Railroad Crossing Accidents

Hundreds of Americans die each year from accidents occurring at railroad crossings, and roughly 1,000 are injured at these dangerous locations annually.

The railroad operators have a responsibility to alert people when a train is approaching a railroad crossing. Oftentimes, the train operator fails to use the horn when necessary, or the headlights are not working properly. These safety violations can result in deadly railroad accidents. Railroad companies must make sure that crossings are safe for pedestrians and other passenger vehicles.

Crossings unprotected, gates and lights missing

Other times, the train and crew are not to blame for the crossing accident. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), approximately 80% of railroad crossings are unprotected and do not have gates and lights to prevent injury.

According to a February 2005 New York Times report, railroad companies are overcharging a federal program that provides money for lights and gates at railroad crossings. As a result, the signals cost more than they should, so fewer are installed.

The railroad companies are typically in charge of the crossings themselves, so they fail to negotiate for the best price when having these safety measures installed, and the lights and gates simply do not get put up.  Because of this, railroad companies are often responsible for the injuries.

Victims of railroad crossing accidents may wish to file a lawsuit in order to get compensation for their injury. If a railroad worker is harmed, he or she can seek relief for medical expenses, loss of income or earning potential, partial or permanent injury, and psychological suffering caused by a railroad crossing accident under the Federal Employees Liability Act (FELA).

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