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NTSB calls for more safety on railroads across the country

On behalf of Jeffrey Frederick of Frederick & Hagle posted in Train Accidents on Friday, March 15, 2013.

When people do not feel well, they often use the common expression: I feel like I was hit by a train. Railroad accidents are not a common occurrence in Illinois or elsewhere across the country, so for most people, that is a gross exaggeration about circumstances they have never suffered from. However, the point is that there really is no such thing as a minor train accident. When victims are hit by trains the results are almost always catastrophic, resulting in permanently disabling injuries that forever alter a victim’s life — if they are lucky enough to survive.

Tragically, a motorist was killed when an Amtrak train hit her vehicle in Illinois last year. She had no way of knowing that she would be hit because the gate arms that should have stopped her vehicle and alerted her to the oncoming train where not in place. Further, the flashing lights that also should have alerted her to danger were deactivated. These safety lapses cost the motorist her life in this train accident.

Federal officials report that this was not the only instance last year in which a failure of safety regulations resulted in a train accident. In both the Illinois accident and an out-of-state accident, signal maintenance operation issues were at play. Accordingly, the railroad administration has issued additional safety recommendations to combat more events of this fatal nature.

In such accidents where there is clearly a lapse in safety regulations, a victim with devastating injuries from a train accident, or the family of a victim killed in a train accident can pursue compensation.

Source: Michigan Public Radio, “NTSB issues recommendations after railroad accidents in Michigan and Illinois,” March 9, 2013

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