While the trains aren’t usually the first choice of commuters nationwide these days, they are still used to carry passengers and transport materials nationwide, as well as internationally to Canada and Mexico. Thousands of trains crisscross the State of Texas carrying all sorts of freight, including crude oil and natural gas, and they pass through large and small communities, creating a potential hazard. As is the case with any type of transportation, they can be involved in serious accidents that can potentially injure or kill railroad workers, train passengers, or others who happen to be in the vicinity of an accident.
Train accidents are far more common than many think. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, in 2013 alone, there were more than 12,000 train accidents, resulting in more than 4,600 serious injuries and 462 fatalities. Just about all of these accidents also resulted in some sort of property damage.
When train accidents occur, they are often caused by the negligence or recklessness of someone, such as the train’s engineer or another on-board worker, the company that operates the train or even the company that made the train equipment at the heart of the wreck. There are also a lot of potential causes of train accidents that can involve all of those parties or others.
The most common causes of train accidents include:
- Railway obstructions, including vehicles crossing the tracks, sometimes because of crossings that are not properly protected. Fully 95 percent of all motor vehicle-rail accidents occur because a vehicle trespassed onto the tracks at a crossing site.
- Derailment, which can be caused by a number of factors, including defective tracks or equipment or operator error.
- Electrical and mechanical failures of either the tracks, the train or the catenary
- Improper maintenance of either the tracks or the train or both; In 2013, 32 percent of accidents were caused by track defects, while more than 12 percent were caused by train equipment defects.
- Human error, which accounts for 37 percent of all train accidents and can include operators driving while fatigued, or not being trained properly, or being distracted or not taking proper precautions while operating.
Because of the fact that so many parties have potential responsibility, aside from the fact that train accidents have the potential to be tragic and devastating, they also tend to be very complex and too difficult for the average accident victim to sort out and fight for compensation.
The Gutierrez Law Firm: Texas Train Accident Lawyers
When a train accident occurs and it can be proven that the accident was caused by the negligence or reckless behavior of another party, those who have been injured and/or suffered damages will likely have a strong case for obtaining compensation for their injuries and losses. To do that, you need an experienced attorney on your side with the knowledge and experience to build such a train accident lawsuit. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident involving a train, contact the experienced Train Accident Injury Attorneys at the Gutierrez Law Firm, so that we can look into the matter and get you the compensation you deserve.