Train accidents happen more than you think they do. In 2017 alone, the United States had 11,597 train-related accidents and 864 of these proved to be fatal. Often, such accidents are the result of human error, mechanical failure, or a combination of the two. Plenty of people take the train to travel both short and long distances so the possibility of danger always exists. However, what exactly causes these accidents? How do you know if it is time to get in touch with a railroad accident lawyer?
Causes of Railroad Accidents
Assuming that you are no longer in any danger, the next step would try to find out what caused the accident. This will be necessary if you wish to file a lawsuit or ask for compensation. The following are the most cited reasons behind these incidents:
This is often blamed on the railway, the employees, the overseeing government agency, or the manufacturer. This would include the faulty operation of a signal light or a crossing sign. While technology has certainly made it possible to improve upon safety and efficiency features, the people in charge might not have taken care of the implementation well.
A good team will definitely do everything in its capacity to maintain the tracks, trains, and operating systems. However, even a slim technical failure can result in a devastating accident in the form of a collision or train derailment.
Let us not forget that there is a person in charge of manning or overseeing the train. Sometimes, an accident can result from conductor error, fatigue, or even inexperience. Disasters can happen thanks to impaired reactions or poor judgement.
Like most vehicles, it is important to keep the speed on check. As a train moves faster, the danger of crashing also increases. Moreover, it will also exacerbate both the damage and injuries sustained. Derailment is more likely to happen to a train moving at high speeds than one running at a moderate velocity.
The accident sometimes happens when a foreign object is left on the tracks. If a conductor fails to spot it and act accordingly, it will most likely result in a collision. The impact and damage will be higher if the train is running at a high speed.
There have also been documented cases of vehicles or pedestrians staying on or near the tracks as a train approaches. The conductor might react suddenly at the sight of them, causing the derailment of the train.
When a train crash occurs, injuries that range from broken bones to spinal injury and even brain damage can be obtained by the victims. It will be necessary to find legal counsel right away in order to file a personal injury lawsuit for both physical and mental damages. Often, accidents result in prohibitive hospital bills but there is no need to fear. Compensation can help the victims cope in more ways than one and only an excellent train accident lawyer can help you seek the compensatory damages you deserve.