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Who is Liable for Train Accidents?

Trains serve an important purpose in the United States, regularly transporting both cargo and passengers across the country. Because trains travel at high speeds with heavy loads, the vehicles must be heavy and powerful. While these qualities are good for transportation purposes, they also pose a risk of devastating damage and injury should a train be involved in an accident.

Many different people can suffer serious injuries and losses in a train accident, including:

  • Passengers on a train that crashes
  • Motorists in a collision between a train and their vehicle
  • Pedestrians crossing train tracks
  • Individuals boarding or waiting to board a train

No matter how your injuries occurred, it is critical to examine your legal rights following a train accident. The law permits you to hold negligent parties liable for your medical expenses and other injury-related losses. Therefore, it is important to determine who was liable for your particular accident. The following are only some reasons why a party may be liable for a train accident:

Conductor negligence – Train conductors can be negligent1 just like anyone else operating a vehicle. Intoxication, fatigue, distraction, and driving with known serious health problems are all forms of negligence that can cause a crash.

Problems with the track – If a track is not properly engineered or maintained, derailment of the train can occur with devastating results.

Mechanical defects – Trains have to be inspected and maintained like any other vehicle and if a company fails to do so, it can be liable for crashes caused by mechanical failure.

Insufficient warnings at crossings – If there are not adequate signs, lights, bells, barriers, or other types of necessary protections to warn motorists of an oncoming train, the train company can be found liable for any injuries that result.

Any violations of safety regulations – The Federal Railroad Administration sets out many regulations and rules2 and violations of these safety rules can lead to liability in a resulting crash.

It often requires extensive investigation and resources to determine what exactly caused a train crash and who can be held responsible.

Contact a Chicago Train Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation

Train accidents can cause widespread damage and injury and the resulting legal claims can be very complex. At the law firm of Abels & Annes, P.C. in Chicago, our train accident lawyers are here to help injured accident victims, so please call today at (312) 924-7575.

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