There are 19 privately owned freight rail companies that operate throughout the state of New Jersey and several passenger rails in operation including NJ Transit and Amtrak. As most residents in Lawrenceville and throughout the state of New Jersey know, New Jersey has had some problems with railroad service and regulation compliance. This is especially true for NJ Transit, one of the largest regional rail service providers, which has been known for its unreliable passenger service, shortage of trains and engineers, and its violations of safety rules and operation protocols.
Train accident attorneys know that rules, regulations, and protocols governing trains operating in New Jersey are largely in place to keep people safe and any reported violations are cause for concern. According to the Federal Railroad Association, preliminary reports show that there were close to 12,000 train accidents and incidents across the country in 2017 and over 800 related fatalities and an even greater number of injuries.
Train accidents and incidents
There are many types of train accidents and incidents that cause injuries and fatalities to people including rail employees, passengers, and people outside of the train who sustain injuries on the tracks, at railroad crossings, and train stations. Common accidents and incidents include:
- Train collision with another train
- Train collision with a motor vehicle on the tracks
- Train collision with a person on the tracks
- Train collision with an animal or other obstruction on the tracks
- Train derailment when the train leaves the tracks
- Sudden, unexpected stops
- Hazardous material spills
Injuries and medical care
Train accident injuries may be minor, but they are often severe and even fatal. Medical treatment for these injuries may be long term, especially with debilitating injuries. Related medical treatment may include rehabilitation, physical therapy, multiple surgeries, and other necessary follow up care.
Causes of train accidents
Train accidents have many causes and some of the most common causes are listed below.
- Negligent operation including speeding and smartphone distractions
- Improper training and operator inexperience
- Operator under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Poor track or train maintenance
- Violation of safety regulations including failure to install required safety equipment
- Train or track defects
- Improperly loaded freight
- Distracted pedestrians not aware of the train
- Poorly marked or unmarked train crossings
- Motor vehicle stalled or stuck on the tracks
People or entities that may be liable for train accident injuries include railroad track trespassers, train operators, rail companies, manufacturers and sellers of defective trains or equipment, government entities, and those responsible for maintenance. Train accidents are complicated and before liability can be determined, the cause or causes of the accident must be discovered.
If you have sustained injuries in a train accident, contact a Lawrenceville train accident attorney at The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. to schedule a consultation. Our experienced train accident experts understand how devastating train accident injuries can be and how important financial recovery is for injured victims and their families. They will work to see that any insurance settlement or jury award fully compensates you for all of your injuries and damages.