According to the Texas Department of Transportation, a person or vehicle gets involved in a train accident every two hours. In 2012, Texas accounted for 106 of these accidents. Additionally, Politico reports that certain kinds of train accidents are becoming more common, specifically oil-train accidents, because of a rise in crude-by-rail.
As Texas is arguably the premier oil state in the nation, these accidents may become more common for us than for other states, as oil is transferred from our ports or oilfields to the interior of our country.
The speed and size of trains make stopping difficult, requiring about a mile to stop completely to avoid hitting an unaware vehicle or pedestrian. In addition, due to the weight of trains, accidents involving them can be catastrophic.
What Causes Train Accidents?
Train-to-vehicle collisions can occur for many reasons. Common train accidents can occur due to these forms of negligence:
- Defective parts along the rails, the crossing or on the train itself, such as guards or lights. Defective rails or train parts can also lead to derailment.
- Failure to warn vehicles and pedestrians by sounding a warning.
- Insufficient, missing or obscured signage.
- Operator error due to incompetence, drugs, alcohol, fatigue or other forms of poor judgment.
- Speeding trains exceeding the speed limit of the track type. Track types are broken down into nine classes, each class has a different speed limit, with class 1 beginning at 10 mph and class 9 capping out at 200 mph. Currently, the United States does not have a class 9; although, Amtrak has been running test runs with its Acela Express, which runs between Boston and Washington, DC.
Other causes of train accidents exist. If you are unsure of whether or not your train accident injuries were caused by negligence, then contact a personal injury lawyer near you. A good lawyer will help you secure compensation to pay for economic and non-economic damages, such as hospital bills, therapy and pain and suffering.
Looking for an Austin-Area Personal Injury Attorney?
Metro rail, passenger train and commercial train accidents are a common cause of severe injuries and wrongful death nationwide. If you are ready to file a lawsuit because of an accident, then contact the personal injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Aaron Allison today. We represent wounded victims or workers in train accidents in the Austin-area.
The Law Offices of Aaron Allison – Austin Personal Injury Attorney