Train accidents in Philadelphia might seem like a truly exceptional event. You rarely, if ever, hear of train collisions or derailments in the news. After all, trains run on their own designated track, making it difficult for them to lose control. When there is a train accident, though, you often find it on the front page of the newspaper, with dozens of people killed or injured in the crash.
Nevertheless, train accidents are surprisingly common, especially in urban areas like Philadelphia. With more cars, walkers, and bikers passing over train tracks, the odds of a train accident increase. That is why the Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian represent victims of train accidents in court, to ensure they get the compensation that they deserve.
Train Accidents - Background
Train accidents, when they do happen, are serious. Trains are heavy, making them travel with more force than you might expect from their speed. According to Operation Lifesaver, a train safety advocacy group, the relative force of a train hitting a car is the same as a car hitting a soda can. This makes any train accident potentially serious, or even fatal.
Unfortunately, train accidents also happen surprisingly often. According to the Federal Railroad Administration's Office of Safety Analysis, the total number of train accidents is regularly over 11,000 every year. These accidents result in approximately 700 deaths on a yearly basis, as well as nearly 9,000 injuries.
Many of these incidents are not trains losing control, derailing, or colliding into one another, a car, or a train station. Many involve employee accidents. Nevertheless, the total number of problems that happen on the railroad is significant, and the injuries they cause are often serious or fatal, and the victims often deserve compensation for their pain and suffering.
Causes of Train Accidents
Just like with car crashes, train accidents can be caused by numerous different factors. Train conductors, perhaps precisely because trains have their own designated track and have little traffic to deal with, can be negligent or operate the train without the proper amount of care that is needed.
Other train accidents are caused when a car driver tries to run through a crossing signal or beat a train to get to their destination. If you are a passenger on the train in these situations, the jolt from the crash can injure you, through no fault of your own.
Finally, defects and malfunctions can create a train accident. If the signal crossing mechanism is not working properly, or if the train malfunctions, then a serious accident can result.
Injuries in Train Accidents
Depending on the circumstances of a train accident, the injuries that result can be minor or severe.
When a train hits a car, the injuries suffered by all of the occupants in the car are often severe or fatal. However, the passengers on the train at the time of such an accident are often minor because the weight of the train often protects them from the jolt of the crash.
Pedestrians can also be hurt or killed in a train accident. Many pedestrians use railroads as a shortcut to get to where they are going, and might not pay enough attention to oncoming trains by wearing headphones.
Train passengers, because they are on such a heavy vehicle, are rarely injured in a crash. However, that does not mean that they are never hurt while onboard. Trains can sway at unpredictable times while in motion, causing passengers to lose their footing and fall. This can lead to potentially serious injuries. Additionally, moving from one train car to another can be dangerous, with how the cars are joined together. Gaps in the floor can cause you to trip or your foot to get stuck, and these can lead to considerable injuries.
Philadelphia Train Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a train accident, having a personal injury attorney on your side is crucial. Train companies are often closely associated with governmental agencies, making lawsuits against them difficult. However, that does not mean that you do not deserve compensation for the injuries that you were not responsible for.
The personal injury attorneys at the Philadelphia law office of Gilman & Bedigian fight to ensure that you get what you deserve after suffering an injury during a train accident. Contact us online or at (800) 529-6162 to get the legal representation you need.