A 58 year old woman was seriously injured on Dec. 9 at 8 am when her Pontiac SUV was struck by a commuter train heading towards Boston, Massachusetts. The serious railroad crossing crash happened in Belmont, MA.
The Massachusetts State Police stated that there were three children in the SUV as well. The six year old was still in the SUV when the train struck it. The woman driver was trying to get the child out when the train smashed into the SUV. She suffered serious head injuries and is in critical condition.
Some witnesses thought that the woman’s vehicle may have gotten trapped between the crossing gates at the railroad crossing, but the police are still investigating.
Railroad crossing accident happen often in America; there is a car/train accident every 12 minutes, according to the Federal Railroad Administration. Our railroad accident personal injury attorneys in Virginia also handle a good number of these accidents, and we agree that there are far too many of them.
In many of these train/car collisions, the police may be quick to blame the car driver, but these accidents are complicated, and often the railroad and/or engineer is to blame.
In our time working on railroad personal injury lawsuits, we have seen safety gates fail and train engineers either falling asleep or being distracted, leading to a serious train accident at a railroad crossing.
Sometimes there is brush, weeds and trees that have grown up along the tracks and this obscures the driver’s vision.
The family of the seriously injured woman should know that this railroad crossing accident should be looked at very closely by an experienced personal injury attorney. The goal is to determine if the engineer or railroad was at fault in the tragedy. Head injuries are extremely serious, and even if the woman driver recovers, she could need hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover medical expenses.
A woman in Greenbrier, Tennessee was airlifted to a local hospital on November 2 when her car was hit by a train at a local railroad crossing.
The accident happened at 5 am on November 2 in Greenbriar at the Wilson St. crossing. According to the local chief of police, the woman was in critical condition with serious railroad crossing accident injuries when she was taken to the hospital.
Earlier in 2016, all of the railroad crossings in Greenbrier City were assinged a risk analysis score, and two of them were slated for improvements. It is not known if the Wilson St. crossing was scheduled for improvements.
Railroad crossing accidents usually involve very serious injuries, and often death. Thousands of Americans die at railroad crossings annually across the country. In fact, the Federal Railroad Administration states that cars and trains collide every 12 minutes!
As railroad crossing accident attorneys in Virginia and North Carolina, we have seen railroad crossing accidents that happened for many reasons. In many cases, the local police department just take the word of the railroad and blame the car driver for any accident at a railroad crossing. However, there are some railroad accidents where the car driver was not at fault.
Common railroad accident causes that we have seen in our personal injury lawsuit cases are:
- Maintenanace problems: Sometimes a train can have defective brakes or a problem with the controls. Also, there can be vegetation that has grown up around the tracks and this prevents the car driver from seeing the oncoming train.
- Sleepy train engineer: Human factors, including drowsy engineers, cause 35% of car train accidents. Some engineers are overworked and they fall asleep on the job.
- Train engineer is distracted: Some train operators are busy talking or texting on a cell phone, and they are not watching the tracks while the train is in motion.
- Safety gate problems: Sometimes safety gates malfunction and stay up, even when the train is rolling through the crossing.
If your car is hit by a train at a railroad crossing, never make the assumption that it was your fault. This is often not the case at all. We recently represented a driver whose car was hit by a train in Prince William County, Virginia, and we were able to settle the cases for approximately $130,000. This was significant, because his children were injured in the car-train accident and needed medical care to recover.