Causes of Train Accidents

The exact cause of a train accident is often hard to pinpoint. However, when a train accident does occur, determining the cause is a key part of figuring out who may be held liable. Once liability has been determined, victims of a train accident can file a claim to recover damages for injuries. There are two types of lawsuits one could file, class action or individual injury. Ask your train accident lawyer which is right for you. A review of some of the possible causes of train accident—as well as who might be held liable for the accident—follows below.

Train Conductor Negligence

One reason that a train accident may occur may be because of train conductor negligence. Train conductors have a duty to be responsible and exercise extreme care when performing their jobs; if intoxicated, impaired, fatigued, or otherwise distracted or physically or mentally compromised, this can lead to a train accident.

The above may result in a train operator making an unsafe turn, operating the train at an unsafe speed, failing to stop where required, etc. If train conductor negligence is the cause of accident, then the train conductor or train company may be held liable.

Mechanical and Electrical Failures

Sometimes, a train conductor does everything in his or her power to prevent an accident, but it happens regardless because of mechanical and electrical failures.

The Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis lists the following as potential areas of mechanical and electrical failures.

  • Brakes
  • Trailer or container on flatcar
  • Body
  • Coupler and draft system
  • Track components
  • Axels and journal bearings
  • Wheels
  • Locomotives
  • Doors
  • Other general mechanical failures

If mechanical failure is the cause of the accident, then the train company (or governing body) or a manufacturer or the part that failed may be held liable.

Objects on Track

Sometimes, an accident occurs as a result of the object on the track. This object can range from debris to another vehicle to a person. Sometimes, objects on the track are random occurrence for which no one is to blame; other times, an object finds its way onto a track because of malfunctioning train signals or lights, improper track maintenance, or unprotected and dangerous crossings. In the same vein, a broken rail may also cause a train accident, and is one of the leading causes of train derailment.

How to Determine Liability for a Train Accident

The first step in determining liability for a train accident is determining what caused the accident. To help you learn more about both, file your claim, and prove that you deserve compensation for your injuries, call the attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC. Our legal team can navigate a claim or lawsuit against a private party or a government entity, and can assist you in getting your full damages amount. For a free case consultation, call us at 215-642-2335 now.