Train Accidents Caused by Conductor Negligence
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In North America, train conductors have a number of important duties and responsibilities. The conductor is the individual who manages the crew, oversees any cargo, helps passengers, collects their fares, and ensures compliance with safety regulations. Essentially, any duty that doesn’t have to do with the movement of the train itself—that’s the engineer’s job—is the conductor’s role.
The conductor is a part of the train’s movement and operation. Conductors sometimes assist with testing brakes, will signal an engineer to stop or start the train, keep a log of the train’s activity, and make sure that the train remains on schedule.
Most importantly, they direct communications between the railroad and the engineer on the train (similar to a co-pilot on a plane communicating with air traffic control). Their job is to remain alert to any conditions that affect train movement, like trains coming from the opposite direction.
What Happens When Conductors Are Negligent
Ultimately, the conductor is responsible for the safety of the workers and passengers on the train. Their failure to enforce or ensure safety compliance could lead to severe and lasting injuries to everyone aboard the train. Their job is to always be alert and aware of approaching hazards and alert the conductor of any issues. Their failure to do so could be deadly.
In 2008, a train in Chatsworth, CA missed the alert for oncoming rail traffic and struck a freight train. The crash killed 25 people. The party found responsible was the engineer—who was texting when the alert was missed. This is why even having a phone on hand is not allowed for rail workers.
Conductors need to be aware of everything the engineer needs to know. If conductors fail in their duty, the stakes are high—they’re responsible for over 100,000 of metal and industrial material traveling in excess of 50 mph.
Conductor Negligence FAQ
What is train conductor negligence?
Negligence is defined as a failure to act with reasonable care in the circumstances. For a train conductor, this may be any act or failure to act that jeopardizes the operation of the train and the safety of its occupants. Conductors are held to a high standard of care due to the complexity and importance of their jobs. If a conductor is distracted, tired, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or is simply careless, this can have catastrophic results. When conductor negligence causes or contributes to a train accident, our attorneys are there to help victims seek justice.
Who can file an injury claim based on conductor negligence?
An injured passenger or railroad worker may have grounds for a claim for compensation after a train accident caused by conductor negligence. For a passenger, this would likely be a personal injury lawsuit. For a railroad worker, their claim may fall under FELA. In either scenario, the goal will be to recover financial compensation for medical expenses, continued treatment and therapy, lost earnings, loss of future income, and emotional trauma such as pain and suffering.
What does it cost to work with a train accident attorney?
At Arnold & Itkin, we work on a contingent fee basis. This means we only get paid if we secure a settlement or award on your behalf. So, there’s no risk in contacting and involving a skilled professional at our firm. In addition to this, we front all costs associated with investigating and litigating a case. We even help ensure our clients get the medical care they need, from the best doctors and facilities. We’re passionate about helping our clients through the most difficult times of their lives so they can face brighter futures.
Have You Been Injured in a Train Accident?
Whether you are a passenger filing a lawsuit or an employee filing a FELA claim, Arnold & Itkin understands what it takes to win your case. Our investigations and negotiations have resulted in billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for the injured. Our train accident attorneys have represented cases nationwide, lending our skill and insight to hundreds of clients in the last 5 years alone. Train cases require more than a run-of-the-mill injury lawyer—your case deserves the focus, attention, and power of a firm known nationwide for our record-setting results.
Call (888) 493-1629 today for a free consultation. We're prepared to listen to your story and help you determine the best possible route for your case.