When trains derail, the level of damage to both property and human life is almost always catastrophic. Sadly, many derailments are preventable because nearly 29% of all derailments are caused by human error. The most common human error cause is inattention resulting in allowing the train to speed into a curve in the track, much like what happened in the 2013 Spanish train crash. These crashes are even more dangerous because they involve high speeds. A train traveling at 100 miles per hour has more than twice the amount of kinetic (moving) energy as a train traveling 70 miles per hour.
If the investigation reveals human error was the cause of the crash, people injured in the crash have a legal right to monetary compensation for their injuries and pain and suffering. If you were injured in a derailment, it is important to contact our qualified train accident lawyers as soon as possible in order to preserve evidence.
Our train accident lawyers have presented several railroad crossing accident cases to juries. A railroad company can be liable for an accident at a railroad crossing if they maintain a dangerous crossing. A crossing can be dangerous because of poor visibility due to overgrown vegetation or some other obstruction. A crossing can be dangerous if it fails to have lights and gates to warn motorists of an oncoming train.
Our train accident lawyers know that a crossing can even be dangerous it is graded in such a way that causes vehicles—usually long vehicles like 18-wheelers or buses—to become stuck on the tracks while crossing. Humped crossings have been an issue in the U.S. dating back to 1930. Rather than removing old ballast that supports the track, the railroads will raise the crossing surface during routine maintenance. To save money, railroads across the U.S. have quit doing the undercutting, which is the process of removing old ballast, often gravel, from beneath the track rails. Undercutting restores the crossing to its original elevation, and it is the safest state of the crossing. Each of the major railroads has about 1,000 hang-ups reported annually. This number does not include vehicles that are able to get free before a train comes or otherwise have not reported the hang-up. Saving a thousand dollars at each crossing across a railroad’s system saves railroads millions of dollars annually. Furthermore, railroads will have their PR machine acting quickly after a hang-up accident, often reporting that the truck or bus was “parked” on the crossing, rather than telling the truth that the vehicle was unable to make the crossing due to the way the railroad graded it.
Lastly, the railroad company can also be liable for failing to sound audible warnings such as a horn or whistle as they approach the crossing. Due to the extreme size and weight of trains, train wrecks are almost always extremely serious.
Our firm has settled many substantial train wreck cases including a settlement of $13.5 million for a train wreck death case, $4.6 million for a train wreck death case and a $2 million settlement in a train wreck child brain injury case.* *All Amounts listed are Net to Clients. Results obtained depend on the facts of each case.
They helped me get through this process. Everything was done right. - Elia Q., Lubbock, TX
The attorneys of Glasheen, Valles, and Inderman are devoted to providing the most comprehensive service possible. Accidents are emotional and scary, and we don’t want to make this time any more stressful than it needs to be. We pride ourselves in our ability to make our clients feel safe and comfortable and ensuring every aspect of their case is taken care of professionally and efficiently.
It can take miles of slowing down before a fully loaded freight train can come to a complete stop. Even smaller commuter trains need plenty of warning before they’re at a standstill. This is why it’s vital that train companies ensure that their tracks, crossings, and signals are all fully functional and all safety precautions have been taken. This means putting signs at unguarded crossings and ensuring those signs are fully visible to passersby. It means lining the tracks with fences to keep people from accidentally stumbling onto the tracks. And it means regularly maintaining all signals, so that if there is an obstacle on the track the conductor has enough time to slow the train down.
When companies fail to maintain their systems, people get hurt. In the case of train accidents, often catastrophically so.