Railroad crossings can be very hazardous. Accidents at these crossings cause personal injury, and sadly, many fatalities.
Trains have been around for over 150 years and they continue to play a vital role in our economy. They transport goods over long distances far more cheaply than do planes or trucks. However, all those trains mean that there are frequent accidents and, because trains are so large, these accidents can cause very serious injuries. Thousands of people are injured by trains in the United States every year. Such an injury may give rise to a claim against a railroad.
BE CAREFUL! PREVENTION IS NO. 1
Of course, the best way to deal with train collisions is to prevent them in the first place. Drivers and pedestrians need to remember that trains are large and heavy, and they take a long time to stop. Trains are confined to their tracks and if you are on the tracks, they will probably hit you. Drivers who are crossing a railroad track should carefully check for trains before crossing the tracks, even if the crossing is equipped with warning devices such as lights and gates.
Drivers, here’s some good advice:
— Be especially careful at crossings where there is more than one set of tracks, because a train on the first set of tracks may obscure your view of a train on the second set of tracks.
— Never cross the tracks unless there is room for your car to drive completely off of the tracks on the other side.
— If a train is anywhere in sight, wait for it to pass.
— Needless to say, do not drive around lowered crossing gates. It is far better to be a few minutes late than dead.
If you have had an personal injury accident that involves you at a railroad crossing, New York City Attorney Stephen Bilkis says that it is important you know your rights–and are protected at every turn after the accident: with the insurance company, with the train, and any possible legal action.