Train accidents in Illinois are often the most dangerous and violent kind of transportation crash any individual can survive. Often times, railroad accidents involve passenger and freight trains, local commuter trains (such as METRA or CTA), locomotives and subway systems. The excessive speed and lack of seat belts on the train can cause catastrophic injuries and wrongful death to train passengers, along with other motorists, innocent bystanders and pedestrians.
The railroad system in the Chicago area serves as a strategic component for moving goods and people. However, like all modes of transportation, human error and mechanical failure can lead to significant injuries and death when crashes occur. A train crash accident can kill dozens or hundreds in one catastrophic event.
Because of state and federal government agencies, there are different laws for filing for financial recompense if the injuries you suffered from a local commuter or a national common carrier railroad system. In addition, railroad workers injured on the job in a train crash accident must file for financial recompense through different means than passengers are motorists.
Common Train Accidents
For every train jumping the track at high speeds that makes national headlines, there are dozens more train accidents that do not make the news. The most common train accidents involve:
- Trains colliding with other trains
- A derailment caused by hitting an object, faulty mechanical parts or traveling across defective tracks
- Trains colliding with automotive vehicles, commercial trucks and motorcycles
- Trains hitting pedestrians
The laws governing a train accident or crash can be extremely complicated. Often times, it takes an experienced train accident lawyer to properly investigate the crash to determine all responsible parties that can be held liable for negligence. This often includes the railroad company, the engineer, conductor, locomotive and rail car manufacturer or others. In addition to determine who is responsible, the lawyer can also calculate the degree of liability of everyone at fault. This amount will usually determine the financial worth of the case in terms of obtaining financial recompense.
The Legal Cause of the Accident
The FRA (Federal Railroad Administration) under the Office of Safety Analysis determines the cause of every train railroad accident and categorizes each one into specific groups. These include:
- Human error
- Defective tracks caused by traverse fissures, corrosion, and cracks
- Signaling defect including a malfunctioning or inoperative railroad signal
- Equipment defect or malfunction – This could include a broken or defective hand brake, a missing, broken or defective spring, an obstructed brake pipe, a bent axle, defective coupler, electrical and/or mechanical failure, defective door or wheels along with overheating
- Other miscellaneous cause
Railroad Crash Accident Injuries
Because of the catastrophic nature of a railroad crash, the accident often leaves victims was serious injuries. Many of these include:
- Spinal cord injury and/or brain trauma
- Knee, neck and/or back injury
- Hearing injuries
- Broken bones
Many victims suffering permanent disability in a train accident and family members with victims involved in a wrongful death will hire an attorney to file a claim for financial recompense. Many times, a lawsuit will be filed against all negligent parties involved in a train accident. Negligent factors involving a railroad crash accident can include:
- Improperly trained engineers and conductors
- Improperly maintained locomotives, rail cars and railroad tracks
- Improperly installed or maintained signaling devices at railroad crossings
- Defective train equipment supplied by the manufacturer
Because of state and federal law, litigating a railroad crash accident to protect the rights of the victims can be complex. Unfortunately, like most common carriers, railroads are notorious for denying responsibility, especially for accidents happening at railroad crossings.
However, an experienced law firm will perform a proper investigation to provide expedient, attentive and thorough client service and legal representation. Facts can be determined and lawsuits filed to pursue financial compensation for a wrongful death or a catastrophic injury following a railroad accident.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have successfully represented many victims of serious train accidents suffering injuries and death. The law firm at (888) 424-5757 can study the merits of the case, and provide legal assistance on proceeding with a claim or lawsuit. The attorney’s efforts will ensure that rightful compensation is obtained to cover medical expenses, personal losses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It is imperative to hire an attorney for legal representation before the deadline (statute of limitations) expires.