Trains and Railroad
Motley Rice seeks
accountability and compensation for individuals and families in personal injury
and wrongful death cases involving railroad incidents. Our firm also has
experience handling property damage cases related to railroad incidents.
If you or someone you know is interested in
seeking legal recourse as a result of a railroad or train incident, contact attorney Mary Schiavo by email or call
transport both passengers and freight. Many large metropolitan areas have
developed mass transit train systems used daily by millions of commuters.
Additionally, corporate supply chains use railroads to move goods across the
Factors in Train Wrecks
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
has identified human factors and track flaws as the
two leading causes of train wrecks. According to the FRA's 2005 - 2008 National
Rail Safety Action Plan Final Report, these two factors alone account for over
70% of all train accidents in the last few years. Many of the most severe
accidents resulted in injury to rail passengers or the release of hazardous
has concluded that the following causes "account for an inordinate and
disproportionate number of the human factor-caused accidents":
- improperly lined track switches (switch remained
in an incorrect position)
- failure to latch and/or lock a track switch
- lack of
point protection (shoving or moving rail cars without an individual monitoring
the conditions in front of the moving cars)
to properly control the movement when shoving rail cars
to determine the track ahead is clear before beginning a shoving movement
rail cars in a place that obstructs train movements on an adjacent track
- operating over a track switch previously damaged
- failure to apply or remove a precautionary safety
device called a derail
train operations are regulated by the FRA and have been heavily scrutinized
following a number of deadly crashes, including incidents in Macdona, Texas,
Graniteville, South Carolina, and Glendale, California.
Investigating a Train Wreck
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates a railroad incident and
issues a final report on the factors that caused or contributed to the crash.
Factors analyzed include track conditions, train control systems and human
factors, including worker fatigue and workers' failure to comply with railroad
operating rules and practices.
workers may have additional rights and benefits under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), federal laws that provide
compensation for injured railroad employees and their families as a result of
injury or death caused by the railroad during course of employment.