Train and railroad accidents cause thousands of severe injuries and deaths every year. Injuries to railroad employees and the general public may be caused by negligent railroad companies failing to protect people from safety risks.
Do I Have a Train & Railroad Accident Lawsuit? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one has been injured in a train or railroad accident, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit in Texas, and we can help.
UPDATE: Amtrak Hit With Lawsuits After Deadly Crash in Philadelphia
May 29, 2015 — Amtrak is facing several lawsuits after a train accident near Philadelphia earlier this month killed eight people and caused 200 injuries. Click here to read more.
February 9, 2015 — Investigators are trying to determine whether an unusually designed third rail may have contributed to a deadly train accident in New York last week. Click here to read more.
January 13, 2015 — The victims of a Canadian railroad disaster were awarded $200 million from with the now-bankrupt rail company, but the town’s mayor says that is only a fraction of what is needed. Click here to read more.
Every year, there are thousands of train accidents and injuries. Many are fatal or cause permanent disability. Accidents frequently occur because of hazardous workplace conditions, train collisions or derailments, toxic chemical exposure, and dangerous train crossings
If you have been injured in a train or railroad accident, you may be entitled to compensation if your injury was caused by negligence. If a railroad company failed to do something it should have done (such as violating a safety statute), the company may be found guilty of negligence, and it is liable for your injury.
Examples of railroad negligence may include, but are not limited to:
- Failing to provide employees with a safe working environment
- Requiring employees to use improper, unsafe, or harmful equipment
- Failing to give employees adequate training
- Not conducting frequent inspections of trains, safety equipment, crossings, etc.
- Poor maintenance on trains or equipment
- Not maintaining railroad crossings
- Over-working employees, which may create a dangerous work environment
- Exposing employees to toxic chemicals or hazardous materials
Statistics on Train & Railroad Accidents
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) catalogued nearly 11,000 train accidents/incidents in 2011. Of these, 710 were fatal. The primary cause of accidents were human factors, equipment defects, track defects, and signal defects. Train employees have a high risk of injury, with 55% of train accidents occurring in the railyard. There were also 20 accidents that resulted in a release of hazardous chemicals.
The general public is also at high risk of train injury. In 2011, there were nearly 2,000 incidents of highway-rail accidents, accounting for 95% of all train accident fatalities. A highway-rail incident is any impact between a train and a highway user at a crossing signal. It includes both vehicle-train accidents and pedestrian-train accidents.
Train Crossing Accidents
Train crossing accidents occur when trains collide with vehicles or pedestrians in intersections, accounting for 95% of fatalities. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) estimates that 80% of railroad crossings do not have warning signals. A driver approaching an intersection may be completely unaware of an oncoming train. Overgrown vegetation or other objects may obstruct a driver’s view of an oncoming train.
Even if there is a safety signal, there can still be accidents. The crossing signals or gate may be poorly maintained, malfunctioning, improperly installed, or poorly marked. Determining fault in these types of accidents is often very complex, and involves multiple parties. The train company or conductor may be found negligent. By law, train conductors must slow down and use a whistle when going through populated areas. If they fail to do so and their actions an injury, they may be found negligent.
Railroad Worker Accidents
Working around trains is an inherently dangerous job. When accidents do occur, they are often very severe. Railroad companies have a legal obligation to do their best to protect the health and safety of their employees. If they fail to do so, they can be found negligent under that Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), which protects the rights of injured railroad workers. If your injury was caused be company negligence, you may be able to recover damages for your injury by filing a Railroad Worker Injury Lawsuit.
Railroad worker injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Physical injures (lacerations, broken bones, amputations, burns, etc.)
- Slip and fall injuries
- Ballast injuries to feet, ankles, knees, legs, spine
- Repetitive motion injuries: Carpal tunnel, Spinal injuries
- Hearing loss
- Back injuries
- Knee injuries (from jumping off moving trains)
- Toxic chemical exposure (asbestos, chemical solvents, diesel fumes, mesothelioma, etc.)
- Lung cancer
- Vibration injuries (ankles, feet, joints, spine)
Railroad Ballast Injuries
A court recently awarded eight railroad workers $15.1 million in a railroad ballast injury lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed against CSX Transportation, Inc., and the company was found negligent for using improper ballast in the railyard, using improper switch equipment that caused employee injury, requiring employees to jump off moving trains, and failing to adequately identify safety risks or protect employees.
The men were working in a railyard filled with mainline ballast, which are large rocks that are difficult to walk on, and can cause slips, falls, knee injuries, foot injuries, and more. CSX company guidelines required working ballast in railyards, which is made of smaller stones that is easier to walk on. However, CSX failed to install the working ballast.
The men also alleged that CSX required them to use improper switching equipment, which forced them to crouch down. The company also required them to jump off moving trains until 1990. This contributed to severe lower-body and knee injuries. All eight men suffered from osteoarthritis of the knees. One man was disabled from knee injuries, and another required surgery on both knees and will need his knees replaced in the future.
Do I have a Train & Railroad Accident Lawsuit?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $160 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact us for a free Texas Train & Railroad Accident Lawsuit review.