A new nonprofit public safety organization called California Operation Lifesaver has been founded to reduce the number of tragic incidents at highway rail grade crossing intersections and trespassing at railroad right of ways. The organization educates the public on how to make good decisions around railways in order to stay safe and alive. In California there are over 5352 miles of railroad and there are 10,285 grade crossings.
California ranks number one in trespassing deaths and number two in grade crossing deaths. In the year 2011, there were 61 trespasser fatalities and 27 highway rail crossing fatalities. More people die every year at highway rail grade crossings then all aviation attributed fatalities. The majority of incidents happen with trains traveling less than 30 miles per hour. Every three hours, a person or a vehicle is struck by a train. It takes the average freight train a mile or more to stop.
This education is the best defense against death or injury on the railroad tracks, a California Operation Lifesaver has been created to educate the public. To learn more you can visit the website at www.caol.us or www.oll.gov or www.fra.gov. It is our hope that this education process will help reduce the numbers of injury and death related to railroad crossings.
While we believe that the best situation is to prevent injury and death, there are times when there are insufficient warnings or nonworking railroad crossings that can cause injury or death to unsuspecting driver. Another issue that can cause a serious injury or death at a railroad crossing is a negligently designed roadway that does not adequately warn drivers of road.
It is a sad but true consequence of this age of automation that occasionally, even the most reliable technologies fail. Although most such events are minor and forgettable, the results can be catastrophic when that failure occurs to a crucial piece of equipment. Major collisions involving locomotives can sometimes be the result of a catastrophic technical error, and that failures such as these can cause injuries on an extraordinary scale.
Get the Facts on Defective Railroad Signals
The truth is that failures of railroad signals are rarely caused by any one factor. Although the initial event could be as simple as a burnt-out bulb, it takes a considerable build-up of human error and poorly managed systems to create an actual collision. Unfortunately when such a chain of events does occur, the result can be a missed stop, an oblivious motorist and any number of fatalities. Add in the hundreds of tons of mass a train carries and it’s not hard to understand why even minor dispatcher errors can swiftly decimate a car or truck.
Where there is a serious injury or death the injured person or next of kin has an opportunity to recover amounts for funeral expenses, medical expenses, potential earnings, loss of advice, loss of comfort, loss of assistance, loss of protection, loss of counsel and loss of society. In cases where there is clear and convincing evidence that the acts of the defendant show deliberate disregard for the rights or safety of others, there may be a punitive damages. Faulkner Law Offices handles all of our cases on a contingency fee basis: you don’t pay us unless we recover funds for you.
If you, or someone you know, has been involved in a collision with a train, you should contact us at Faulkner Law Offices (661) 327-0601 today. It is very important that an attorney is retained as soon as possible so that an investigation can be conducted immediately.