According to the United States Department of Transportation, in 2021, there were 1,579 train accidents in the United States. There were 104 with injuries, and there were 8 fatalities. These accidents are most often caused by car derailment or car collisions. For those who are involved in a car-train crash, the injuries can be catastrophic.
Common Injuries in a Rhode Island Car-Train Accident
If a car is hit by a moving train, passengers in the vehicle may suffer some common injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and neck injuries.
Other Common Injuries
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
- Broken bones
If you or a loved one were injured in a car-train collision, speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and possible compensation.
Causes of Car Accidents Involving Trains in Rhode Island
A train-car accident can happen for a variety of reasons such as human error or equipment malfunction. This can include traffic signal malfunction.
Other Causes of Car-Train Accidents
- Crossing signals not working
- Failure to sound a horn at a train crossing
- Unsecured or improperly secured cargo on the train
- Excessive speed of the car or train
- Failure to brake or stop at a crossing
- Driver fatigue, distraction, or intoxication
- Poor visibility or weather conditions
- Not cleaning up spilled cargo or other materials
- Train track defects such as broken rails, missing bolts, or vegetation growth on the tracks
Accidents with freight trains often occur at crossings. Due to the massive size of the train and the amount of freight being transported, these types of accidents are severe and often result in death. Accidents with a freight train can be due to a malfunctioning signal or a lack of safety controls. Train accidents due to human error can result from an engineer or conductor not having the proper training required to operate the train or due to negligence.
Proving Liability and Obtaining Compensation
If the train is liable in a car-train collision, there are several parties that can be held responsible. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, these types of accidents often have multiple defendants.
Possible at-Fault Parties
- Train engineer or conductor
- Train manufacturer
- Train company
Hiring an attorney after an accident is important in obtaining fair compensation. An attorney can help determine the cause of the accident and who is responsible.
Ways a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
- Gather evidence from the accident to support your case. This may include testimony from others involved in the crash or witnesses to the accident.
- Gather photos and/or videos of the accident scene that show vehicle damage and the condition of the tracks and the weather at the time of the collision.
- Calculate the value of your case based on your injuries, medical treatments, and loss.
- Represent you in court if the case goes to trial.
- Medical bills and expenses
- Lost wages and future income earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Wrongful death expenses such as burial or funeral costs
Have You Been Injured in a Rhode Island Car Accident?
If you've been hurt in a car accident you need to speak to an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Warwick office directly at 401.946.3200 to schedule your free consultation. We help accident victims in Providence, Warwick, and all areas of Rhode Island.