The Federal Railroad Administration has reported that there were 1,979 train accidents in 2011 throughout the nation—resulting in almost 3 accidents per million train miles traveled. This resulted in 6 fatalities and more than 200 "nonfatal conditions." The primary types of train accidents included derailments, which accounted for over 70% of accidents, and collisions, which accounted for 7%.
The primary causes of train accidents include the following:
- Human Factors – 36%
- Track Defects – 34%
- Equipment Defects – 12%
- Signal Defects – 2%
- Miscellaneous – 17%
Statistically, human error is the greatest contributing factor to all accidents. This can be anything from distracted train operation to lack of proper training or maintenance. The second leading cause is track defects. Train accidents can take place while trains are in motion, which typically results in the serious and fatal accidents. Accidents can also take place in rail yards while maintenance is being performed on trains. Also not uncommon is for railway workers to develop occupational diseases from exposure.
We Have a Reputation as Serious Trial Lawyers
FELA stands for the Federal Employers Liability Act. This federal law was established in 1908 and is explained in full detail under 45 U.S.C. § 51 et seq. The Industrial Revolution in the U.S. affected every area of industry, with the railroad industry being no exception. Because of this rapid expansion, there was also an increase in accidents. There were scarcely any regulations for this occupation until President Harrison addressed Congress in 1889 by comparing the occupation of a rail worker to that of a soldier. Under FELA, a worker can sue an employer for negligence.
This means that railroad workers who are injured or become ill in conjunction with performing their job duties may bring lawsuits against a rail line to seek compensation for their damages.
Since federal regulations were imposed on this industry, there has been a significant decrease in the amount of accidents per year. Even so, FELA laws are only effective if they are enforced. Those who would like to take hold of their FELA rights should contact Arnold & Itkin as we are intensely familiar with this legislation and other legal matters as they relate to the train industry.
Crossties are rectangular supports that hold the rails up and keep them level. Defective crossties could be disastrous, leading to total derailment and dozens of injured passengers, motorists, and bystanders.
Switches are the junction at which trains can navigate from one track to another. Poor switches means trains may end up colliding into one another on the same track--or more commonly, derailing off of a set of badly aligned switches.
Trains are designed to travel at a specific speed. Above that speed, the train's ability to stay on the rails and remain stable becomes weakened at best. Recent train accidents have been caused by trains traveling up to 50% faster than their intended design--causing terrible injuries and fatalities in the name of keeping on a schedule.
Failure to Apply Brakes
Conductors require a great deal of space and time to brake effectively. Their failure to remain alert and cognizant of the path ahead could result in severe and lasting injuries for both employees and passengers.
These accidents are nothing to take lightly and can result in millions of dollars in damages. As there are usually many people who were injured and are looking to file a claim.
Don't let yourself get lost in the shuffle.
You deserve to receive just compensation, and we are here to demand justice on your behalf. This is not the time to work with just any firm. You need an aggressive advocate who will step up to fight for you. At our firm, we have recovered billions of dollars on behalf of our clients.
So why wait? With your future on the line, you need to proactively act to protect your legal rights. By working with our firm, you can trust that you are placing your case, and therefore your life, into trustworthy hands. Give us a call today at (888) 493-1629 today or schedule your free consultation through our online case evaluation form. We look forward to hearing from you.
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