Articles Posted in Train Accidents

kholodnitskiy-maksim-198-unsplash-copy-300x200Most people think taking the train is safer than driving, but statistics show an alarming number of train accidents and train fatalities each year. With over 5,000 train accidents in 2018 so far, California is one of the leading states for train accidents nationwide. If you are ever involved in a train accident, It is important to know what to do (and what not to do) so that you can ensure the best odds of obtaining the maximum recovery possible for your injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a train accident, call the experienced train accident lawyers at Willoughby Brod today to learn how we can help fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.

Seek Medical Help

The first thing you will want to do if you have been injured in a train accident is seek medical help. If you are involved in an accident on or with a passenger train, chances are someone has already called an ambulance. If you are not sure whether medical help is on its way, call an ambulance immediately.

kholodnitskiy-maksim-198-unsplash-copy-300x200In early March, a Caltrain struck an individual crossing the tracks. The incident occurred just before 8 a.m., south of 22nd Street in San Francisco. The train carried 500 passengers and no one else was injured. After the fatal incident, trains were stopped in both directions and there were significant delays. It is unknown so far why the individual was on the tracks, and there are reports that the individual was trespassing.

While this incident may not lead to legal action, many other train accidents do when they are caused by an operator or railroad company’s negligence. If you were injured in train accident or lost a loved one, do not hesitate to contact a San Francisco train accident lawyer at Brod Law Firm. An experienced attorney can advise you on your rights and legal options after a train accident.

Rail Industry Statistics

450px-Metrolink_Train_(2955742140)On Wednesday, September 7, a Metrolink train crashed into a truck that was on the tracks near Oxnard in Southern California. The pickup truck did not appear to have been stuck or stalled on the rails at the time of the crash, and investigators postulated that the driver of the truck had taken a wrong turn and traveled several dozen feet down the track before stopping the truck. The crash caused three double-decker Metrolink cars to overturn and two additional cars to derail. In all, approximately 50 people were injured in the accident.

Typical Injuries in a Train Crash

Train crashes can occur with terrible violence and can result in serious injuries depending on the unique facts of the crash. Overturned or derailed cars can throw individuals from their seats and into stationary objects such as other seats or the sides of the car. This can result in:

Every year, the National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) releases what it calls its “Most Wanted List.”  This list represents the NTSB’s top advocacy priorities for the year, improvements to safety that the NTSB believes can make the biggest difference in preventing transportation accidents and saving lives.  Our San Francisco injury law firm shares the NTSB’s commitment to transportation safety and, while we advocate for injury victims in California every day, we know that prevention is always the best goal.

The following items are on the NTSB’s 2016 Most Wanted List:

  • Reduce Fatigue-Related Accidents: It is impossible to know exactly how many car accidents are due to drowsy driving, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes anywhere from 2% to 20% of yearly traffic fatalities are due to drowsy drivers.  The problem also extends to other areas of the transportation field and the NTSB identified fatigue as a probable cause in 20% of the Board’s 182 major investigations between 2001 and 2012.

As residents of Northern and Central California, the team at the Brod Law Firm understands the importance of the wide variety of transportation options available in our region.  Having access to rail systems in particular, traintrackincluding both commuter rails and metro rails, allows people to travel for both work and play without the stress, environmental impact, and cost of commuting by car.  However, as we were reminded this week, train derailments are a very real danger.  Our San Francisco train accident lawyer helps hold transit authorities and others accountable when people are injured or killed in rail accidents, allowing the victims to recover compensation and encouraging a safety-oriented mindset that can prevent accidents from occurring in the first place.

Train Derailment in Sunol Injures Nine, Responders Call it a Miracle No Lives Lost

According to CBS SF, railway officials are blaming a mudslide for the derailment of a commuter rail train in Niles Canyon near Sunol.  At approximately 7:30 PM Monday, the Altamont Commuter Express (“ACE”) train travelling from San Jose to Stockton went off the tracks with the first car sliding down an embankment and ending up in Alameda Creek.  Officials say that the train hit debris from a mudslide that was likely the result of the heavy rains in the area last weekend.

railcrossingAt The Brod Law Firm, we support efforts to make a variety of transportation options available to our Northern California community.  Commuter trains and light-rail vehicles are critical to life at work and life at play for thousands of Californians.  Transit systems not only need to be available to make our region run effectively and efficiently, they need to be safe.  It is inevitable that tracks will meet roads and these crossings are among the most dangerous areas for mass transit systems.  As a San Francisco light-rail accident lawyer, Attorney Brod helps people injured in crashes between trains and automobiles.  Our team investigates, determines fault, and seeks compensation on behalf of those injured in railroad crossing accidents.  Whether the accident was caused by a careless driver, a negligent train operator, the profit-driven San Francisco Municipal Railway (“Muni”) organization, or another entity/individual, we can help.

