Since the beginning of the 19th century, trains have played a major part of our country’s transportation system, both for people and for large amounts of cargo. While riding the rails is hailed as a safe, affordable mode of transportation, train accidents continue to occur.
You may recall some of the most prominent train accident cases in recent history, right here in our home state. One of the best-known cases in the past 10 years is the 2008 collision in Chatsworth, CA between a Union Pacific and a Metrolink train. As a result of the crash, 135 people were injured, and 25 were killed. As California residents now know, train accidents can be devastating to victims and their loved ones.
Train accidents almost always have serious consequences. Although human passengers or conductors may escape unharmed, the damaged train will often release hazardous materials into the surrounding environment. As per the National Transportation Safety Board, there were almost 800 train-related deaths in 2011.
According to the US Department of Transportation Federal Railroad Administration, our nationwide rail system consists of over 750 railroads on more than 140,000 miles of tracks. Trains cross more than 212,000 highway-rail grade crossings on a daily basis. These crossings result in around 270 deaths per year. To translate: every 3 hours, a person is struck by a train.
Between 2009 and 2012, there were almost 6,000 train accidents across the nation. These resulted from track or structure failures, faulty signaling and communication, mechanical failures, improper train operation, derail failures, and others.
While every accident is unique and may have numerous different causes, there is almost always a liable party, which means you and your loved ones are legally entitled to full compensation. Parties at fault may include the train company, owner of the railroad track, train’s manufacturer, equipment manufacturer, or a motor vehicle driver.
Potentially catastrophic injuries include broken bones, internal organ injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, dismemberment, scarring, decapitation, or death. When hazardous materials are leached out of the damaged locomotive, victims may also experience respiratory problems, chemical burns, blindness, and internal bleeding.
Victims often have posttraumatic stress conditions following an accident, including nightmares, stress, depression, and insomnia.
Many train accidents result directly from a conductor’s, railroad company’s, or employee’s negligence. To obtain the compensation you and your loved ones deserve, you may need to seek assistance from a San Bernardino train accident attorney.
At Estey & Bomberger, we have a long, successful track record and have obtained millions of dollars in settlements for our clients, allowing them to cover medical bills, rehabilitation costs, physical therapy, lost earnings, the cost of prosthetic limbs, and more. In some of the most devastating cases that include funeral and burial costs, you also deserve proper remuneration. While we understand money is not the sole solution, we believe obtaining these services is critical to recovery, and we can help.
An attorney will help you navigate the legal maze following a train incident. Our professionals will investigate numerous different factors, including the qualifications of the conductor and his or her work history. We can also assist you in obtaining documentation, including police reports, which may help your case.
Wherever possible, take photos of the train accident as well as any physical injuries you or your loved one have sustained. These images will capture the severity of the pain suffered and will also support your case. Photos of your healing process are also enormously helpful.
Have you or a loved one fallen victim to a train accident in San Bernardino? Contact us today at Estey & Bomberger to schedule a free consultation.
We serve all of San Bernardino County, including Apple Valley, Barstow, Big Bear, Chino, Fontana, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Yucaipa, Victorville and all of the Inland Empire. Give us a call at (909)693-3631 to schedule an appointment.