Railroad Crossing Accidents

Thousands of railroad accidents happen every year resulting in numerous injuries and deaths. Railroad accidents occur when a train crashes into another train or vehicle, hits a pedestrian, or derails. These accidents regularly cause severe injuries or death.

A common type of railroad accident is when a train crashes into a motor vehicle at a railroad crossing. Grade crossings that have lights and gates warn the public that a train is approaching to prevent grade crossing accidents. But train wrecks still happen at this type of crossing way too often. This happens when the lights and gates fail to work properly.

Most grade crossing accidents happen at crossings when the lights and gates warning devices are not working. Some crossings only have signs like a crossbuck, yield, or stop sign—which doesn’t indicate to the public when a train is approaching. This type of crossing can be dangerous, and railroad is negligent unless it installs lights and gates or other low-cost active warning devices. Unfortunately, many railroads refuse to accept this responsibility.

In addition to the warning devices being inadequate, train crashes with motor vehicles at crossings occur for many reasons. Some examples include:

  • The train horn is not used or is not loud enough to warn the motorist or pedestrian

  • The train is speeding, or the train crew does not try to slow down to avoid the crash

  • There are visual obstructions—like trees, parked trains, or buildings—so the motorist cannot see the train approaching

  • The road and crossings are not maintained sufficiently to allow for safe travel over the crossing

Another very common type of railroad accident is when a train hits a pedestrian. These incidents occur for numerous reasons, including the train horn not being used, the train speeding or not slowing down, or the condition of the crossing surface trapping pedestrians and bicyclists. Also, train derailments happen less often, but the result can be catastrophic.

Litigating railroad accidents is a complicated task requiring knowledge of numerous laws and regulations and railroad practices. The attorneys at Boyd Kenter Thomas & Parrish have handled railroad accidents for many years all over the United States. Contact the attorneys at Boyd Kenter Thomas & Parrish if you or a family member have been involved in a railroad accident.

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