Between freight carriers and passenger trains, there are over 60 railroads operating in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of operating railroads, which means that Pennsylvania is a relatively common site for train accidents. Train accidents are responsible for thousands of injuries and fatalities each year.
People injured in train accidents are train passengers, employees, or pedestrians/motor vehicle occupants struck by a train on the tracks. Train accident injuries that do not result in fatalities are often severe and sometimes debilitating. Train and rail accident attorneys know that only experienced train accident attorneys should be entrusted to represent train injury victims due to the complicated nature of these cases.
Federal and state regulations
Trains are governed by Pennsylvania and federal rules and regulations. Compliance with these rules and regulations is important to make sure that trains are operating safely. Unfortunately, violations and noncompliance with regulations happen and when it does, innocent people are often injured as a result. Some of the regulation compliance that attorneys will investigate after an accident often relates to the following categories:
- Hazardous material transportation
- Warning and signal control
- Safety measures for bridges, tunnels, trestles, and switches
- Cargo loading
- Train Operation and employee training
- Accountings, records, and reports
- Train clearances
Types of train accidents that we handle
- Injuries due to derailment – Derailments frequently happen because of broken tracks, obstructions on the tracks, or train operator error.
- Collisions with passenger vehicles – Passenger vehicle accidents may occur as a result of inadequate warnings of an approaching train, unmarked railroad crossing, motor vehicle driver negligence in ignoring warnings, or dangerous conditions causing a motor vehicle to become stuck on the tracks.
- Collisions with pedestrians – Pedestrian/train accidents may occur for a number of reasons including inadequate train warnings or pedestrian trespass.
- Train defects or malfunctioning train parts.
- Train accidents caused by negligent operation including distracted and fatigued operators.
- Poorly maintained tracks or trains.
- Accidents involving hazardous materials.
- Accidents related to noncompliance with regulations including failure to install required safety equipment to prevent accidents.
Train accident liability and recovery
There are many parties that may be liable for train accidents. Liable parties may include those responsible for track and train maintenance, train operator, a railroad company, track owner, government entity, those responsible for train or track defects, and anyone else who may have played a role in causing a train accident. You may be entitled to recover for injuries and damages including medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and loss of enjoyment of life. Additionally, wrongful death claims are sometimes available to family members who lost a loved one in a train accident.