Railroad crossings are often unavoidable. In order to get to your destination, you must travel on a road with a railroad crossing. Most of the time you can safely drive over the crossing. It’s important to recognize the dangers, though, because when an accident does occur at a railroad crossing the results are often catastrophic.
Why Do These Accidents Happen?
It seems like collisions between a car and a train should never occur. When everything is working properly, there is a warning system in place to prevent a car from crossing the railroad tracks when a train is approaching. However, this system doesn’t always work. The train owner, the train operator, or the track owner could be responsible for a serious train and car crash if:
- The system malfunctions.
- There is a mechanical problem with the train.
- The train engineer or crew fails to sound a warning horn or whistle.
- The train operator is speeding.
- The train engineer, operator, or crew is fatigued.
- The train engineer, operator, or crew is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- The train engineer, operator, or crew does not have appropriate training to avoid a crash.
As with any other type of car crash, you will need to prove that:
- The defendant had a duty of care toward motorists such as yourself.
- That duty of care was breached by the actions (or inactions) that led to the accident.
- The breach of the duty of care caused your injuries which would not have happened but for the accident.
- You suffered damages.
The size of a train and the force with which it hit your car can result in significant injuries. If you have suffered a brain injury, spinal cord injury, burn injury, or broken bone—or if your loved one has died in a railroad collision—then it is important to get the help that you deserve as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can investigate the accident, determine why it happened and who was at fault, and fight for your fair recovery of damages.
To learn more about how to protect you rights now, please download our free book, A Guide to Car Accident Claims in Alaska, and call us directly to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.