Forecasts show the number of train accident deaths in North Carolina may double in 2013. Halfway through the year, the state has already exceeded the total number of train accident-related deaths that occurred in 2012. What is causing so many train accidents in North Carolina?
Trespassers. The majority of train accidents in North Carolina are attributed to individuals who trespass on the train's right of way. In these instances, the train is not acting negligently. These situations bring up discussions about premises liability and the degree to which a property owner is liable for trespassers' injuries in North Carolina.
Negligent drivers. Another common cause of North Carolina train accidents are drivers who think their vehicle can cross the tracks before the train. Impatient drivers ignore signage and miscalculate the train's approach, and then get struck while crossing the tracks. Not does this create the risk for serious injury and damage for the driver of the vehicle and any passengers, but it also puts individuals on the train at risk.
Accidents can occur on the train that are a result of the train company's negligence. Poor maintenance of the train can cause it to break down, or negligently repaired tracks can cause an accident. Additionally, a mistake in train scheduling may accidentally arrange two trains on the same track and cause a collision. The environment on a train is very different from an automobile. There are no seat belts, heavy luggage may fall on passengers, and train crashses may cause choking or expose passengers to dangerously hot foods and beverages in dining cars.
As lawmakers draft new measures to help prevent and reduce the number of train accidents in North Carolina, if you or a loved one are injured in a train-related accident you can review your rights in a free consultation with one of our North Carolina personal injury lawyers. Train accidents may fall under legislation in certain jurisdictions depending on several factors, and our injury attorneys can explain how state, federal, and municipal laws may affect your case.