The Federal Railroad Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration all have strict safety requirements that must be met at railroad crossings. Train & Metrolink accidents have the potential to be deadly, and could require you to hire an Orange County train accident lawyer to recover your damages.
Here are some of the most common causes of railroad crossing accidents for motorists & pedestrians in California:
- Railroad Arm Doesn’t Come Down
This is one of the leading causes of railroad crossing accidents, as many people decide whether or not it is safe to cross based upon whether a crossing arm is up or down. As a result, a faulty arm could give motorists a false sense of security and lead to them attempting a crossing when there isn’t enough time to do so. Many people are simply unaware of how long it actually takes a train to stop, and will therefore overestimate their ability to get through a crossing whenever there is no arm to caution them against it.
- No Lights or Bells
Railroad crossing arms are also intended to have lights and bells on them that would alert motorists that they are approaching them. This is important, as it prepares people to stop far in advance of reaching the railroad crossing. If drivers are not alerted, they might not be prepared to stop, and may crash through a crossing arm and into the path of an oncoming train as a result.
- Poor Lighting or Lack of Signage
Railroad crossings are especially dangerous at night, as people may not realize they are coming up on one until they are right on top of it. As a result, it’s important for railroad crossings to be well lit and marked with the appropriate signage so that people will be able to take the necessary precautions.
- Unsafe Operations
Conductors sometimes operate their trains in a manner that is unsafe, thereby increasing their odds of derailment. Operating too fast or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol are two leading causes of train derailment, which can lead to serious injuries and extensive property damage.
These are just a few reasons why train & Metrolink accidents can occur. If you have been injured in a train accident and suspect negligence or a malfunction was to blame, contact us for a consultation of your case.
Train traffic in has increased in recent years with the popularity of commuter trains. A new Metrolink station which in Placentia will serve the 91 Line’s north Orange County passengers is currently in its final design phase. Construction on the Placentia station will begin in 2012 or 2013; it will be the only station on the 91 Line not shared by another Metrolink line. Generally passengers consider train travel to be safe and comfortable mode of transportation compared to driving the county’s often congested highways. Only when we hear of a train accident with injuries and deaths are we shocked to find out they occur more often then we think. In 2007 there were 13,227 accidents and incidents nationwide. Closer to home in California, there were 199 train accidents in 2005, 189 in 2006, and 152 in 2007. In September 2008, the Metrolink commuter train crashed in Chatsworth killing 25, making it the deadliest American train wreck in the last 15 years. That accident served as a reminder how vulnerable all passengers are to the negligence of train operators. The emotional and financial toll on accident victims and their families cannot be overestimated. At Silverthorne Attorneys we’ve been helping train crash victims for a long time receive just and fair compensation for their injuries. Only a competent and accomplished train accident lawyer is qualified to sort through the complexities of your accident to determine liability for damages and fight for your right to recover the highest financial award possible.
Who is Liable to Pay Compensation for a Train Accident?
All train wrecks are unique. A train accident could have a single cause or multiple, interrelated causes. Crashes are the result of faulty equipment, operator negligence, attempted suicides, collisions with motor vehicles, confusing track signals, and other related causes. A good train accident attorney will often use the help of train accident re-constructionists, engineers and other experts to examine the facts surrounding your train accident. It takes an attorney with experience to determine what parties and entities had a hand in causing your train accident injuries. Some parties who may be held responsible for your train accident could be:
- The company or public agency that owns and operates the train
- The track owner
- A motor vehicle driver
- The manufacturer of the engine, signal equipment or other equipment
- What type of Compensation is Available to Train Accident Victims?
When you are injured, or a loved one is maimed or killed in a train wreck, financial compensation may not seem adequate to make up for your losses. Still, they can help to ease the pain and pay for the services and living needs of the family and the train accident victim. The types of damages available in each case will vary. Your train accident lawyer can help you decide if you should seek damages for:
- Medical Bills and Home Health Care Costs
- Property Damage
- Impairment of Earning Capacity
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Life Care
Metrolink & Train Accident Attorney Consultation
To protect your rights to recover damages it is vital that you discuss the details of your case with an experienced train crash lawyer. Call a train wreck attorney and get a free case evaluation. There is no cost of obligation and every conversation is confidential.
What will it Cost to Hire A Train Accident Lawyer?
Once we decide to take you on as a client, we get paid only if we win your case. We charge no up front fees or costs, and advance all costs to prosecute the case. We only get paid when you get paid. If you were injured, or if a family member was killed due to a train, railroad or Metrolink accident contact Silverthorne Attorneys. We are Orange County injury lawyer with offices in Huntington Beach, Anaheim and Ladera Ranch and serve all courts in Southern California.