Millions of people across the United States rely on trains for a wide variety of reasons, from public transportation and the shipping of goods to the transport of oil, coal lumber, and hazardous materials. Thousands of passenger trains and freight trains pass through Ohio every year, with local trains traveling more than 2 million miles annually.
According to the Federal Rail Administration and the Department of Transportation, over 2,000 train accidents occurred in the United States in 2015, resulting in 244 fatalities and
967 injuries. According to Operation Lifesaver Ohio, there were 83 highway-rail grade crossing collisions in Ohio in 2015, resulting in 12 fatalities and 35 injuries.
Types of railroad accidents
Common railroad accidents across the country include:
- Railroad crossing accidents
- Collisions with other trains and cars
- Pedestrian accidents
- Hazardous cargo accidents
- Fires from train sparks
The National Transportation Safety Board states that most railroad accidents in the United States occur because of cars crashing into trains and pedestrians crossing railroad tracks.
In some instances, a train accident results from a railway’s failure to follow federal or state safety laws. When this occurs, a court may opt to charge the railway with absolute liability for any resulting injuries or death without the need for further proof of fault.
Examples of common train accident causes are:
- Operator negligence
- Operator inexperience
- Operator fatigue
- Derailment due to rail issues
- Derailment due to excessive speed
- Excessive speed
- Electrical failures
- Mechanical failures
- Structural defects
- Improper or poor maintenance
- Hidden or missing warnings
- Signal or communication problems
- Debris on tracks
Passenger and bystander injuries
Passenger trains travel so fast that any type of train accident can result in severe injury or even death. Since trains typically do not have any special protection for passengers, they may sustain injuries such as head trauma, broken bones, whiplash, facial injury or chest injury when involved in an accident. Passengers may also sustain injuries when boarding or leaving the train.
Train accidents may not only cause serious injury to passengers on board, but also to other individuals who may not be on the train. These include pedestrians and individuals who were on other trains and vehicles involved in the accident.
Innocent bystanders are often injured or killed at unprotected railroad crossings, or those crossings with no signals or lights to indicate there is an incoming train. Bystanders may also be injured in hazardous cargo spills or train derailments.
Compassionate train accident lawyer ready to help
Determining the true cause of a train accident and identifying the party accountable for the accident can be a complicated process. If you or a loved have been seriously injured in a train accident, call The Fitch Law Firm as soon as possible. We can examine your case exhaustively and help you seek compensation for the injuries you have sustained. You may also be entitled to collect a recovery for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and other losses and damages.
We are here to fight for you and to help you get the justice you deserve. Call The Fitch Law Firm today at 855-LAW-OHIO or fill out our online consultation form to schedule a free consultation with an experience Ohio train accident attorney.