Each year in the United States, passenger railroads like Amtrak and freight railroads like Chicago & Eastern, Union Pacific, Burlington Northern & Santa Fe (BNSF) move millions of passengers and billions of pounds of goods and materials across the approximately 160,000 miles of standard gauge railroad track throughout our country. While this productivity is unmatched around the world, it comes at a high cost for the nearly 1,000 people who are killed or injured annually at highway-rail crossings.
U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) studies show that as many as 90% of all railroad-related fatalities occur at railroad crossings. The dangerous reality is that a majority of these crossings are poorly marked. Less than 1% have highway traffic signals, wigwags and bells; only 31% have gates and just 16% have flashing lights. Many crossings have no markings at all.
In a high-impact collision between a passenger vehicle (car, truck or SUV) and a train carrying tens of thousands of pounds of weight and moving at what would be considered highway speeds, it’s not surprising that the driver and passengers in the smaller, lighter vehicles often suffer catastrophic damage, injury and death. Given the level of danger and deadly consequences involved, it’s important that every driver AND passenger have a basic understanding of how to stay safe near railroad crossings and how to protect your rights if you or a loved one are injured.
Throughout this site, you’ll find important information on:
- Why Railroad Crossing Accidents Happen
- How to Stay Safe near Trains and Railroad Crossings
- Legal Issues Involving a Railroad Crossing Accident
- Missouri and Illinois Railroad Accident Statistics
The attorneys at Langdon & Emison have a long history of representing clients who have been injured or have had a loved one injured or killed in a railroad crossing accident or in an accident involving a train. In many of these cases, our investigations have revealed a dangerous (and sometimes deadly) failure by the railroad company to provide better warning lights, guards and gates or to properly maintain a crossing.
Accidents involving the railroads can be complicated, requiring a legal team to consider general personal injury law, state and federal regulations and preemption issues. Our experienced attorneys have successfully obtained multi-million dollar settlements on behalf of our clients who have been injured or killed in a train accident.
We believe that railroad companies and other negligent parties must be held legally and financially responsible when they put profit over safety and endanger or harm the lives of others. We encourage you to learn how to protect yourself, your loved ones and your legal rights.
Thank you for staying safe at railroad crossings!