Railroad / Train Accident Attorneys – Seattle, Washington
The Port of Seattle together with the Port of Tacoma make up for the second largest sea ports on the West coast, second only to Southern California’s Los Angels and Long Island ports. With any large sea port comes the need to ship goods out of port and to cities all over the United States. One of the primary means to further transport those goods are the railroad systems in Washington. There are over 3,000 miles of railroad lines throughout the state providing mobility for freight and passengers moving into, out of, and within the state. With such a high volume of heavy loads running throughout our state, the chance of serious accident or injury only increases. Contact the injury lawyers at Phillips Law Firm today for a free case evaluation.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) primarily governs the railroad industry and regulates national safety standards. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is the agency responsible in determining the cause of railroad accidents. According to the FRA, there are a relatively small number of train accidents and fatalities when compared to automobile accidents each year (3,000 train accidents vs. 5 million auto accidents) with mechanical or electrical failures, railway obstructions, track problems, maintenance issues and human error being the most common reasons for a train accident.
The most common scenario involves the train striking a vehicle or pedestrian. Due to the weight and size of a moving train, the consequences of this are often catastrophic, if not fatal. Other types of train accidents can affect entire communities when a train derails ensuing a toxic spill or when a passenger train derails, potentially injuring hundreds of people.
It can be difficult to determine responsibility, and in what proportion, for a railroad accident as the relationship the injured party has to the railroad will also be a factor. The “degree of care” that the railroad is liable for will vary depending on whether the victim was a train passenger, motorist, pedestrian, or railroad employee.
You will need a personal injury attorney experienced in train and railroad litigation to effectively pursue a claim for compensation after such an event.
Train types in the Pacific Northwest:
Freight Train – These trains carry large amounts of heavy cargo with a speed limit of 80 mph, resulting in a stopping distance of up to one mile.
Passenger Train (Amtrak) – Trains which carry commuters or passengers with a speed limit of 90 mph, ideal for cross-country travel. Amtrak routes in the Pacific Northwest include the Amtrak Cascades, Coast Starlight and Empire Builder.
Sounder Train – A commuter train which serves as transportation between Tacoma and Seattle with multiple stops along the way.
Monorail – A monorail system with services to various tourist sites in Seattle including the Seattle Center, Space Needle, Pacific Science Center, Experience Music Project, Key Arena, and the Children’s Museum.
Link Light Rail – Central Link and Tacoma Link are light rail options traveling passengers. With services in downtown Tacoma and Seattle, these rails are convenient for airport transportation or downtown travel.
Subway System -Washington State residents are collaborating in an effort to enroll this non-existent system in Seattle. If you would like to contribute this effort, please visit this Facebook page to learn more.
More than 50% of all deadly train accidents occur from poorly marked train crossing areas. Often victims are taken by surprise because they were not aware they were in a train crossing area. The victim then does not have enough time to evade the situation and the freight train driver does not have enough time to stop, resulting in an accident.
Other types of train accidents or railroad accidents resulting in injury:
- A train accident colliding with a vehicle
- A train accident colliding with another train
- A train accident colliding with a pedestrian
Contributions to a train accidents or railroad accidents:
Mechanical Failure – Faulty breaking mechanisms, poor maintenance or mechanical malfunction.
Heavy Cargo – Failure to abide by government cargo weight regulations decreases the ability for a train to successfully stop when attempting to avoid a collision.
Conductor Error – Fatigue, intoxication, failure to sound a warning horn or other human error can contribute to an accident.
Poorly Marked Crossings – Automotives unknowingly fall in the line of danger when a train crossing area is not properly marked.
Poorly Maintained Tracks or Lights – Properly maintained railroad tracks, crossing gates and lights are imperative for public safety.
Approximately 1,000 people die in train accidents each year. In addition, chemical spills occur biweekly as a result of train accidents. Chemical spills can range from minor cleanup to major cleanup requiring the evacuation of local residents.
As train accidents can result in serious injury, permanent disability or death, it is extremely important to hire an experienced attorney who can help you recover compensation for the damages and pain and suffering you have endured. If you have lost a loved one from a train accident, please visit our wrongful death page for more specific information on how Phillips Law Firm can help you.
Train / Railroad Accident Statistics:
- Every 90 minutes a train collision or derailment occurs.
- In 2011 there were 106 accidents involving passenger trains.
- Hazardous cargo derailments occur approximately every 2 weeks in the United States.
- 2,086 persons were evacuated from their homes because of chemical spill after a train collision.
- According to the Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration, approximately 80% of railroad crossings do not have adequate warning signs or devices.
- While train and vehicle collisions have decreased over the past few years, pedestrian accidents involving trains have increased.
Get started with your Free Train Accident Case Evaluation!
Our railroad accident attorneys are dedicated to getting you justice and compensation you deserve. Call Phillips Law Firm at 1-800-708-6000. We are waiting to assist you 24/7, with a free case evaluation. Remember our no fee promise. That means if we do not recover anything for you, you do not owe us an attorney fee.