Although not the most common type of auto collision in Virginia, one involving a car and train can be catastrophic. You could suffer debilitating injuries, like a traumatic brain injury, paralysis, or organ damage if a train strikes your vehicle. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries if you prove that the railroad company and its employees caused the wreck.
Four Top Causes of Car and Train Collisions
Some auto and train wrecks are caused by impatient drivers who try to beat a train to the crossing or drive around lowered gates. However, many of these preventable accidents are caused by engineers, conductors, train maintenance workers, and train companies. Common ways negligence leads to crashes include:
- Grade crossings. Grade crossings and signals can be difficult for drivers to see if vegetation is allowed to overgrow and obscure the grade crossing.
- Lack of maintenance. If the train is not properly maintained, the brakes or other equipment may malfunction. The railroad company can also be liable if they fail to maintain the tracks, signals, or gates, and this causes a crash.
- Speeding. If the train is operating at an excessive speed, the engineer or other employee may lose control of the train or be unable to slow down or stop if this becomes necessary to avoid a collision.
- Distracted train operators. Like motorists, train operators can cause distracted train accidents. Talking on a cellphone, texting, doing paperwork, checking gauges and controls, and looking at the scenery are a few distractions that can take train operators’ minds off their jobs and their hands off the controls.
- Drowsy train operators. Many train employees operating the train can become drowsy due to the long and fluctuating hours they work. The consequences can be deadly if they fight to stay awake or fall asleep while operating the train.
Were you or a loved one injured in a car and train collision in Norfolk or Virginia? It may be difficult to prove that the railroad company and its employees caused your collision without the help of an experienced car accident lawyer. Call our Norfolk office at 757-265-1214 or complete our convenient online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today. At your appointment, we’ll explain your options and how we can help you obtain the justice and compensation you deserve.