Train Accidents

SOUTH CAROLINA TRAIN ACCIDENT LAWYER

Our South Carolina train accident lawyers understand the hardship and stress that occurs when someone is injured or even killed as a result of a train accident.  Our personal injury lawyers at Russell Mace & Associates, P.A. have years of experience in assisting innocent victims in these types of cases.  We are sympathetic to our client’s needs and keep them fully informed through every step of the process.  A personal injury as a result of another’s negligence is not a situation you should endure alone and without assistance.  Our injury lawyers have the knowledge and skill to represent you on your case and can assist you in recovering medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, rehabilitative costs, and other damages due to your personal injury. Call our office at 1-800-94-TRIAL or contact us online for a free consultation.

TRAIN ACCIDENTS

On average, federal railroads transport over 550 million passengers to various places across the country per year.  According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there are currently over 500 railroads in the United States, operating on approximately 110,000 miles of track, and passing through 280,000 railroad crossings on a daily basis.  With the railroad industry within the United States playing such a major role in the nation’s economy, it is also very highly regulated by the federal government.  The Federal Railroad Administration is an agency within the Department of Transportation whose purpose is to transmit and enforce railroad safety regulations and to conduct research and development in support of improved railroad safety.  Despite such regulation, a safety analysis performed by the Federal Railroad Administration in 2012 showed that between the months of January and July, 6,132 train accidents occurred, 430 of which were fatal.  Under this study, train accidents included railroad crossing incidents and railroad collisions.  With such a vast amount of railroad activity, the average person comes in contact with railroads, be it as a passenger, worker, or traveler, multiple times throughout the day.  While rare, injuries or death resulting from this contact does occur and it may be due to railroad negligence.

Railroad Collisions

Railroad collisions almost always result in serious injury or death.  Every 115 minutes either a person or vehicle is struck by a train.  Collisions between highway vehicles and trains have been the greatest source of injuries and fatalities in the railroad industry.  The Federal Railroad Administration regulates all railroad safety within the Nation’s railroad industry.  An accident may be the result of the railroad company’s failure to comply with required regulations.  These regulations include:

  • Hazardous Materials
  • Required Safety Inspections of Equipment and Locomotives
  • Operating Practices
  • Employee Drug and Alcohol Policies
  • Signal and Train Control
  • Track Safety Standards
  • Rail and Structure Maintenance

Railroad Crossings

Railroad crossings are intersections where a highway crosses a railroad at-grade.  “At-grade” is defined as the intersection of a road and a railway which crosses at the same elevation.  Railroad companies are required by law to exercise reasonable care for the safety of other vehicles.  If a railroad crossing is in an area with an elevated level of potential harm, the standard of care increases.  For example, in Florida, a train that is within 1,500 feet of a public railroad crossing must send out an audible warning signal. This is so because public, as opposed to private railroad crossings, experience a much higher traffic flow.  According to the Federal Railroad Administration’s grade crossings requirements, all railroad crossings are required to have traffic control devices such as warning signs, crossbucks (i.e., x-shaped signs that indicate the need to yield to trains) and pavement markings.  In some locations the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices requires additional measures such as gates and flashing lights.

The Department of Transportation holds the authority to issue the required permits for opening and closing a railroad crossing.  However, many railroad companies are required to maintain a public railroad crossing at their own expense.  This increased burden may result in negligence on behalf of the railroad company if the crossings are inadequately cared for.  Such inadequate care may, and does, result in injury and death.

Action and Damages

A person involved in a railroad accident at a railroad crossing, in a railroad collision, or in any other form of a railroad accident, may be entitled to a significant amount of damages.  Our train accident lawyers have passed the bar in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, and will aggressively represent victims of railroad negligence.  Call our office at 1-800-94-TRIAL or contact us online for a free consultation.

Important Links for Additional Information:

Department of Transportation

Federal Railroad Administration

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