Train/ Railroad Crossing Accidents
On average a vehicle or pedestrian is struck by a train every two hours at a railroad crossing in the United States. The size, weight and speed of trains cause catastrophic injuries when these collisions occur. Victims of train versus car collisions are 40 times more likely to die than in collisions with another car, bus or truck. These collisions often occur due to the negligence or recklessness of the railroad or their contractors.
Railroad crossing collisions are highly specialized and complex. Railroad companies have a long history of vigorously fighting such claims. Collisions with trains can be controlled by a number of different state or federal laws. Sometimes federal laws may preempt state law claims and control the lawsuit; however even in this situation there are sometimes exceptions to the federal laws. Knowledge of these unique legal issues and familiarity with the governing laws, along with knowledge of railroad operations, is crucial to successful preparation of a railroad collision case.
Today’s trains are equipped with advanced technologies which provide detailed information about the train’s movements and the actions of the crew operating the train. Railroads notoriously try to prevent disclosure of this and other damaging information to claimants. The lawyer representing the injured person or the family of a person killed in a train collision must understand the types of information customarily available in these cases in order to obtain critical evidence to prove the liability of the railroad.