Archive for the ‘train accidents’ tag

Railroad Crossing Accidents often Fatal

February 4th, 2015 at 1:05 pm

 railroad crossing accident, Westport wrongful death attorneyfatal train crash has occurred—this time in Valhalla, New York. Six people were killed and another 15 injured when a commuter train smashed into an SUV that was stopped on the tracks at the crossing. According to officials, the “electrified third rail on the tracks became dislodged after the impact and pierced the floor of the front train car.” Almost 400 feet of track will need to be replaced. The investigation into what caused the crash is currently underway by both state and federal officials.

Railroad Crossing Accident Causes

One of the most tragic, and often avoidable, fatal accidents are those that occur at railroad crossings. The impact of a train slamming into a car at a crossing has been compared to the impact of a car crushing a tin can. In the U.S., every 90 minutes a train and vehicle collide. Every year, there are approximately 250 people killed and another 1,000 seriously injured in railroad crossing accidents.

Many of these accidents are often caused by a vehicle driver attempting to get around the gates of the crossing, or through flashing lights which signal that a train is coming through. By law, drivers are required to stop when these warning signals are in place. Most of these crashes occur within 25 miles of the vehicle driver’s home.

However, it is not always an impatient driver who is at fault in these accidents. Statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration reveal that more than 80 percent of railroad crossings have inadequate warning signals, leaving drivers completely unaware that a train is approaching.

The consequences of train/vehicle accidents can have a dangerous ripple effect. Many of these crashes result in the train derailing off the tracks which greatly endangers the passengers. There are also dangers when the involved train is a freight train. Many freight trains transport hazardous cargo, which can put an entire community in danger if the toxins are exposed to the atmosphere in a crash.

Contact a Westport Wrongful Death Attorney

If you have lost a loved one in a train or vehicle accident, please contact an aggressive wrongful death attorney in Westport, Connecticut to discuss your case and determine what legal recourse you may have against those parties whose negligence were responsible for your family’s tragic loss.

Undiagnosed Sleep Disorder Blamed in Fatal Train Derailment

December 5th, 2014 at 7:00 am

fatal train derailment, Westport wrongful death attorney, fatal accident, train accidents, sleep disorders, derailed train, undiagnosed sleep disorder

A report issued by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has determined the cause of last year’s fatal New York City train derailment: the train engineer fell asleep due to an undiagnosed sleep disorder.

The fatal accident occurred on an early Sunday morning last December. The Manhattan-bound Metro-North commuter train was going 50 miles per hour over the speed limit—more than three times the allowed speed—when it went around a curve and suddenly derailed. Four of the 115 people on board the train were killed in the accident and another 67 people were injured. The locomotive and all seven of the passenger cars jumped the tracks, causing approximately $9 million worth of damage.

According to the NTSB’s report, the train engineer suffered from sleep apnea, which causes the airways to become obstructed or collapse during sleep and can cause sufferers to struggle with drowsiness.

In the engineer’s case, the disorder had never been diagnosed and he was unaware that he suffered from the problem. The report pointed out that the railroad had no policy in place to screen employees for sleep disorders. Compounding the engineer’s condition was a sudden change in his work schedule, having been moved to an early morning work shift just prior to the train crash.

Additionally, Senator Richard Blumenthal noted how the NTSB report showed “the cascading catastrophes over a single year illustrating the urgent need for dramatic upgrades and improvements in safety and reliability.” In fact, positive train control, a specific technology that was not in use during the time of the derailment, can “automatically bring a train to a stop” if speeding.

Statics from the Federal Railroad Administration show that there are more than 3,000 train accidents every year causing deaths, injuries, and property damage. Not only are passengers at risk for death and injury for many preventable train accidents, but railroad employees are particularly vulnerable in these incidents.

If you have lost a family member in an accident caused by the negligence of someone else, contact an experienced Westport wrongful death attorney today to find out what legal compensation you may be entitled to for pain or loss.

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