Railroad Crossing Liability

February 20, 2017

Railroad crossings are extremely dangerous.  An unloaded train can weigh hundreds of tons and the weight can increase significantly depending on the type of cargo being hauled.  Defects in crossing safety devices (such as the tracks, guards, warning signs, etc.) and human error can all lead to catastrophe.  Contact a Doylestown accident attorney today if you or a loved one has been injured or killed at a railroad crossing.

Railroad Crossing Defects

A railroad crossing is supposed to be a safe place for vehicles to cross railroad tracks without coming into contact with trains.  A properly functioning railroad crossing should indicate to vehicle drivers when it is safe to cross the tracks.  Crossings may have many different types of safety features, such as:

  • Crossing Guards. Bars or gates that prevent the flow of traffic across a railroad are a common type of safety mechanism.  However, there are times when the crossing guard may become damaged or otherwise work improperly.
  • Lights and Signs. Many railroad crossing have lights and signs to help assist vehicles safely across the tracks.  As with crossing guards, lights and signs can become damaged or work improperly creating a very dangerous situation.

Contact one of the experienced personal injury attorneys at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC if you or a loved one has been injured or killed at a railroad crossing due to crossing defects.

Train Malfunctions

Trains can travel at extremely high-rates of speed and carry incredibly large loads.  This makes them “speeding bullets” that can cause serious damage.  Therefore, trains are supposed to be designed with certain safety mechanisms to help prevent or limit accidents.

As an example, trains are supposed to be deigned with breaking mechanisms that are adequate to stop the train in a relatively short time period.  Breaks, and other safety mechanisms, can be defective, improperly installed and/or maintained, or be inadequate given the train type or cargo load.  When there are malfunctioning safety devices accidents will happen.

Train companies make money by moving large amounts of cargo from one location to another as quickly as possible.  If a train malfunctions, then the train company should be held liable for any damages caused.

Human Error

The most common cause of train accidents is human error.  Humans are generally responsible for assembling, maintaining, and operating trains.  When human error occurs, serious harm can occur.

Humans can make errors for any number of reasons.  Accidents can occur because an assembler was improperly trained, a maintenance person was overworked, or a driver was intoxicated.  There are many other reasons that could lead to a catastrophic accident.  Contact an accident attorney at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC today to discuss your case.

Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC

At Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC, we offer no-fee representation. This means that we handle all personal injury cases on a contingency-fee basis: you do not pay us anything unless we recover for you.  Contact Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC today at 888-777-7098 to discuss your case.