The first lawsuits have been filed only days after an Amtrak train accident in rural Missouri that resulted in four deaths and up to 150 injuries.
Amtrak and BNSF Railway Firm, according to authorities, filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday against the concrete contracting firm whose dump truck was hit by the passenger train on Monday. MS Contracting in Brookfield, Mississippi, is being sued for the crash, with BNSF claiming that the train was clearly visible and that the truck driver crossed the lines irresponsibly.
However, there are no lights, signals, or gates to warn of an approaching train at the crossing where the tragedy occurred. Prior to the accident, residents and a federal traffic safety body expressed concerns about the crossing’s safety, characterizing it as excessively steep and inadequately equipped.
Evan Emmerich, Chariton County’s presiding county commissioner, said last week that county officials have been pushing for a safety improvement at the railroad crossing for almost three years.
The truck driver, a 54-year-old man from Brookfield, and three railway passengers were killed in the accident. The driver’s widow filed a wrongful death lawsuit in state court on Thursday against Chariton County and BNSF officials, who had previously labeled the crossing as dangerous.
What Causes Train Accidents?
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, around 3,000 railway accidents occur in the United States each year, with almost 1,000 persons killed as a consequence. Railroad accidents may occur as a result of a collision with another train, a collision with a vehicle or bus, or even a derailment or fire. Other causes can include:
- Mechanical or electrical failures
- Track, roadbed, and structural faults or maintenance issues
- Human error, including signal and communication difficulties, driver tiredness, or inexperience
More than one of these elements may have had a role in any specific accident. Those wounded in railway accidents, as well as surviving family members of those killed in such incidents, must identify all liable parties and bring a claim against them before the statute of limitations runs out.
For example, if a government-owned train is at fault, the injured party may be required to provide the railroad particular notice of the claim within a certain length of time, perhaps as little as one or two months. As a consequence, victims of railway and railroad accidents must contact an attorney as quickly as possible for assistance with their claims.
What Are Common Carriers?
Common carriers are organizations that carry people or products on predetermined routes and timetables. Railways, airplanes, cruise ships, trucking businesses, and other transportation-for-hire providers are among them. Common carriers have a legal obligation to ensure that their goods and passengers arrive at their destinations safely.
Thus, they will be held accountable for passenger injuries that occur during transit if the carrier could have avoided the mishap by exercising more caution.
Congress has the ability to regulate common carriers that carry people or commodities across state borders under the Interstate Commerce Act. Federal railroad regulations take priority over state laws, although each state controls public transportation networks that operate inside its borders.
Meanwhile, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is in charge of railroad operations as well as developing and enforcing rail safety rules. Specific common carrier requirements are also established by federal and state statutes. Typically, laws govern equipment requirements, licensing, and transportation processes. Violations of any of these prohibitions often result in what is known as liability per se. In other words, merely demonstrating that the railway company failed to comply with these laws would be sufficient to prove culpability, leaving only damages to be established.
Train Accident Lawyer in Kansas City
A train wreck may have devastating implications for everyone concerned. Unfortunately, victims of such incidents often have life-threatening injuries or perish in the aftermath. If you were wounded or lost a loved one in a railway disaster, however, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit.
Contacting a train accident attorney in Kansas City right now might make a significant difference in achieving the justice you deserve.
If a railway accident has had a consequential, devastating effect on your life, you should contact an attorney right at once. For additional information about filing a claim, contact the Kansas City train accident lawyers at Peterson & Associates, P.A.
Please call us at 816-888-8888 if you have any questions. Remember that our team of experienced, skilled, and compassionate lawyers is available to you and your family 24 hours a day, seven days a week.