What Causes a Train Derailment?

Posted July 7th, 2017 by .

Categories: Personal Injury.

train derailment law offices of anthony carboneLast night, a New Jersey Transit train had derailed just after entering Pennsylvania Station in New York. Although there were about 100 to 150 people on board at the time of the accident, it’s not known if anyone was injured in the accident and it was called a “minor NJT derailment.”

It seems like every year we have another story about an NJ Transit train being derailed or otherwise having an accident. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, train derailments have been increasing in recent years — from two in 2012 to 7 in 2016. And 2017 numbers have already surpassed last year’s numbers at eight derailments. Although it looks like there were no major injuries in this derailment, it does bring up an interesting point. Why do trains go off the tracks? What kind of injuries are caused by derailments? And is it possible to sue the agency if you are injured in a train accident?

What Causes Train Derailments?

A train is derailed after it runs off its rails. This doesn’t mean it leaves the track entirely — it can be just a minor incident, like a wheel being dislodged. The most common causes of a train derailment are as follows:

  • Track issues — Either a track is broken or cracked.
  • Human error — The driver of the train is either going too fast or too slow.
  • Equipment issues — Mechanical errors, such as a defective wheel, causes the train to malfunction.
  • Other issues — For example, a signal problem.

Once a train is derailed it can cause major damage to not only the train, the people involved in the accident, but to the track itself.

What Are My Legal Options After a Train Derailment?

If a train is derailed, it can be a disaster. For example, a car can overturn, causing you to be thrown from your seat or even ejected from the train. You may suffer severe injuries that could keep you out of work for a very long time. How will you pay your medical bills?

When you pursuing a legal claim after a train accident, it can be difficult to assign blame. If it’s a case of negligence with the train conductor, such as the train was speeding at the time of the accident, then the fault can lie with both the conductor as well as the employer. If it’s a case like what happened last night, then it can get a little more difficult. Since NJ Transit is a public entity, you must follow specific procedures and pay attention to the deadlines.

This is why obtaining a personal injury lawyer is important in a train accident case. Our attorney will let you know what your legal options are and how you can recoup your expenses. If you have been injured after a train derailment, don’t wait much longer. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone for a free consultation.

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