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The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that approximately 5,800 car train collisions occur each year. Statistics show that over 50 percent of accidents happen at crossings that have passive safety devices or devices that offer inadequate operation.

Train derailments also contribute to personal injury claims in that estimates show chemical spills occur approximately every two weeks causing the evacuation of residents. Car train collisions and derailments happen approximately every 90 seconds and result in personal injury cases numerous times. The victims of these types of accidents can seek compensation from an employer, manufacture or train operation company. In many cases, wrongful death lawsuits are an appropriate measure when seeking damages. Following are some of the important aspects of car train collisions and derailments:

Red train approaching

Causation: There are multiple reasons and chains of events that lead to accidents involving vehicles or derailed trains. Establishing the cause of the accident is essential to determining who is liable. Conductor negligence, mechanical failure, poor maintenance, inadequate warning signs or equipment and driver error each contribute to car and train collisions. The chain of events that lead up to the accident are critical to determining the cause.

Negligence: The plaintiff will have to prove the train company or its employees were negligent in their operation of relevant equipment or the train. Negligence can be difficult to prove and the collection of evidence will make the difference in filing the claim. Maintenance and inspection logs, communication logs, photographs and warning sign documentation can assist with building the facts and documenting the chain of events.

Compensation: Those injured in car train collisions and derailments can seek compensation through personal injury claims. Plaintiffs can seek compensation for a number of reasons, including disfigurement, disability, medical treatment, pain and suffering and loss of income. In some situations, punitive damages can be sought, which depends on the circumstances of the case.

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