Railroad Crossings Accidents
There are over 1,600 accidents at train crossings every year— most at "unprotected" crossings.
In the first eight months of 2007, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) documented 8,241 accidents involving the railroad. Of those incidents, 531 involved fatalities. During the same period, the FRA reported that there were 1,692 incidents at public railroad crossings as well as 687 highway-rail injury incidents and 261 highway-rail death incidents.
Figures from the National Transportation Safety Board state that approximately 60 percent of all railroad crossing fatalities occur at “unprotected” or passive crossings. Passive crossings are those with no more than a railroad crossing sign. The statistics also state that “protected crossings,” those crossings with warning devices such as lights and gates, represent only 20 percent of the public railroad crossings in the United States.
Although railroad almost always have the right of way, there are times when a crossing may be deemed a unique and local safety hazard; thus requiring the railroad to take additional steps to safeguard motorists.
In deciding whether a particular crossing is a unique and local safety hazard, a jury may consider the following factors:
- Whether federal regulations would require additional warnings
- Whether sight distances or visibility are reduced at the crossing
- Whether there are intersections with other roads near the crossing
- Whether there is visual clutter at the crossing
- Whether there had been prior accidents at the crossing
Injuries involving the railroad are often catastrophic in nature. This is true whether the incident involves a crossing accident or an injured railroad worker. For this reason, federal regulations have been established to provide protection for railroad workers as well as citizens at rail crossings. At Arnold & Itkin LLP, we have successfully won hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlements for our clients, and we may be able to do the same for you. Any
train accident claim you wish to file on behalf of your accident and injury should not be done without the legal assistance of an
injury attorney from our firm.