Trains & Railroad Dangers
Railroads are one of the oldest forms of transportation in the United States, and trains today are still used throughout the country to transport both cargo and passengers. Unfortunately, while trains and railways are an important part of the South Carolina’s infrastructure, railroads can be very dangerous when trains crash or when they come into contact with people and vehicles. When a passenger vehicle is involved in a train accident, the result is often serious or fatal injuries. Passengers on a train that derails or crashes are also likely to experience significant injuries as a result of a South Carolina railroad accident.
We have represented injured South Carolinians since 1959. We are committed to providing a personal touch outside of court and aggressive, case-winning representation inside. We always offer free consultations with no further obligation on your part.
About South Carolina Train Accidents
The Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis provides information on statistics related to railroad accidents and railway crashes in the United States. According to their information about railroad accidents from January 2011 to December 2011:
- There were a total of 11,116 accidents or incidents involving railroads during this period. This includes train accidents, highway-rail accidents and other incidents. Highway-rail accidents involve any impact between a train/rail and the user of a highway at the area where the train crosses the highway.
- There were a total of 709 fatalities resulting from railway accidents or incidents.
- There were a total of 8,047 non-fatal medical conditions resulting from railway accidents or incidents.
Passenger trains accounted for 5.39 percent of total train accidents, with a total of 106 accidents during the time period. Highway-rail accidents and trespassing accidents, on the other hand, were the most common cause of fatalities. These types of accidents were responsible for 95.20 percent of all railroad accident fatalities.
There are many different potential causes of South Carolina railroad accidents. Some examples include:
- Insufficient maintenance on the locomotive or railcars
- The mechanical failure of the parts of the train
- Errors made by the driver of the train
- Improper maintenance of railroad crossings or train tracks
- Inadequate warnings about approaching trains
- Poorly designed railroad crossings
- Outdated tracks or equipment
- Miscommunication on which train tracks are not operational
The most common type of train accident happens at a place where the tracks meet a street or a road. Trains can also derail, collide with one another or spill their cargo, some of which is hazardous. Railway accidents often happen at high speeds, exposing victims to the risk of a serious injury from being thrown violently around or out of the train; jagged, broken glass and metal; thousands of pounds of force; or sudden cargo spills.
Legal Liability for a South Carolina Train Accident
Railroad employees who are injured on the job are covered by the Federal Employees Liability Act, a substitute for workers’ compensation that requires an injured railway employee to prove that his or her employer was negligent before recovering money. Others who are injured by a train accident have all the same rights under South Carolina personal injury law that other injured people have. In both cases, you may be able to collect compensation for medical bills, living expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish and other costs caused by the train accident.
Talk To Our South Carolina Railroad Accident Lawyers Now
If you or someone you care about was hurt or killed in a railroad crossing accident or other type of South Carolina train wreck, contact the Louthian Law Firm today. Call our Columbia office now at 803-454-1200 or fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation.