Trains and subways provide a valuable service to millions of people every year. New Jersey Transit is the largest public transit system in the country, carrying thousands daily to various locations in New Jersey and New York. And tragically, many passengers and bystanders die in train-related accidents every year.
New Jersey has a history of train accidents going all the way back to 1833, when the first train accident with fatalities occurred here. There are roughly a dozen train accidents that happen in the state every year, including collisions and derailments. And according to the Federal Railroad Administration, these numbers are on the rise.
In June, 14 people suffered injuries after a car crashed into the light rail in Jersey City. The driver was cited for failure to observe signs and for reckless driving. The incident comes a month and a half after four Jersey City firefighters were injured in a train accident, which happened when the train smashed into a fire truck. In that accident, the train derailed.
What Do I Do If I Was Injured in a Car-Train Collision?
Human error is a leading cause of railroad accidents, accounting for more than 38 percent. Human factors that can lead to train accidents include:
- Failure to brake
- Traveling too fast for rail or road conditions
- Operating a train or driving under the influence
- Driver/conductor fatigue
- Failure to seek diagnosis for a medical condition such as sleep apnea
- Failure to comply with signs or signals appropriately
Because of the mass of trains and the speeds at which they travel, injuries sustained in train accidents can be catastrophic. Victims could suffer injuries such as traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury, which can lead to lifelong problems. Victims may also suffer lacerations, broken bones, soft tissue injuries or even amputations. When a train and a car collide, the passengers in the car are at a much greater risk of injury.
When you suffer an injury on a train, there could be any number of parties responsible. You may be hurt due to a negligent operator, a negligent driver, lax enforcement of safety protocol by the company operating the train or even the city where the rail line operates. If you are hurt in a NJ Transit train accident, you need the assistance of a personal injury attorney to identify all possible responsible parties to help make the most of your recovery.