Kansas City Railroad Crossing Accidents
While many assume that a train can be spotted or heard from miles away, the unfortunate reality is that many railroad crossing accident victims do not notice the approaching train until it is too late—and the consequences are devastating. Defects or unchecked malfunctions on railroad crossing safeguards can cause a catastrophic railroad crossing accident at any given point in time.
The average automobile weighs approximately two tons, while a train car can weigh anywhere between 40 and 200 tons depending on the type. Because of this extreme difference in size and weight, a train can devastate even the most well-built and protected automobile with very little effort. Since locomotives cannot quickly stop or change course, any object—or person—in the path of a moving locomotive will almost certainly face a life-altering or fatal injury.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a railroad crossing accident, Wagstaff & Cartmell is here to help. Piecing your life back together after sustaining a life-altering or fatal injury is a terrifying task to undertake, but it is not something that you have to do alone. If your injury was caused by the negligence of another person, a train company or a product manufacturer, you may be entitled to compensation and justice for the pain and suffering you have had to endure.
Railroad Crossing Accident Statistics
- In 2015, there were 2,078 recorded collisions at railroad crossing. These collisions resulted in 236 fatalities and 1,046 injuries.
- These figures show a 9.5 percent decrease in the number of collisions and a 10 percent decrease in the number of fatalities, but a 20 percent increase in the number of injuries, compared to data gathered in 2014.
- Three out of four railroad crossing accidents occur within 25 miles of a motorist’s home.
- Fifty percent of all railroad crossing accidents occur within five miles of home.
- A motorist is almost 20 times more likely to die in a crash involving a train than in a collision involving another motor vehicle.
- Approximately 62,500 railroad crossings are “passive crossing” zones, meaning that there are no lights or gates protecting motorists.
When are Railroad Companies Liable for an Accident?
Railroad companies can be held liable for damages sustained during railroad crossing accidents not only due to the faulty design of crossings, but also due to negligent conductors as well. Train operators are expected to give fair warning when approaching railroad crossings so as to avoid collision with a vehicle, and a failure to do so can result in the railroad company being held liable for injuries and fatalities in an accident.
Railroad companies can also be held accountable in a railroad crossing accident for other reasons, such as:
- Train derailment
- Traveling above the speed limit
- Failure to correct improper signage
- Failure of crossing protection equipment such as signals
- Failure to keep a crossing clear of obstructions such as vegetation
Filing a Railroad Crossing Accident Claim
Obtaining maximum compensation in a railroad crossing accident case requires considerable research, a complex investigation into the circumstances surrounding the case and a comprehensive understanding of Missouri’s personal injury laws. Fortunately, our team of experienced personal injury attorneys are equipped to handle every aspect of the legal process to help you receive the compensation you deserve, and to allow you to focus on what is most important—recovery.
Wagstaff & Cartmell is here to help you through this trying time, and to bring the party responsible for your pain and suffering to justice. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a railroad crossing accident, contact us to discuss your case and seek compensation for your pain and suffering today.