Trains are a common mode of transportation for millions of Americans. Across the nation, trains are often the cheapest way to get to a destination. Train accidents are not as common or frequent as other types of traffic or vehicular accidents. However, when they do occur, they can be absolutely devastating and cause numerous injuries and fatalities. According to the Federal Railway Administration (FRA), a train accident occurs every two hours in the United States. In some cases, train passengers get injured. Very often we also see other motorists or pedestrians get injured by trains especially at street-level crossings.
Here are some of the most common causes of train or railroad accidents:
- Collision with another train or vehicle
- Mechanical malfunction
- Operator or engineer error
- Distracted operation (talking on the cell phone or texting)
- Poorly maintained tracks
- Lack of security on the train
- Lack of safety mechanisms to prevent catastrophic crashes
- Lack of safety features at crossings such as crossing arms, lights or warning signs
If you have sustained injuries in a railroad accident in Chicago, you may be able to seek damages for your personal injuries, lost income, and pain and suffering. As a pedestrian or a motorist, you have the responsibility to be careful at crossings and around trains. However, if you have been injured due to the negligence of a train operator or a defective railroad crossing, the negligent party could be held accountable.
In many instances, train accidents, not only result in catastrophic injuries, they can be complex to pursue, often involving several different parties. The law also limits the time frame in which you can claim compensation in such cases. So, you would be well-advised to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and find out more information about your legal rights and options.