Train Accidents

About the Author ()

John Page received his B.S. in Criminal Justice from Central Missouri State University. He graduated from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, MO, in 2000 with his Juris Doctorate. He is now a partner at Page Bradley in Missouri and Illinois.

Trains crisscross the United States every day of the week, transporting people and supplies to their various destinations with a dependable schedule free of the roads’ traffic. Unfortunately, this mode is still susceptible to accidents that cause major injuries and even fatalities to those onboard otherwise involved.

While there are many ways in which a train accident can occur, affecting both the vehicle as a whole and individuals onboard, the effects are commonly devastating. Understanding your rights as a victim is vital to recovering from the losses caused by an accident. This will help you protect your future and have the best chance of finding compensation for your physical and financial losses.

The Devastation of a Train Crash

Train accidents can occur in mere moments, giving occupants little time to respond. Often, occupants of a passenger train will not know of the danger they face until the crash occurs. Additionally, passengers will typically not be restrained, allowing them to be thrown about the cabin in the event of a collision or derailment, increasing their chances of injury.

Incidents that occur entirely within the train itself can cause major losses as well. Should a fire break out onboard, everyone inside can be put in serious danger. Explosions and other errors within machines can be a serious hazard as well, often causing injuries to those in the immediate area and putting many onboard in danger.

However, the repercussions of an accident are not limited to those within the train. Should a train collide with another vehicle, like a car or truck, those who are hit have an extremely high chance of being greatly injured. Additionally, if the vehicle was carrying some form of dangerous substance, this can be spilled and possibly endanger those living or working nearby.

What Can Cause a Train Accident?

While railway crashes can be some of the most devastating accidents possible, the reasons for why these accidents occur can be relatively simple. However, railway owners and workers have a responsibility to prevent these crashes from occurring. Any of these could result in a major train accident.

  • Dangerous Track Structure – Problems with the roadbed, track geometry, rail anchoring, switches, track appliances, rail joint bars, and other structures can cause a train to lose control and even derail when coming into contact with these problems.
  • Communication Failure – Since trains operate on tracks containing other vehicles, consistent communication is a must to coordinate routes. If this should fail, numerous accidents may occur, such as a collision with another train or vehicle.
  • Operator Error – If train operators do not properly brake, use hand and radio signals, or use the right switches, or if they speed or are in poor physical condition, an accident may occur. Additionally, errors made by the main track authority may endanger trains and their passengers.
  • Mechanical Problem – Due to wear and tear or mistakes made by crew, problems may arise. These include damage to a train’s brakes, wheels, engines, electrical wiring, doors, axles, coupler and draft systems, or trails, any of which could cause the train to break down in some manner.

Legal Protection You Deserve

The St. Louis personal injury attorneys at Page Bradley are dedicated to representing victims who have been harmed by reckless and negligent parties. Our legal team devotes the skills and resources we have gained throughout our careers to every case taken on. As such, clients will have the best shot at proving fault and finding the compensation they deserve. No one should be left to cope with their losses from a train crash alone. With the help of the lawyers at Page Bradley, you are not on your own on the road to recovery.