Over the past few years, subway crashes and train crashes have really spiked in frequency. As NBC reports, there have been a lot of train accidents, and many of them are increasingly becoming more fatal. Unlike a car accident, a train accident can kill or injure hundreds of people all in a single event. The devastation can be overwhelming.
National Transportation Safety Board
The NTSB is in charge of investigating large-scale railroad accidents, like the one on February 4, 2018, when an Amtrak train crashed into a freight train in South Carolina, claiming two lives and injuring others. The causes for the recent uptick in train accidents may be a bit more complicated than one would imagine.
NTSB and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) report on the causes of railroad accidents and derailments each year, and codes are assigned to the causes. However, there are reasons and there are causes, and both are important to understand.
Most Common Causes of Train Derailments
According to Scientific American and data from NTSB, the majority of recent train derailments are due to broken or poorly maintained rails. This unfortunate sign of a weakened U.S. rail infrastructure is just one of the many things that can lead to train accidents.
Other Common Causes for Train Accidents
There are a number of non-human-error reasons for crashes, such as mechanical problems, outdated equipment, or environmental conditions. But at the core of most crashes, it is human error. For instance, FRA reports the following common types of human error associated with crashes:
- Improper brake use
- Poor physical condition of employees
- Improper flagging, radio or hand signals
- Switching errors
- Excess speed
- Poor communication with main track authority
- Improper cab signals
What is Poor Physical Condition?
Many of the causes are fairly self-explanatory, so it is necessary to look beneath the causes and focus on the reasons. Physical condition can be anything from medical or physical health to fatigue or mental anxiety. Common reasons behind human errors are:
- Sleep problems
- Operator fatigue
- Alcohol or medication impairments
- Poor supervision
- Lack of proper training
Compensation for Injured Passengers and Families
When a person is seriously injured or killed in a train accident, the victims and their loved ones have a right to be compensated for the negligence of whomever caused the loss. Just like any other type of injury, if the railroad or its employees were responsible, then the victims have a right to pursue their claim. Among other things, you may be entitled to compensation, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Future lost wages
- Permanent disabilities
- Lost enjoyment of life
Compensation for Injured Railroad Workers
Under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA), common carriers like railroads are liable for injuries to railroad employees. This is a comprehensive federal law that permits specific remedies, but only if you meet tight deadlines and know where to take your claim.
Speak to a Long Island Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you have been severely injured due to a careless or reckless railroad company, you deserve experienced and aggressive representation right from the start. Speak to the Long Island personal injury lawyers at Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP anytime to schedule a completely risk-free consultation. There is no fee for the call, and we collect nothing unless we are able to help you get compensated. Call us at (866) 895-0420 or contact us online today.