Illinois has one of the highest rates of railway accidents in the country. According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), seven deaths and 48 accidents have occurred on state railways this year so far.
In May, an Amtrak and Burlington Northern Metra train collided, causing passenger injuries and derailment of the Metra train. 12 passengers went to local hospitals but none were critically injured. Investigators are attempting to determine whether a switching error caused the collision. A switch is a set of points that guides trains from one track to another at a junction. Some switches are controlled by an individual, whereas others are controlled remotely. Incorrectly setting a switch can cause two trains to be on the same track simultaneously, increasing the chances of an accident.
“The train hit the brakes, and then it hit the brakes again, so a lot of people went flying and were injured,” said passenger Virginia Watkins about the May accident. “I’m a little shaken. I was standing up, and I felt like I was swinging around the pole.”
Other train-to-train collisions in Illinois’ past have caused death and serious injuries. Car-train collisions are the worst problem in the area though, as fatal injuries often ensue because of the high-speeds and sheer power of the train. Legal experts say that, “A legacy of short-sighted planning has placed trains and automobiles on the same grade throughout the sprawling metropolis, and complex intersections and traffic snarls only exacerbate the problem.”
Passenger train companies owe their customers a duty to maintain a safe riding environment. When a person is dealing with serious injuries or the death of loved one, they should consult a Chicago accident attorney to uphold their rights. Train companies are regulated by the FRA and are required to maintain the train and equipment, keep the train tracks clear of dangerous debris, watch for dangers at rail crossings, and employ qualified personnel to ensure rider and worker safety.
The Chicago accident lawyer Robert I. Briskman, Esq. has decades of experience helping clients in all types of accidents, including railroad accidents, hold the responsible party accountable for their negligent actions and getting you the compensation you need for current and future concerns. The law firm of Briskman Briskman & Greenberg works closely with experts such as accident reconstructionists and medical planners to vigilantly fight your case.