A railroad accident can be devastating, often involving catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death. Although railroad safety has been a concern since the late 1800’s, there are an alarming number of dangerous railroad crossings throughout the United States. Train accidents also commonly result from defective equipment, such as crossing lights, guards, and derailments, or due to crew negligence. In many cases, the train crew may be pressured to meet deadlines and may travel through a community at an illegal speed. The crew may fail to sound the horn to warn the train is approaching. Head on collisions may occur due to fatigue or drug use.
Our Kansas City train accident lawyers at Cullan & Cullan have handled many railroad accident cases involving these and other causes. We can help victims understand their rights. Since 1990, we have represented the injured, protected the defenseless, and spoken for the voiceless. We are here to represent your interests.
To learn more, call (816) 253-8606 for a free consultation.
Train Accident Cases Involving Dangerous Crossings
Many factors need to be analyzed in evaluating whether a crossing is dangerous. One of the main concerns is whether the railroad company failed to maintain the crossing. In spite of federal and state regulations, many railroad companies have allowed vegetation surrounding the crossing to grow out of control thereby making it difficult or impossible for the motorist to see an oncoming train.
Other crossings may be dangerous due to:
- The angle at which the road and the track meet
- The crossing may be too close to the road
- The approach to the track may be obstructed due to the grade of a hill
- It may be difficult to see the track in both directions due to a curve or the angle they intersect
- Warning signs may be missing or inappropriately placed
- The track and crossing may be in such disrepair that it appears to be abandoned, giving motorists the impression that they do not need to look for a train
In some cases, a railroad, city, or county may have been ordered to make the crossing safer and failed to do so in a timely fashion. If due to a railroad company’s negligence, you or a loved one has been in a train accident, our Kansas City injury lawyers can help you get the fair compensation you are entitled to.
Train Accident Investigation
When a train accident occurs, the railroad company immediately dispatches a team of investigators to the scene to protect their interests. Frequently, the railroad company is notified of the wreck before medical personnel, state patrol, or other law enforcement officers. Sometimes, the railroad’s team is onsite before the state patrol or other local law enforcement officers have arrived or concluded their investigation.
It is essential that you quickly have the scene investigated by your own train accident lawyers. With extensive training in accident reconstruction, we at Cullan & Cullan can work to ensure that evidence is not lost, destroyed, or tampered with.
We cannot stress how important it is that the injured person’s family has a team of experts go to the scene of the train accident. Federal law requires trains to be equipped with computers (known as “black boxes”) that record data regarding the train. This includes but is not limited to speed, time, braking distance, traction, locomotive throttle position, front and end brake pipe pressure, brake pipe reduction, and horn and bell use. There are many types of computer data recorders being used. The information can be extremely important in analyzing why a train accident occurred. Expert testimony from a train accident reconstructionist is mandatory.
Contact Our Kansas City Railroad Accident Attorneys
If you have been injured in a railroad accident you should immediately seek the advice of competent lawyers to make sure that the evidence is secured and your rights are preserved. There are many state and federal laws and regulations that specifically apply to Kansas and Missouri train accidents. Our Kansas City railroad accident lawyers would be honored to discuss your case with you and help you understand your rights.
Please contact our personal injury firm at (816) 253-8606 today to learn more.