Train conductor error (falling asleep, inadequate training, distraction, intoxication), unsafe platform conditions, inclement weather, ice on the tracks, and malfunctioning crossing lights and signals are among the most common causes of railroad accidents.
There are a myriad of ways in which a train accident can occur. Here is a partial list of common scenarios:
- Crossing accidents—With thousands of railroad crossings in the state, Illinois pedestrians and motorists are especially vulnerable. These crossings are often the setting for collisions, injuries, and fatalities. Railroad crossing accidents typically occur as a result of malfunctioning crossing lights/signals, train operator negligence, or insufficient platform protections. These cases can be extraordinarily complicated because they involve multiple parties including the train owner, operator, train station owner, and platform owner, which can make getting information and answers difficult. A crossing accident claim is usually brought for negligence or a clear statutory violation.
- Derailments often dominate the headlines because of their sheer catastrophic nature. They typically cause severe bodily injury and property damage, and sadly, are not as uncommon as you might think. They essentially could not occur without the existence of negligence, but a seasoned train accident lawyer is still needed to prove fault and causation of injuries. These incidents involve powerful defendants with abundant resources who will use them to deflect their responsibility and delay compensating victims for their losses.
- Commuter rail accidents—Commuters riding on these modes of public transportation—who are usually not belted in and often not even seated—are at extra risk of being harmed if the train comes to a sudden and violent halt. In these cases objects and even other passengers become moving projectiles. These incidents usually arise out of negligent operation of the train; however it’s important to remember that commuter trains are common carriers because they transport people for profit, therefore train operators have a heightened duty to ensure their passengers reach their destinations safely. If they fail, there is a rebuttable inference that the transit system was negligent, which means the burden is on the carrier—not the injured plaintiff—to show it was not negligent. Follow this link for more information about Chicago Transit Authority train accidents.
What Types of Injuries are Most Often Sustained in Train Accidents?
Because of the uniquely violent nature of train accidents, it’s important to understand the severity of the injuries they produce because their effects can be devastating to a family’s finances, not to mention many other aspects of their lives. Here are just some of their consequences:
- Broken bones
- Herniated discs and other types of spinal injuries
- Tissue and ligament damage
- Lasting or permanent physical disability
- Scarring and other disfigurement
- Facial injuries including vision impairment
- Loss of a loved one or provider who sustains fatal injuries
These are just some of the most common consequences of train accidents and not a complete list. But it should give you a sense of the serious impact these incidents can have on your health and well-being.
Want to Learn More About Illinois Train Accident Lawsuits?
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is available to discuss your train accident case with you at no charge and explain how you can recover the greatest amount of compensation available under Illinois law. Our experienced train accident attorneys will fight for your rights on a contingency basis so you don’t have to pay for our legal services unless we win recovery on your behalf. Call our law offices today to get started on the road to financial relief.