Skilled Train Accident Attorneys in Portland, Oregon
At the Law Offices of Jon Friedman, our train accident lawyers in Portland, Oregon know that the size and speed of freight, commuter, and light rail trains lead most people to believe they are a safe mode of transportation.
The fact is, last year there were 11,434 train incidents that caused 7,739 injuries, and 937 fatalities, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.
Train injuries and fatalities can also occur to other motorists, pedestrians and waiting riders, and those inside the train too, as each is put at risk when negligence is a factor.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a train accident, it is vital that you speak to an experienced Portland train accident attorney as soon as possible after the incident occurs, so we can begin to build your case and ensure that you get the full and fair compensation for your losses.
What are the Most Common Types of Oregon Train Accidents?
Trains are designed to operate with precision, but like any other moving vehicle can cause serious injuries and fatalities when an accident occurs.
The most common types of train accidents include:
- Single-train accidents where passengers onboard are injured
- Crashes with other trains or motor vehicles
- Train-pedestrian accidents
This is where the weight and force of trains become deadly: Occupants of vehicles that collide with a train are 40 times more likely to end in fatalities than if they had collided with another vehicle of comparable size.
What are the Most Common Causes of Train Accidents in Oregon?
Boarding a train often brings the peace of mind that someone else oversees your journey, so you can ride without worrying about congested traffic patterns or reckless drivers.
Unfortunately, riding a train also relinquishes control of all factors associated with riding, including the behavior, actions, or inactions of the engineer, other passengers, and third parties walking, bicycling, or driving near the train.
The most common causes of train accidents can include, but are not limited to:
- Defective tracks
- Distracted pedestrians or motorists
- Excessive cargo weight
- Failure to properly maintain and inspect trains, equipment, or rails
- Human error
- Mechanical failure
- Railway negligence
- Reckless pedestrians and drivers
- Speeding trains
- Stalled cars on the tracks
- Unpredictable signals at road crossings
- Unprotected railroad crossings
Just like car or truck accidents, human error and negligence is a leading factor in train collisions, including the 2008 crash in Chatsworth, California that killed 25 people and injured 135 more.
The train crash occurred when a 46-year-old engineer conducted a Metrolink train through a red signal before entering a section of single track where the opposing freight train had been given the right of way by the train dispatcher.
It was determined by the National Transportation Safety Board that the engineer was distracted by text messages when the collision occurred.
Since then, Positive Train Control systems have been mandated by the Federal government for certain classes of freight and passenger trains, which are designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, movements of trains through switches left in the wrong position, and incursions into established work zones.
While this technology was established from tragedy, it cannot control the outside factors — including vehicle drivers, pedestrians, or passenger behavior — which can all still lead to serious train incidents.
Pursuing Compensation for your Portland Train Accident
If you have been injured during a train accident, establishing the cause of your injuries is vital to determine liability and who can be held responsible for the injuries, damages, and losses that resulted. Depending on the circumstances of the train incident, this may include multiple parties.
Like semi-trucks, passenger and freight trains are required to be equipped with black boxes. These electronic devices capture all the relevant information that may be important to determine fault after a train accident.
They record the speed, brake usage, and the complete actions of the conductor and the train’s operation leading up to an accident. To obtain these records, train accident victims must partner with an experienced attorney to ensure the proper evidence is obtained and is documented to help prove fault to pursue compensation for your damages.
Call Our Portland Train Accident Lawyer For A Free Consultation
If you believe you have a train accident injury claim and would like to know more about your legal options, please contact our Multnomah County personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Jon Friedman today by calling 503-242-1440 for a free confidential assessment of your claim.