This month, there were two separate fatal accidents at Metro North rail crossings, calling more attention to safety at railway crossings. According to some statistics, it is estimated that a vehicle and train collide every 90 minutes nationwide and that people are 30 times more likely to die in a crash with a train than another vehicle. Because trains may not travel on consistent intervals and take longer than other vehicles to stop, they pose a grave threat to those who have to cross train tracks on a regular basis, and the injuries that result are catastrophic, or fatal.
Just a few weeks ago, 6 people died tragically when a train collided with an SUV at a Valhala Metro North railway crossing. Both passengers in the SUV, 4 train passengers, and 15 more were injured. This was the worst calamity in the history of Metro North. New York Senator Charles Schumer just introduced a new rail safety act as a result of this horrific incident, announcing it at Grand Central Station just days ago, proposing $100 million dollars over the course of four years to raise awareness, and implement preventative measures.
Many times these tragedies result because a driver is trying to “beat the train” across the tracks, but often these heartbreaking disasters may result due to mechanical issues with the train, or negligence. Such issues as derailments, speeding, or even weather related conditions in which a person may not see the train coming may also play a factor in railway accidents. According to the Federal Administration, 38% of railway accidents are caused by negligence. The investigation in Valhala is still ongoing.
If you have suffered wrongful injuries as the result of a railway accident as a pedestrian, passenger, or driver you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Georgaklis & Mallas, PLLC. to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to find out your rights at (718) 238-2400 or (212) 779-2400.