Every year, approximately 70% of train accidents take place due to pedestrians who were on the tracks because they were walking from one place to another. These accidents can take place because a pedestrian is not paying attention to the tracks as they walk along, due to crossing the tracks, and many other related reasons. Many individuals like to assume that a pedestrian is at fault for their own accident, but this is not always the case. Many West Virginia personal injury accidents involving pedestrians and trains are not the fault of the pedestrian but instead the fault of a railroad company, which is why it is important to understand your rights.
Possible Injuries Stemming from Serious Train Accidents
Being struck by a train can bring some of the most serious injuries due to the fact that these accidents can bring serious force to those involved. The weight of the train combined with such a serious impact can lead to some of the most life-changing injuries. Train accidents involving pedestrians are known to lead to injuries, such as broken bones, spinal cord damages, brain injuries, head trauma, and more. In a large percentage of these accidents, pedestrians will even lose their lives in these widely-fatal accidents.
Legal Issues Prevalent in Pedestrian-Train Accidents
Of course, these types of accidents involve many complex legal issues that might not make sense to you if you or a loved one have been injured or killed in one of these crashes. For one, the law considers pedestrians who travel along railroad tracks to be trespassers. Yes, railroad companies own these tracks and, as such, they have a duty to keep the tracks safe for motorists and pedestrians. However, a pedestrian becomes a trespasser the moment that they wander onto the tracks in an area where they are not supposed to be.
It is reported that each year, over 1,000 trespassing fatalities take place across the country. When a person is trespassing, this means that the property owner does not have the same standard of care and it is actually much lower. It is actually considered to be an illegal act and could lead to penalties.
Of course, railroad companies and train operators cannot simply run over pedestrians when they see that they are on the tracks. Railroad companies are supposed to act in safe manners that follow all state and federal laws. Train operators must blow their horns to signal pedestrians that they are approaching and should never speed, especially in crossing areas where they believe pedestrians might be more likely to cross.
How a West Virginia Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
If you have been seriously injured in a train accident or you have lost a loved one and are curious about how to bring a wrongful death claim after a pedestrian accident involving a train, you have options for compensation during this difficult time. Our attorneys at Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet & Buckner have handled a wide variety of pedestrian accidents and will help you properly research your case and launch our own investigation into a variety of manners so that we can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Our personal injury attorneys are a perfect fit for the job. Please reach out to us at (304) 713-2014 to find out how we can assist you at this time.