Unfortunately, railroad crossings are sometimes violent rendezvous points for trains and roadway vehicles. Car/truck passengers are in jeopardy of serious injury or death.
Why You Should Stop, Look and Listen
A sizeable majority of railroad crossing accidents are the fault of car/truck drivers. Distracted driving; failure to stop, look, and listen; trying to beat the descending gates; stopping on the tracks due to a traffic backup, and driving under the influence; among other scenarios, all contribute to needless tragedy.
However, various other entities may be held liable for railroad crossing accidents, depending on the circumstances. For example, the railroad company that owns the track is obligated to properly install lights and gates at the appropriate crossings, ensure that motorists have clear lines of sight, and maintain the tracks.
The company that owns the train has a duty to operate it in a safe, prudent manner. It is responsible for properly training all personnel operating the train, including the sounding of warning whistles or horns when approaching crossings; instituting safeguards to ensure that crew members are not fatigued or under the influence of drugs or alcohol; following speed limits; and properly maintaining locomotives and railroad cars.
Train manufacturers are responsible for all warning sounds and lights, brake systems on locomotives and freight cars, coupling mechanisms between cars, and communication between crew members.
County or local government may be held at least partially liable if the vehicle roadbed at a railroad crossing was improperly constructed or maintained and contributed to a train-auto accident.
If you’ve been the victim of a railroad crossing accident, contact a railroad accident attorney to protect your rights.
CONTRACT A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER
If you have suffered injuries in a car accident, Anchorage attorney Ben Crittenden can help you understand your rights and ensure that they are protected as fully as possible. Call his office today or take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page to get in touch directly with Ben and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.