Personal Injury Following a Railroad Accident
According to the Federal Railway Administration, 2015 saw 2,059 railway crossing accidents that resulted in 244 deaths and 967 injuries. If a motor vehicle is involved in an accident with a train, the vehicle invariably comes out worse off. When you compare the weight of a car and a train, this aftermath is not surprising.
The average car weighs roughly two tons. A train weighs in excess of 3,000 tons; more than 1,000 times heavier. The median car weight is actually significantly lower than 2 tons; the average is raised by the inclusion of heavy commercial vehicles. Even drivers of large road vehicles such as tractor-trailers are at risk of serious personal injury or death if they collide with a train.
Trains Have Few Options
Trains can cause catastrophic accidents not only due to their massive size but also because their options for maneuver are restricted to the railway track. When train drivers encounter a vehicle or other large object blocking the track, they have only one option if they want to avoid a collision: stop. Trains require a much longer distance to stop than a vehicle especially if they are moving at considerable speed. For instance, a train moving at 55 miles per hour when the brakes are applied will travel for about a mile before it comes to a stop.
Due to a train’s inability to react to an emergency quickly, the required standards of care and maintenance must be unusually high. These standards are vital in ensuring the safety of both those aboard the train and those off it. When pursuing a compensation claim, one of the angles that a Boca Raton personal injury lawyer will look into is whether the railroad company adhered to its duty of reasonable care.
Most urban railway crossings in Florida are fitted with warning lights, pavement markers and often, crossing gates. All these are meant to provide car drivers with sufficient warning not to drive into the path of a passing train. Despite this, many train-car collisions are due to car drivers attempting to speed through the crossing before the oncoming train gets there. Trains are bulky machines and when observed from a distance, may not seem to be moving as fast as they actually are. Drivers misjudge the distance and speed with tragic results.
Railroad Companies May Be Liable
Nevertheless, railroad companies may sometimes be responsible for collisions. In past years, a number of cases in the press have highlighted accusations of evidence tampering leveled against the railroad companies. While some companies have insisted that it was a misunderstanding, their assertions do not stand the test of deeper scrutiny.
Often, the questionable cases involved instances where the companies failed to properly maintain safety devices or overlooked known problems. Other possible causes of train accidents are fatigued train operators, poorly trained railroad staff, distracted train drivers (due to alcohol or drugs) and visual obstruction such overgrown vegetation. While many train-car accident statistics place the vast majority of fault on car drivers, it is important to remember that these statistics are usually based on internal data collected by the railroad companies themselves.
Leifer & Ramirez Boca Raton Personal Injury Attorney
Have you experienced personal injury following a train accident in Florida? You will want to get in touch with a Boca Raton personal injury Attorney. Due to the force of impact, train accident injuries can be horrific and victims may have to live with a major disability for life. At Leifer & Ramirez, we work with victims to pursue just compensation from the at fault party.
The compensation includes not just medical costs but also loss of income. Railroad companies have a large war chest and will deploy the best legal minds to make sure their interests are protected. To do battle with such a formidable opponent, you need an equally competent Boca Raton lawyer like Leifer & Ramirez by your side. Get in touch for a free consultation.