Trains have been an important part of the American transportation system for nearly 200 years. While they’re not as popular with passengers today as they were in the 1800s, people do still ride the rails for extended trips. The railroad system is also incredibly important for the transportation of cargo and the men and women who work on these trains help facilitate the economic stability of the United States. Like any other form of industrial transportation, trains are subject to the potential for mechanical failure. Historically, Arizona has seen a number of terrible train accidents, but how common are they today, and what are your options if you’re involved in one?
There are multiple types of accidents that can occur involving trains and railroads. One that unfortunately happens is when a train collides with a vehicle at a train crossing. Maricopa County has seen a number of these over the years. In 2018, 15 of these accidents occurred at one location at 27th Avenue and Thomas Road. Drivers are supposed to exercise extreme caution at railroad crossings in order to avoid these types of accidents from occurring. As for accidents occurring with trains themselves, the two main types can be broken down into collisions, and derailments. Across the entire United States, 1,836 train accidents occurred in 2018, resulting in 8 deaths and 193 injuries.
Because there are so many things that factor into the workings of a train, there are also many things that can factor in a crash. The cause of the crash can determine who’s liable for the subsequent damage and injuries from it. For example, if the crash was caused by the negligence of an employee, they and their employer may be liable. If the accident is caused by a mechanical failure of the train, the train company could be at fault if the failure was from poor maintenance. If there’s a problem with the railroad itself, then whoever inspects and maintains the rails may be at fault. But there are also incidents that can arise from faulty track switches, people and objects being on the tracks and even acts of God like a natural disaster. Because of the complexities in determining the cause of the accident, that’s where an attorney becomes an incredibly helpful option to pursue compensation.
Sometimes lawsuits have been filed against multiple parties for the same accident. For example, in 2002, an Amtrak train crash in Florida left 4 people dead and 142 people injured. Ultimately it was found that the company that owned the tracks, CSX corporation, failed to maintain the tracks properly, leaving them misaligned. But a lawsuit still could’ve been filed against Amtrak in the event that the train was going too fast at the time or if the engineering staff, hired by Amtrak, did not react accordingly to the potential problem. Indeed, lawsuits have been filed against Amtrak in the past and settled out of court.
The prospect of filing a lawsuit against a large train and rail company may seem like a daunting endeavor, but in the right hands, your lawsuit may still succeed. ELG Law has the attorneys, the experience, and the resources to handle your case and give it the best possible chance of winning. If you’ve been involved in a train accident, contact ELG Law at (623) 321-0566. These kinds of accidents can be physically, financially, and emotionally devastating. Let our lawyers try to help you find the responsible party to file a suit against and get you the money you deserve to build your life back up.