
The train conductor can become distracted, and if they are inebriated, they may not be able to operate the train properly. In some cases, train conductors will speed to get where they are going on time, which increases the chances of a derailment or collision.
There are some cases in which a local government may be negligent. The city is responsible for posting signs warning people of upcoming railroad crossings. If a city does not do this, it may be negligent. Personal injury lawyers in Fresno can help determine who was responsible for a railway accident.
It is always important to exercise caution when you approach a railroad crossing. Drivers have been known to ignore warning lights and even drive through barriers to get to the other side of a crossing before a train arrives. If you are on foot, it may look like you can beat an oncoming train, but you should always wait when you hear the warning bells.
Violations of safety rules are a major cause of accidents on railroads. Of the 757 people who died in train accidents in 2020, 529 of them were people who trespassed onto railroad property.
If a conductor is new to the job, they may not have the experience necessary to handle certain situations. Sometimes they will have undiagnosed vision problems that can cause them to crash.
It is not uncommon for train conductors to be overworked; if they are, they will not be able to operate the train effectively. If the driver is overworked, any subsequent accident may be the fault of the company that employs them.
Train derailment accidents often result in serious injury. In some cases, a train may derail if it collides with an object or a vehicle. However, it is most often caused by problems with the track itself.
The structure of tracks is much more complex than meets the eye. The metal that tracks are made of can be affected by the climate. If a railroad track gets too hot, the metal can expand and cause the tracks to warp.
If there is a lot of ice and snow on the tracks, it can cause slippery conditions. It can even affect the electricity of the rail line.
Brake failure can cause trains to derail, and an electrical failure can cause a major problem as well. Bearings can give out, and wheels can break or fall off just as they can on any other vehicle.
The layout of the track is also important because if a track curves too soon, it can throw the train off course.
Each year, hundreds of people who want to end their lives throw themselves in front of speeding trains or lie down on railroad tracks. In most cases, a conductor cannot stop a speeding train quickly enough to avoid hitting someone on the tracks without endangering all the passengers’ lives.
The odds of a car stalling on railroad tracks are pretty small. However, trains crash into cars fairly regularly. A car that has mechanical problems may not be able to navigate over railroad tracks.
When a train hits a car, it can cause a derailment that leads to death. If your car gets stuck on the tracks, you should get out and call the police right away. This will protect your safety and give them a chance to remove the vehicle before the train arrives.
If you are injured in a train accident, you will need the assistance of a personal injury attorney to get the compensation you deserve. The attorney you select should have an excellent reputation with the state bar, years of experience in personal injury law, and an understanding of railroad law and how trains operate.
Railroad accidents can be devastating. Be very cautious when you approach a railroad crossing. Recovering from a train accident is a lot tougher than getting better after a car accident. If you get in a crash, take all the proper medical treatments and contact a qualified attorney.