Railroad crossing accidents are more common than you’d think. In fact, there are nearly 3,000 reported railroad crossing accidents annually. While trains always have the right-of-way at crossings, motorists continue to be involved in these kinds of collisions for a number of factors. Negligence on behalf of a railroad company in these instances is difficult to prove without an attorney, and there are certain situations motorists need to be aware of relating to railroad crossing accidents.
Most Railroad Crossings Do Not Have Gates
Private railroad crossings, in general have no safety protection devices, and throughout the nation, less than 40% of railroad crossings even have gates according to federal statistics. Finding a railroad negligent in the event of a crossing accident explores issues like duty of care and which party is owed that certain duty of care. Courts can rule that a railroad does not owe a duty of care based on facts like:
- track proximity
- foreseeability; and
- reasonable threat
Despite railroad crossings not having gates, alternative precautions like lights and audible alerts are accepted as adequate warning to drivers to “not cross”. Unfortunately, alerts are activated when the train is already approaching the railroad crossing, creating an situation where an accident is bound to happen.
Negligence Issues Encompass Several Points For Consideration
While the crossing itself may meet the standard of reasonable care towards motorists, other issues that can contribute to the railroad’s negligence like personal-operator fault must also be examined. Attorneys can effectively navigate these complicated issues in the event of personal injury and wrongful death situations pertaining to railroad crossing accidents.
Railroad Crossing Accidents Also Happen During Daylight Hours
More than half of railroad crossing accidents happen during the day, despite automatic warning devices. This is another reason that railroad companies fiercely extend blame to the injured. Experienced attorneys can illustrate fault and diligently navigate the rules of fault in order to represent the injured in a railroad crossing accident.
Anyone involved in a railroad crossing accident should contact an attorney immediately in order to gain representation and help determine who pays for medical bills, lost income and the pain and suffering that results from such accidents. Frasier, Frasier & Hickman, LLP can help injured parties prove railroad company negligence and appropriately seek damages, that without such representation is close to impossible to prevail at.