In 2005, the Federal Railroad Administration estimates that there were more than 11,000 railway-crossing accidents nationwide. The most common types of train accidents are collisions with other trains, collisions with passenger vehicles, and single train accidents.
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, more than half of all railroad accidents occur at unprotected crossings and over 80 percent of railroad crossings don’t have adequate warning devices.
When collisions between automobiles and trains happen, the results are almost always tragic and frequently fatal. These types of collisions can be caused by a lot of different factors, including the failure to properly mark the crossing, put up gates, or to move a train through a crossing without sounding the proper warning whistles. Inadequate visibility to allow cars to cross safely also causes a lot of these types of accidents.
Although these types of collisions occur most often in rural areas and at crossings that do not have electric signals and gates, they also occur in the city and at crossings that do have signals and gates. There are many laws, both state and federal, which apply to railroad operation. Most of the time, the condition of the crossing is the obligation of the railroad company to maintain safely.
Trains have the right of way in Colorado, but train engineers and crews must nonetheless comply with the requirements regarding speed, warnings and crossing maintenance.
Railroad crossing types of cases are a particular challenge for personal injury attorneys and prompt expert investigation and case analysis is critical to the successful outcome of such a case.
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