Train Accidents and Injuries: How Likely Are They?

January 31, 2020

Train accidents and derailments have been all over the news lately. Although they’re relatively uncommon compared to car accidents, they can seem particularly gruesome due to their size, speed and potential for destruction. You may have seen the wreckage of an accident on the news and wondered if train travel is really safe—and how likely it is that you or a loved one might be injured by a train while driving another vehicle.

The good news is that trains are a very safe mode of transportation, but they can be especially deadly in train/auto collisions. It’s important to take the utmost care when driving or walking around train tracks. Of course, if you or a loved one have been involved in a train accident in Santa Rosa, CA, call a lawyer immediately to help get compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other consequences.

How safe are trains?

The odds of dying in a train-related accident are 1 in 431,800—and that includes car and pedestrian accidents. If you’re riding on an American train, the odds of dying are about 1 in 19.3 million. Compare that to airlines: 1 in about 45 million flights. The odds of dying in a car accident are much higher: 1 in 103. Clearly, trains provide a much safer method of travel than hopping in your Prius for a quick trip to the grocery store.

Derailments often make the news, too, but they’re generally a lot safer than they look. Most of the derailments you see on the news are due to track problems, and it’s usually cargo that is lost, not human lives. This is most commonly due to track failure.

While trains are a very safe method of travel, they and their tracks need to be well maintained. Passenger trains like Amtrak are notoriously underfunded by the federal government, and travel on the same tracks owned by freight companies, whose responsibility it is to maintain them. In terms of pursuing damages for personal injury cases, this can open up several avenues to obtain compensation.

What happens if you or your car are hit by a train?

If your car is hit by a train, where you can pursue compensation depends on who is deemed at fault. This could be the railroad company, you or another party. Things get complicated when there are multiple parties deemed “at fault,” and you may need to rely on insurance. The same applies when you are struck by a train as a pedestrian. If it was your actions that caused the accident, your survivors likely will not be able to recover damages.

Injured in a Santa Rosa, CA train accident?

If you or a loved one were a passenger injured on a train or involved in a train-related accident in Santa Rosa, CA, The Law Offices of Max G. Arnold, Inc. can help. Our legal team can pursue your case and fight to get the negligent party to pay the maximum amount of compensation available. We zealously represent our clients to ensure justice is served. Call us today for a consultation.

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