Trains were a magnificent technological advancement back in the 19th century. They were massive machines that made it possible for small towns and businesses to thrive. For the first time, goods could be transported quickly, and so could people. Kids used to sit for hours by the tracks, just to watch the trains go by. To this day, trains continue to be one of the most common methods to get people and goods from point A to point B. Rail lines crisscross all over the country, including much of Louisiana. There is quite a bit of track covering the Pelican State, with around 20 different railways such as Amtrak, Kansas City Southern Railway, Arkansas Louisiana and Mississippi Railroad, Union Pacific Railroad, and Acadiana Railway. As with cars on the road, rail accidents are an unfortunate part of life, and we have all heard stories of terrible wrecks involving trains.
Alexandria railroad accident attorney Chris J. Roy, Jr. knows what to look for and how to craft an effective case to secure maximum compensation for those hurt in train wrecks. A trusted advocate with nearly three decades of experience, Chris offers skilled representation to victims of negligence from across the state. He handles claims from anywhere in Louisiana, with a concentration in Alexandria, Pineville, Rapides Parish, and Grant Parish. For a free consultation to find out your options, contact LA train accident lawyer Chris J. Roy, Jr. by calling 1-318-987-8170 or filling out a case evaluation form.
Detailed data on train safety is kept by the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis. The latest available statistics show that there were 64 train accidents in Louisiana in 2016, resulting in various injuries on all types of track, including main track, industry track, and yard track. Between 2007 and 2011, there were 209 highway-rail crashes just in Rapides Parish (the top-ranked parish was Caddo, with a whopping 982). Nationwide, the numbers are even more staggering. Every day in the United States, trains travel across almost 210,000 grade crossings, where the track meets a road, street, public highway or private roadway at the same level as the street. Preliminary data reveals that there were more than 2,000 collisions at grade crossings in 2016, causing over 260 deaths and almost 800 injuries.
Rail Accidents Are Devastating.
Consider for a minute that in order for a train moving at 55 mph to come to a stop, it will cover at least one mile. The force of a 30-car freight train hitting a motor vehicle is the same as a car crushing a soda can. In fact, comparing data on the rate of deaths per collision in vehicle/vehicle crashes versus deaths per collision in vehicle/train crashes leads to the conclusion that a motorist is approximately 20 times more likely to die in a crash involving a train than in a wreck involving another motor vehicle.
What Causes A Railway Accident?
While unforeseen and unpreventable system failure is possible, it’s more likely that negligence is to blame in most instances of train accidents. Railroad companies have certain obligations under the law. For example, railroads are not permitted to maintain a dangerous intersection where tracks cross a public road, must keep crossings free from obstructions, must operate their trains at a reasonable speed, and must outfit every engine with a bell and a whistle or horn that can be heard at a distance of not less than one-quarter mile. Federal law states that train headlights need to be of a specific brightness and be working properly at all times. If crossing signs or signals are not working properly, the railroad company is required by law to repair them right away.
Excessive speed, operator error, defective equipment, defective railroad crossing design, inspection violations, and improper maintenance are all factors that can cause a catastrophic train accident. Serious injury can result in compensation for medical bills, loss of income, loss of earning capacity, loss of future enjoyment, pain and suffering, and more. While it’s important to protect your rights, it’s also wise to be cautious around railroad tracks. Nowhere you have to be is important enough to try to race a train to a crossing or go around lowered gates. Look both ways for trains when going over a crossing – there may be a train approaching on a second track after another has gone by in the opposite direction. Remember that trains move faster than most people realize and cannot stop quickly, no matter what the danger.
Central Louisiana train accident lawyer Chris J. Roy Jr., founder of the Chris J. Roy, Jr. Law Firm, understands how difficult it can be to deal with the aftermath of a railway accident. He seeks to ease the financial, mental, and physical burden that the litigation process can add by consistently communicating with you, as well as handling the complicated details so you can focus on what’s important. While the firm is large enough to supply the necessary resources to handle any type of personal injury, it is also small enough to provide the individual attention that your case deserves. An experienced litigator, he takes pride in helping victims of negligence throughout Louisiana. For help with your legal claim, contact the firm today for a free initial consultation by calling 1-318-987-8170 or filling out this online form.