West Palm Beach Railroad & Train Accident Attorney
While railway use has been in serious decline over the last few centuries, crossings still mesh with roads and many railways are still used on a regular basis. Usually, trains slow down through high residential areas and railway crossing gates help warn drivers of an approaching train. While they are very rare, collisions with trains are incredibly dangerous when they do happen. According to Operation Lifesaver Railroad Safety Education, a driver is 20 times more likely to die in a collision involving a train than in a collision involving another motor vehicle. Many train accidents are the result of a driver unwittingly stopping on the tracks while waiting for a red light to turn. When the railway gates come down, they may have nowhere to go if they are up against the vehicle in front and the vehicle in back. In this scenario, the driver would be held liable for the collision. However, it is not always the fault of the driver.
West Palm Beach Railroad Crash Scenarios
At first thought, it may seem difficult to imagine a scenario where a collision was not the result of negligent driving on behalf of the occupant of the motor vehicle. Yet, there are many scenarios where the driver was not at fault. Train derailments can cause catastrophic damage and injuries to dozens of parties if the error occurs in a heavy road use area. Two trains colliding and derailing can cause an even worse chain of events. If there are objects on the tracks, such as another vehicle, that the train hits, that can cause injuries to bystanders and occupants many feet away from the actual tracks. Mechanical problems and conductor errors can also lead to crashes.
Black Box in Trains Similar to Those Used in Commercial Airlines
Most locomotives are required to carry a black box that records important information leading up to a crash. This information is vital in determining the cause of the collision. These black boxes, which are similar to those used in commercial jets, record the train’s direction, speed, and the use of the brakes and whistle/horn. Additionally, all train crossing signals, which are automatic, are monitored by dispatch centers. This information can help prove, or easily disprove, who was the cause of the crash: the train engineer, the train crossing signal, or the driver.
Train Fatalities and Injuries on the Decline Over the Past Few Decades, But Increase in 2015
In 1981 there were 9,461 train and motor vehicle collisions that produced 3,293 injuries and 728 fatalities. In 2014 there were just 2,291 collisions, 857 injuries, and 264 fatalities. However, there was a rise from 2013 to 2014, and railway deaths went on the rise again in 2015. Cheap crude oil, transporting the equipment used for fracking (sand, pipes, and chemicals), and the transportation of consumer goods is driving train use up, according to Scientific American. For 2015, the railroads were planned to expand with $29 billion in financing, which is the highest capital spending ever. Railroads are a more environmentally friendly and economic way to transport large quantities of goods, and reduce truck traffic, which accounts for many more fatalities and injuries than railway accidents.
West Palm Beach Railroad and Train Accident Attorney
Railroad accidents are unfortunate, tragic incidents that can cause serious injuries to victims. If you or a loved one has been recently injured in a railroad accident, contact the reputable personal injury firm Pike & Lustig, LLP. You could be entitled to financial compensation for your damages. Read below for more information about railroad accident claims. Then, contact our firm to speak with a West Palm Beach railroad & train accident attorney.
What We Know as Drivers
Drivers are taught to always travel safely over railroad crossings. In driver education, motorists learn how many feet to stay back from railway tracks, how to approach crossings, and other precautions. Even when a driver takes all these precautions, railroad accidents can happen. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, thousands of vehicle-train collisions happen each year. In 2013 alone, the Federal Railroad Administration reported the following collision statistics throughout the United States:
Vehicle-Train Collisions: 2,087
Railroads are still commonly used as a means for transport of goods and people. Freight and passengers travel over thousands of miles across Florida. With so many miles of railways throughout the state, there is always a chance that trains will collide with other vehicles or even with pedestrians. At unprotected crossings, pedestrians and vehicles alike are at risk of getting hurt. Children may be especially vulnerable to such dangers. When a pedestrian, driver or vehicle passenger is injured by a railroad operator’s negligence or recklessness, the victim could be entitled to compensation. When railway operators do not take necessary precautions to account for public safety, accidents can occur. Railroad accidents can lead to grave physical injury or even death for those involved.
Damages for Railroad Accidents
The law allows railroad accident victims to seek compensation for damages sustained in the accident. Medical bills, lost wages, and property damages are commonly sought in these personal injury lawsuits. When a train conductor or railway operator ignores conditions hazardous to the public, and someone is injured as a result, the at-fault party may be held legally liable. However, it can be difficult to determine who the responsible party is. Because of this, railroad accident cases can be very complex. These personal injury suits require the expertise of an experienced attorney. West Palm Beach residents should contact a personal injury law firm with a reputation for success. If you live in West Palm Beach and are a railroad accident victim, contact the aggressive litigators at Pike & Lustig, LLP now.
Contact West Palm Beach Train Accident Attorneys Today
If you have been injured in a train accident, our West Palm Beach accident attorneys will assess your claim and explain your legal options to you. We have helped many personal injury victims, and we can help you now. When handling a personal injury suit, time is not on your side. Florida law can impose strict deadlines on such cases, so you need to call our experienced train accident attorneys right away. We will aggressively fight for you throughout the entire process. Contact Pike & Lustig, LLP to learn more.