Train Accidents

Tennessee Personal Injury Law: Train Accidents

car accident involving train

Since trains run on rails, incidents causing injury are less common than for motor vehicle accidents that occur on the roadways. However, due to their enormous size and the high speeds at which they travel, trains involved in such events are extremely deadly. Hundreds of people are injured or killed each year in the United States. When legal action is necessary for a person suffering from a train accident, he or she should be well aware of Tennessee’s legislative stance for these cases.

Safety For Train Passengers

The best method of preventing injury for passengers on trains is for caution to be exercised at all times. When standing near the platform, one should stay back to avoid risk of harm from incoming or outgoing trains, and one should take care around automated doors. Handrails are also critical to a passenger’s stability. Most of all, anyone aboard a train should pay close attention to instructions provided by the individuals operating it.

Commuter Train Incidents

There are railway services for Tennessee citizens living in the Nashville area provided by the Music City Star. Since the entity in charge of the service is state-run, there are limitations on the amount of compensation victims can receive from accidents. Persons injured in collisions while riding the Music City Star are entitled to damages from the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), but no one person is allowed to receive more than 2 million dollars regardless of medical or other related expenses resulting from the accident, and if the accident involves numerous victims, the maximum award in total can only go up to 30 million dollars – so large accidents may leave many victims with far too little compensation for their losses.

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Passenger Train Incidents

It might be hard for a passenger on a commuter train to imagine an accident or collision occurring to a vehicle that cannot stray from its railway. However, derailment is a very real possibility, as are collisions at railway crossings and near the station. Train passengers do typically not wear seatbelts, so the fast velocity at which the vehicles travel results in often-fatal injuries. In a 2012 study, Amtrak documented over 31 million reported train accidents involving commuter passengers in the United States.

Factors Leading To Train Accidents

There are many causes of railway incidents in Tennessee. Some of the most common are mechanical malfunction, excessively high speeds, brake problems, and negligence or inattention on behalf of the operators. Injury cases involving trains will involve an in-depth investigation of factors resulting in the accidents.

Positive Train Control

Many train-related accidents are avoided thanks to modern safety advances. Positive Train Control is federally required to be included in every railway service in 2015. This technology detects danger of potential incidents and automatically responds by either decreasing a train’s speed or stopping it altogether. Many common causes of train accidents are made less of a risk by Positive Train Control.

Train Crossings

If a railroad crossing is not properly marked or obstructed by bars, engineers are distracted, or trains are operating at too high of a velocity, then it is possible for devastating collisions to occur. Such accidents often cause injuries to be inflicted on other motor vehicles, pedestrians, and passengers. Harm in this situations can be fatal, especially for drivers and other persons suffering due to impact.

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Dangerous Spills And Fires

hazmat team handling hazardous material spill from locomotive

One dangerous concern in train incidents is the possibility that harmful chemicals or fuel will leak and expose victims to injury. Locomotives often transport hazardous materials between destinations, which carry with them the danger of hazardous spills. If a train is derailed, this is has a high likelihood of happening, so those involved in train derailments or collisions are advised to evacuate the scene of the incident as soon as possible in order to avoid life-threatening damage from contact with hazardous fuel or chemicals.

Legal Representation For Train Accidents

Contact our offices if you or a loved one has suffered from injuries related to a train accident. Victims are almost always entitled to some degree of compensation, since those most at risk are usually not involved with the causes of the collision or derailment. However, legal action should be pursued with the highest chances of success, and our team of attorneys has the experience, resources, and connections best suited to assure such an outcome in a wide variety of circumstances. The longer you wait to gather evidence proving your case, the less likely you are to receive a satisfactory settlement – so don’t wait! Set up an initial consultation with one of our skilled representatives today, and get on track towards getting the damages you deserve for your losses.

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