Hundreds of railroad related deaths and thousands of railroad related injuries and accidents occur every year. Whether it’s a catastrophic accident resulting from faulty railroad crossings or injuries suffered by railroad workers, the results are almost always serious, and often fatal.
A recent Congressional hearing reviewed accusations that the railroad industry underreports accidents and dangerous working conditions. The panel also heard reports of the inability of current federal regulatory bodies to investigate and enforce existing laws governing railroad operation. This means that railroad employees who are injured on the job must have qualified legal representation, to ensure that railroad owners and operators fulfill the responsibilities mandated by Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) and other laws that regulate safety and proper operation of trains and railways.
Injured victims who are not employees of the railroad must seek compensation based on the merits of the individual claim and prove liability on the part of the railroad owner and operator. Incidents can involve faulty railroad crossings, derailments, train collisions, fires, and environmental catastrophes, such as toxic material spills, air contamination, and explosions. These are typically very serious accidents involving deaths and life-altering injuries.
In the aftermath, victims can be embroiled in lengthy investigations conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), state and local authorities, and investigators and attorneys working for the railroad company. Train accident victims need qualified, proven attorneys on their side to help them through what can be a long, painful process. Our attorneys at Blau & Kriege are here to help.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) reported that there were 1,979 train accidents in 2011 throughout the nation — resulting in almost three accidents per million train miles traveled. This resulted in six fatalities and over 200 "nonfatal conditions." The primary types of train accidents included derailments — which accounted for over 70 percent of accidents and collisions, which accounted for seven percent.
The primary causes of train accidents include:
Unfortunately, beyond the immediate injuries that result from train accidents, it is important to note that there are also severe consequences should the train have been transporting anything hazardous. In 2011, there were 20 accidents that resulted in the release of what was deemed hazardous material, causing over 2,000 people to be evacuated.
Throughout United States history, railways have stood as one of the most convenient forms of transportation — but also one of the most hazardous. Some of the largest accidents in recent history include:
Occurring on January 26, 2005, in Glendale, CA, this accident involved a Metrolink commuter train traveling through the Los Angeles area. Going southbound, the train collided with an abandoned SUV on the tracks. This caused the train to jackknife and hit two other trains, including one run by Union Pacific (UP) and another Metrolink train. This derailment resulted in 11 fatalities and between 100 and 200 injuries.
Another incident involving a Metrolink train and another commuter train occurred near Chatsworth, CA on September 12, 2008. This time, the Metrolink train ran a red signal and collided head first with a train that had been given the right of way. It was reported by the NTSB that the operator had been texting at the time of the accident. This collision resulted in 25 fatalities, causing it become the deadliest Metrolink accident in history. Over 135 people were injured and damage is estimated to exceed $7,000,000.
This train accident occurred on January 16, 2007, near Brooks, Kentucky, when a train operated by CSX Transportation (CSXT) pulling about 80 cars derailed. Several of the cars were carrying hazardous materials, which caused a fire that exploded over 1,000 feet high. Luckily, there were no injuries or deaths and the railway company was able to reach a settlement with local residents.
On January 6, 2005, in Graniteville, South Carolina, two trains operated by the Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) collided outside of an Avondale Mills plant. It was reported that one of the trains had been parked, when the other train was improperly diverted, and they collided. Both trains derailed, which caused the release of 60 tons of gas from the hazardous materials being transported. There were nine deaths and more than 250 injuries. Over 5,000 residents were forced to evacuate while HAZMAT crews decontaminated the area for two weeks.
If you are reading this page, it is likely because you have recently been injured in a train accident. If this is the case, you do not have a moment to lose. These accidents are nothing to take lightly and can result in millions of dollars in damages. There are usually many people who were injured and are looking to file a claim.
You deserve to receive just compensation to cover all damages that you have incurred. We are here to demand justice on your behalf. This is not the time to work with just any firm. You need an aggressive advocate who will step up to fight for you.
With your future on the line, you need to proactively act to protect your legal rights. By working with our firm, you can trust that you are placing your case, and therefore your life, in trustworthy hands. We encourage you to give us a call today at (859) 441-5400 today or schedule your free consultation through our online case evaluation form. We look forward to hearing from you.
If you have been injured in a train accident in the Northern Kentucky Greater Cincinnati area, you need an attorney from this area to help you. Blau & Kriege is located right off of I-275 on Alexandria Pike (US 27) just south of NKU in Cold Spring, KY. Learn more about our fees in train accident cases and why clients choose us. Contact us for a free consultation to learn your legal options and protect your rights. CALL TODAY: 859-441-5400 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org