Light-Rail Crossing Crash Injures Five

A crash between a light-rail vehicle and a truck left five people injured and snarled traffic as many people returned to their normal work lives on Monday morning.  According to CBS SF, the crash occurred in the Bayview District near the intersection of Third Street and Egbert Avenue around 9:15 AM.  A Muni spokesman told CBS that the collision occurred when a truck made a left turn and crossed in front of the train.   Four passengers and the Muni operator were treated for knee and/or neck injuries, none of which were deemed life-threatening.  Light-rail lines were temporarily stopped at Third Street and Armstrong Avenue and bus shuttles were used to take riders around the scene of the crash while it was cleared.

trainspeedOn Tuesday, we discussed non-passenger accidents involving San Francisco’s Municipal Railway (“Muni”).  After that article posted, in a bizarre and tragic twist of fate, multiple accidents occurred in our region including several different transit providers.  The thought and hearts of our Oakland train accident lawyer and our entire legal team go out to the individuals and families affected by these tragedies.  Given Tuesday’s events, we wanted to touch on the issue of train accidents and train fatalities once more and take a broader look at accidents involving railroad vehicles.

A Tragic Day on the Tracks

The Oakland Tribune reports that Tuesday evening’s commute saw collisions involving every major public transit agency in our region, including two deadly accidents.  Officials say it is unclear what exactly led to the four separate collisions.  In particular, in the first three incidents, the article suggests that it is unclear why the parties involved were present on the tracks.

One of the advantages of living in a city is the plethora of transportation options available, a stark contrast to many rural or suburban areas where driving is often the only realistic option.  Many visitors and residents of the Bay Area rely on San Francisco’s Municipal Railway (“Muni”).  Unfortunately, Muni accidents involving bicyclists and other non-passengers are an under-recognized danger.  As a San Francisco Muni Lawyer, Attorney Greg Brod fights for people injured by Muni vehicles, bringing an understanding of the unique factual and legal contours of these cases to each representation.

Fatal Muni Bicycle Accident in San Francisco on Sunday

bikeghost2A Muni accident left a bicyclist dead on Sunday afternoon.  CBS’s San Francisco affiliate reports that a 48-year-old cyclist fell between two Muni buses travelling on the 500 block of Market Street shortly before 3:30 PM.  The rider ended up pinned underneath a tire of one of the buses and died as a result of his injuries.  A police spokeswoman indicated that officers will review surveillance videos and speak to witnesses in order to determine what happened and who was at fault.  Muni officials said the bus driver involved in the crash will be tested for drugs and alcohol and Muni will cooperate in the police investigation.  In a separate event, a female rider suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries when she was struck by a truck at 4:01 PM near the intersection of The Embarcadero and Chestnut.

The Golden Gate Bridge, the Painted Ladies, Alcatraz…and no list of the iconic images associated with San Francisco would be complete without the cable cars.  They are one of our city’s most popular tourist attractions and have been considered special “moving” National Historic Landmark for more than 50 years (per The San Francisco Cable Car Website).  Yet, many are unaware of the extent of the problem of cable car accidents.  Having served the California legal system since 1996, Attorney Greg Brod is ready and able to help residents and visitors alike as a San Francisco cable car injury lawyer.

Cable Cars Among the Riskiest Forms of Mass Transit

This week, the San Francisco Chronicle published an article about the problem of cable car accidents and attempts by the city and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (“Muni”) to address the danger.  The article focused on two recent accidents, each of which left a conductor seriously injured.  On April 6, a 53-year-old ccablecar2onductor was assisting passengers disembarking from a cable car on the Powell-Mason line when a car struck him, running him over and dragging him 10 feet.  His injuries included bleeding in the liver, broken ribs, and a broken arm.  Two months later, according to pending charges, a drunk motorcyclist hit a 50-year-old conductor from behind when the cable car operator was getting off the same line.  The conductor remains in critical condition.

Last week’s tragic train derailment on Amtrak’s northeast corridor raised a lot of safety and regulatory issues with commuter trains and infrastructure. It also shined a renewed spotlight on an 18 year old federal law that could limit the amount of money victims of Tuesday’s derailment receive from Amtrak.

Congressional limits on payouts from train accidents and derailments

In 1997, Congress passed the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act, which was designed to provide financial support to Amtrak. As a part of that bill, Congress placed a limit on the amount of money that could be recovered by victims of a train accident. The cap applies to all railroads, not just Amtrak.  Based on that legislation, victims of train accidents are currently limited to a maximum payout of $200 million. The cap is not per injury; the total amount that a railroad can payout per accident is $200 million, regardless of the number of injuries or fatalities. train-tracks-2-1350733-m