Train Accidents/Derailment/Train Crossing Accident

The Federal Railroad Administration reported more than 13,000 train accidents, railroad accidents, train derailments and highway-rail incidents in 2007. Excluding highway-rail incidents, there were 214 train accidents in Illinois alone . These include Amtrak passenger trains, Metra commuter trains, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) elevated trains and subway trains, and freight trains.

Train accidents are often caused by:

  • Collision with another train
  • Derailment
  • Collision with a car, bus or pedestrian
  • Mechanical failure that leads to an accident
  • Inadequate security on the train
  • Dated and unsuitably maintained tracks
  • Conductor negligence
  • Inadequate lookout

Many train accidents and derailments could have been prevented by proper maintenance of trains and crossing guards, as well as by railroad employees’ following of proper procedures.

The Law Offices of Jeffrey J. Kroll has firsthand experience with link to results catastrophic train accidents. In 1999, Amtrak’s southbound City of New Orleans passenger train and a semi truck collided in Bourbonnais, Ill., south of Chicago. The impact derailed almost the entire train , killing 11 passengers. Heather A. Begley , an associate at the Law Offices of Jeffrey J. Kroll, was part of the legal team that represented the train crash victims. As a result of that accident, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended increased enforcement of grade crossing signals, the installation of event recorders at all new or improved grade crossings, as well as procedures to provide emergency responders with accurate lists of all crew members and passengers aboard trains.

What does the law say about railroad accidents?

People injured in train accidents can sue the driver and/or railroad or operating agency for damages including pain and suffering, medical costs, loss of income, disability and disfigurement.

Some train accident victims do not realize they must file a claim within a certain time period after the accident, or permanently waive the right to seek financial compensation for their injuries. For example, in Chicago, the CTA, which operates elevated (“El”) trains and subway trains, has special notice requirements under the Metropolitan Transit Authority Act 70 ILCS 3605/41.

Since there are many factors that can lead to a railroad accident, there are many parties who may be held responsible for your injury, loss of income, or pain and suffering.

How do you know if you qualify for a train accident lawsuit?

If you have been involved in a train accident in any way, you may be eligible for compensation, even if you were not on the train. For example, you may qualify for a train accident lawsuit if you were involved in an accident caused by a train or railroad company. In a case related to a multi-vehicle pileup caused by a railroad fire, Jeff Kroll secured a $15.5 million settlement for victims whose accident occurred on the highway.

Family members of victims of train accident victims also may be able to file a wrongful death claim .

At the Law Offices of Jeffrey J. Kroll , we will take into account the circumstances of your case and help you decide whether to file a personal injury and/or wrongful death claim. Contact us at (312) 676-7222, or fill out the contact form to set up a personal consultation.

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