Every day, passenger trains transport millions of people across the country into and out of cities and across state lines. These passenger trains are operated by commuter lines as well as Amtrak. According to its website, Amtrak alone serves more than 500 destinations in 46 states with over 21,000 miles of routes.

Unfortunately, train accidents on these carriers are all too common. Examples of such railroad accidents including include train derailments, trains hitting tractor-trailers or cars at crossings, trains hitting pedestrians, and collisions with other trains. At Doran & Murphy, PLLC,  our railroad accident lawyers have represented injured railroad passengers as well as railroad workers for decades in claims and lawsuits against Amtrak as well as commuter trains. The law imposes certain legal obligations on common carriers such as railroads, which can vary from state to state.

Choosing a seasoned personal injury lawyer experienced in railroad litigation is critical. Speak to an experienced train accident lawyer to discuss your rights and legal options to recover compensation.

Common Causes of Train Accidents and Derailments

Railroad accidents are often the result of many causes, including human error and equipment failure. That is why, if you have been injured in such a way, having the benefit of a train accident attorney who is proficient in railroad accident laws can be invaluable and make a dramatic difference in the outcome of your case. Freak accidents rarely occur where nothing could have been done to prevent an accident. Often, the cause of a railroad accident is one of the following:

Driver Negligence

Train racing has resulted in a significant number of fatalities and serious injuries. Train racing refers to the actions of motorists who attempt to cross a railroad crossing before an approaching train arrives. Such an action is seriously dangerous, especially in view of the fact an optical illusion is often at play, in that trains can be much closer and moving faster than they appear.

Equipment Failure

Faulty equipment may contribute to or cause train accidents, including the following:

  • Malfunction of brakes
  • Malfunction of warning lights, sounds, and gates
  • Faulty communication equipment
  • Defective or broken handrails on locomotives or rail cars
  • Defective hand brakes
  • Defective or broken rails which can cause derailment

If you have been injured in a train accident or derailment or have lost a loved one in such a collision, getting skilled legal counsel is imperative. Let a knowledgeable train accident attorney help you seek the compensation for damages.

Human Error

A train accident can result from conductor or engineer negligence. Examples of such negligence include being distracted by a cell phone or other workers, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, a worker who improperly switches tracks, workers who push train cars without following safety precautions or leaving cars in a position unsafe for other cars functioning on the same or an adjacent track. A dedicated railroad accident attorney could help determine the cause of an accident and help the injured person seek compensation for damages.