Recently, four train accidents occurred in Alabama in one week. In Jefferson County, a man fell asleep on a set of Alabaster tracks, as reported by WSFA. He was killed by a freight train. Earlier the same week, a van full of people tried to cross tracks near Thorsby, but there were no traffic barriers in place. This resulted in four fatalities and four injuries. The other two incidents involving trains happened in Bessemer but did not produce any fatalities.
According to Drive Safe Alabama, in 2015, a total of 65 railroad accidents occurred in Alabama. Of these, 45 resulted in property damage, 13 resulted in injury and five resulted in fatality. The article concludes that “a motorist is 20 times more likely to die in a crash involving a train than in a collision involving a motor vehicle.”
The reasons for car collisions with trains, train collisions with other trains and train accidents that don’t involve other cars include:
- Improper maintenance of the train tracks
- Technical faults in the train
- Train car employee negligence, including falling asleep
- Other drivers not taking heed of the warning devices/flashing lights when a train will be crossing
- Improper alignment of the railroad switches
- Improper use of brakes
- Obstruction on tracks, such as construction equipment
Most railroad accidents are due to human error. If you have been injured or have a loved one who was killed in a train-car collision, the railway company may be liable for wrongful death or personal injury, and may owe you compensation.
If you are a railroad employee who has been injured on the job due to the railway company failing to vigorously inspect the work environment to make sure it’s safe or failing to provide adequate training, supervision or safety regulations, the railway company may also owe you compensation.
Please contact Townes and Woods in Gardendale, Ala., if you fall into one of these categories. Our attorneys have been assisting people and their families for over 39 years with integrity and sensitivity. We would love to be of service to you.