Trains have shaped the landscape of the United States, and are still used today for both industry and transportation all across the country. Trains are incredibly useful, but, as with any large machine, they can be deadly as well.
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, approximately 3,000 accidents involving trains happen every year. Out of those accidents, at least 1,000 involve fatalities. Trains are large and powerful, and when something goes wrong, it can go wrong in a very big way. Human bodies and automobiles have little to no chance against a train, making it all the more important for proper safety measures to be in place to prevent such accidents.
The limitations of a train
Train operators have very little control over the vehicle they are piloting. They can cause it to accelerate, or decelerate, but either one takes time. Trains frequently carry large payloads, and the simple inertia of trains make them impossible to stop without significant time and distance, typically measured in miles.
The movie images of cars on the train tracks being destroyed by a train are relatively accurate. By the time the conductor sees such obstructions, there is little he or she can do to even slow down before impact.
The importance of safety devices
Because of the nature of trains, significant safety measures are put into place to keep objects and people off of the tracks. Warning lights and barriers are typical, but not always effective. They can also malfunction, or be improperly maintained. When they do, the results can be devastating.
Dangers of being a passenger
Train passengers also face certain risks. When trains derail, they can take a large amount of the cars they are carrying with them. This can result in passenger cars careening off the rails along with massive amounts of cargo. The destruction, death and injury that results from such accidents can be significant.
A question of negligence
Accidents can happen, but sometimes they are a result of human error or negligence. Poorly maintained equipment, or bad work practices, can result in situations that turn deadly. When this occurs, it is important that those responsible be held accountable.
A train accident can ruin lives, and should be avoided at all costs. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in such an accident, skilled legal counsel can be helpful to set things right. Medical treatment is expensive, and the money awarded from a successful case can help defer some of those expenses. Successful personal injury cases also have the added benefit of ensuring that such negligence is not repeated, which can benefit countless other individuals.
If you have been hurt in a train accident in Kentucky, contact our experienced personal injury attorneys today at (877) 776-1219. We can help you determine if your situation warrants legal action, and can help you get your life back on track in the process.