Each year, thousands of accidents occur at railroad crossings throughout the United States. Because of the nature of these accidents, they usually result in serious injury or death. It is is the responsibility of our nation’s railroads, who regularly transport hazardous materials through our communities, to ensure their operations are reasonably safe. Unfortunately, when an accident occurs at a railroad crossing, railway companies often blame inattentive drivers who saw the train coming and tried, but failed, to make it through the crossing before the train arrived.
However, in many cases, the railway company is at fault. What should railroads do to protect the general public? While many of these answers seem obvious, railroads often fail to take these steps hiding behind federal regulations they claim insulate them from liability.
- Install flashing lights and automatic gates at every railroad crossing — because they work. Railroads very often wait to install these simple safety measures until federal taxpayer dollars are made available to them instead of funding them on their own. Our attorneys are experienced at exposing this dangerous practice and holding railroad accountable to the general public to make certain their crossings are safe.
- Remove trees, vegetation and brush from lines of sight which block motorist’s view of oncoming freight and passenger trains. This is a simple remedy which unfortunately continues to serve as a contributing factor to cause deadly collisions at grade crossings every year.
These cases are complex and require an experienced team of attorneys who understand the local, state, and federal laws that govern railroad operations.