Chicago Railroad Accident Lawyers
Are You the Victim of a Train Accident in Chicago?
Chicago’s rail system is expansive and active. A number of different trains move through and around Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, including Metra trains, and Amtrak. Trains make about 2,145 trips each day and serve 143 stations. For commuters in the surrounding suburbs, Metra transports approximately 301,200 riders each weekday and approximately 121,800 riders on weekends.
Unfortunately, railroad accidents often result in devastating injuries and even deaths due to the sheer size of the trains and the speeds at which they travel. Railroad deaths totaled 907 in 2019 and nonfatal injuries totaled 7.867, illustrating the severity and pervasiveness of these incidents. As such, our Chicago railroad accident attorneys at Cogan & Power, P.C. represent victims who suffered injuries or death in train accidents involving negligence or wrongdoings. Clients trust us to put our considerable experience, skill, and knowledge to work to get them the compensation that they deserve.
Common Causes of Railroad Accidents
Many internal and external factors can lead to train accidents, and when negligence or wrongdoings play a role, victims have a chance at obtaining compensation for their injuries. That being said, train accidents can occur for several reasons such as:
- Train derailments
- Defective equipment
- Poor maintenance of the track
- Collisions with other trains
- Fatigued operators
- Railroad crossing accidents
- Collisions with cars or trucks
- Collisions with pedestrians
- Inexperienced train operators and employees
Damages Available in Railroad Accident Lawsuits
Given the size and nature of trains, railroad accidents often involve catastrophic injuries and death. While the amount of compensation that a person receives depends on the extent of the injuries and the cause of the accident, victims of personal injury accidents may be entitled to compensatory damages, including:
- Medical bills
- Property damages
- Loss of normal life
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of future income and benefits
- Loss of future inheritance
- Loss of spousal companionship, protection, and care
- Grief, sorrow, and mental suffering of surviving spouse and next of kin
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damage (if the defendant’s actions were intentional)
How Many People Are Killed or Injured by Trains?
It may seem rare, but train accidents are more common than you may think. 2020 saw 1,519 total railroad accidents, most of which were caused by derailments (1,047). 91 of these accidents in 2020 were caused by collisions, and 381 train accidents resulted from other factors. As a result, 26 people were injured in derailment-related accidents, 8 people from train collisions, and 33 from other factors in 2020. 1 person died in a train accident in 2020 due to factors other than derailments and collisions.
Tips to Prevent Train Accidents
As you can see railroad accidents occur more often than one may think. Many times, however, they are preventable. That said, we encourage you to review the life-saving tips below to best prevent getting involved in a train accident:
- Always assume a track is in use
- Never stop your vehicle on a railroad track
- Never try to race or a train with your vehicle
- Look both ways before crossing a track
- Remember that trains are wider than the tracks
- Remember that trains cannot stop quickly
- Never enter a train tunnel
- Never drive around lowered gates
- Never go on a train track
These tips above apply to drivers and pedestrians, but we would be remiss to exclude considerations for operators and railroad engineers. For this reason, we include some tips below to help minimize and avoid railroad accidents, as provided by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
- Establish regulations
- Implementing intelligent signaling systems
- Training personnel
- Developing a preventive railroad accident plan
As experienced Chicago railroad accident lawyers, we understand the complexities and nuances involved in these cases. Fear not, however, because we are skilled negotiators who will work tirelessly on your behalf to obtain a favorable settlement. If one is not possible, our skilled trial attorneys will vigorously fight for your rights in court to get you the compensation you deserve.