Indianapolis Railroad Accident Lawyer
The Federal Railroad Administration reports in 2011 there were a total of 11,319 railroad-related accidents and 690 railroad-related fatalities. These accidents include train only, highway-rail accidents, and other incidents involving passengers loading on and off of trains.
Train only accidents encompass issues involving ontrack rail equipment. Highway-rail accidents include any impact between a rail and a highway user at a crossing site. This definition includes pedestrians as well as motor vehicle operators at any crossing site whether it is public or private. Other incidents include injuries and fatalities that occurred to railroad employees and others who may be trespassing on railroad property.
Indiana averages twenty railroad-related fatalities and approximately 170 non-fatal accidents every year. This statistic is due to a variety of factors. Railroad warning lights and crossing gates can help protect drivers from oncoming train traffic; however, when these safety measures malfunction the results can be deadly. Some railroad crossings have been designated to use warning whistles to alert drivers and pedestrians of oncoming rail traffic. These warning whistles can also help reduce the likelihood of a highway-rail accident. However, some areas have instituted noise pollution reduction measures and have prohibited the use of warning whistles.
Train related accidents can be extremely dangerous due to the speed that a train travels and the weight of the cars that are being pulled. Highway-rail accidents can be devastating as it can take a train pulling 150 cars at a rate of 50 mph roughly one and a half miles to stop. This is hardly enough space to allow a train to stop in time to avoid a collision with a vehicle that is crossing or sitting on a railroad crossing. A highway-rail accident can cause further damage if the collision causes the train to derail. The cars being pulled by the train could damage nearby homes, businesses, or bridges. Hazardous cargo could also leak from the derailed cars and create serious environmental damage.
There are several things that a person can do to keep themselves safe from a railroad-related injury.
- Do not ever drive between lowered crossing gates, even if you do not see a train
- Keep your radio at a safe volume level when driving so that you can hear warning whistles and sirens
- Do not allow children (or yourself) to ever walk along or sit on a train track
- When boarding a train be mindful of the gap between the platform and the train steps so that you do not fall and injure yourself
- Do not stand too close to the edge of the platform when waiting for a train
If you or someone you care about has suffered a serious railroad related injury, contact us. Our Indianapolis train accident injury attorneys can advise you of your legal rights and options. Whether your accident involved a highway-rail incident or a serious injury that you sustained while waiting for or boarding a train, we can help. Our personal injury attorneys have represented clients in settlement negotiations and courtroom trials when negotiation talks were not successful. We can help you fight for compensation for your injuries and will give Power to Your Voice.