One person was killed on Saturday in a train accident near the town of Chester, Massachusetts. The Massachusetts State Police troopers were dispatched to the scene of the accident shortly after 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 29. The Massachusetts State Police are still investigating the cause of the collision. This comes on the heels of another train-related fatality in California, where a teenage boy was killed and a teenage girl was injured in a train accident. In that case, the young man died after pushing his girlfriend to safety and out of the way of an oncoming freight train. The young girl indicated that she and the young man did not hear the train approaching.
Are Railroad Companies At Fault?
Depending upon the circumstances of each individual case, a railroad employee or company may be at fault when a train strikes a person or vehicle. A prompt investigation is necessary in order to document and preserve evidence that may indicate an employee or the railroad company was negligent and this negligence contributed to the crash. For instance, if the company fails to maintain the area around the tracks, resulting in overgrown vegetation and trees that blocks the view of a vehicle or pedestrian, this can be evidence of negligence. Crossing devices designed to alert others to an oncoming train may not be functioning properly, or a conductor may be operating the train at an excessive speed or without sounding the proper warning whistles when approaching a crossing. Finally, a railroad company may not have properly trained an employee or overworked an employee, causing that employee to act carelessly. These are just a few of the circumstances that may show negligence on the part of the railroad company and/or its employees.
Failure to perform a prompt and thorough investigation may result in a train accident victim or surviving family not being able to recover damages. Certain evidence such as documents or logs may be irretrievably lost if not properly preserved. Witnesses’ memories fade or become distorted over time, and photographs taken after the cleanup process has begun will not accurately depict the position of persons and things as they appeared immediately after the accident.
Be Safe Around Railroad Tracks
Certain safety precautions can help minimize the chance of being struck by a train. First, individuals should expect there to be trains or other equipment using a railroad track at any time, and should remain on constant alert. Before crossing a track, a person should carefully look in both directions for oncoming trains. If a train is spotted, a person should not cross unless they are absolutely certain there is sufficient time and space to cross safely. Finally, a person should never walk, sit, stand, or lay on rails.
Train accidents can produce devastating injuries. In most cases, the victim does not survive the accident. Along with the terrible injuries and losses that accompany train accidents come the medical and other bills, which can often be quite high. If you or a loved one has been injured in a train-related accident, contact us today at (508) 755-7535 for a free consultation.