Trains create an extremely strong force. A train that crashes into a car has the same amount of force as a car running over a can of soda. Stopping a moving train is extremely difficult, and anything that stands in the way of one is going to be damaged.
Today, the freight railroad industry spans 140,000 miles of track that serves 21 regional railroads and 510 local railroads, according to the Federal Railroad Administration. Add to this a number of commuter rail systems, including subway systems, in cities throughout the United States, all of which wind through cities, over mountains, through tunnels and across motorways, and you have a very intricate, connected system. In light of these numbers, it is no wonder that accidents do occur on occasion.
Because of this large network and the extreme force of trains, train accidents can cause extreme injuries and death. Most of the time, accidents involving trains can be completely avoided, yet every year thousands of people are injured in collisions or accidents involving trains. The Connecticut personal injury attorneys at Ronald. M. Scherban, P.C. have represented many people who suffer injuries in train accidents, and want you to understand your rights if someone you care about was injured by a train.
Common Types of Train Accidents
Because of the sheer force a train puts forth, accidents involving trains very often lead to injuries. The most common type of train accident is a highway-rail accident wherein a train hits a car or pedestrian. In these accidents, the pedestrian or the occupants of the vehicle are almost always severely injured or even killed. However, this is just one type of train accident. Others include:
- Train derailments – When a train leaves the safety of the railroad track, the train cars may collide with one another or tip over, leaving those inside injured.
- Train-to-train collisions – Trains sometimes collide with one another when they fail to stop in time or get mixed signals from dispatch.
- Single-train accidents – A train can collide with something on the track or fail to stop before a barrier, leading to a crash and injuries.
The cause of these railroad accidents can include human error, excessive cargo loads, mechanical failure, improper maintenance of equipment or overall failure of the equipment. In cases involving cars or pedestrians, the actions of the driver or pedestrian can also be the cause of the accident.
In each of these instances, the injuries that occur as a result can be quite extensive. Passengers thrown from trains can suffer broke bones, internal injuries, traumatic brain injuries and damage to their spinal cords. This can lead to ongoing medical bills and treatment needs. Many train accidents cause fatalities.
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a collision or accident involving a train, it is critical to talk to an attorney right away. You may have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. Schedule a consultation with one of the attorneys at Ronald. M. Scherban, P.C. to learn more about your options.
Train Accidents by the Numbers
Train accidents, according to Operation Lifesaver, are dropping in frequency. In 1981, there were over 9,400 vehicle-and-train accidents that lead to over 720 fatalities and nearly 3,300 injuries. Preliminary statistics from 2016 show only 2,025 accidents, leading to 265 fatalities and 798 injuries. Still, any injuries or fatalities are too many, and those who are left behind or left injured as a result need to know that they have the right to seek legal help.
Railroad Accident Injuries – Who Is At Fault?
In a railroad accident, any number of people could be at fault. Those who could be held liable for accidents to passengers on trains or those injured by a train include:
- Drivers and pedestrians – If a driver or pedestrian was on the railroad track when the signal indicated an approaching train, and passengers were injured as a result, that driver or pedestrian may be liable for the injuries.
- Train operators – Human error on the part of a conductor that leads to injuries could leave the operator liable.
- The railroad company – If the railroad company fails to provide proper training to operators, maintain train or track equipment properly or properly signal operators, the company could be held liable.
Proving fault in these accidents, however, is not always simple. It is critical that you talk with a personal injury attorney who specializes in transportation codes and regulations to help you in this process.
Contact an Attorney at Ronald M. Scherban, P.C. for Connecticut Train Accident Help
If you or someone you love has been injured in a train accident, you may be due compensation. The attorneys at Ronald M. Scherban, P.C., are knowledgeable about the rules and regulations surrounding rail travel and can help you take a closer look at your case to determine if someone else should be held liable for your injuries. Contact our firm today at 203-290-1333 or contact us online to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.