A train injury attorney notes that national data suggests crude oil train derailments have increased for the last three years, even as overall train derailments have fallen. More than half of the crude oil train derailments reported since 2013 have resulted in oil leakage, fires or explosions. People injured or the families of those killed in railroad accidents may be eligible to seek compensation with the assistance of a train accident lawyer.
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LA Times: 17 of 31 Crude Oil Train Crashes Linked To Track Problems
As rail shipments of crude oil have increased, derailments of oil-hauling train cars have also risen across the country. According to The Los Angeles Times, more than three train derailments occur in the U.S. each day, and crude oil trains account for an increasing proportion of these accidents. Unfortunately, as tragedies such as the Lac-Megantic accident in Quebec that killed 47 people have revealed, these accidents have a high potential to cause serious harm when they occur near populated areas.
This rise in derailments may be occurring due to various factors. Shipments of crude oil have increased dramatically in recent years; from 2010 to 2014, the number of yearly shipments increased 18-fold. The strain that heavy crude oil trains put on aged or poorly designed tracks may also be a factor. The Los Angeles Times found that 17 of the 31 crashes that have occurred since 2013 involved track failure. Even though the Federal Railroad Administration has increased its track inspections and railroads have agreed to increase their own inspections, additional steps are needed to prevent crude oil train derailments, the website reported.
How a Train Injury Attorney Can Help
Train conductors and railroad owners have a duty to make sure that they operate and maintain their trains in a safe manner. If this duty is not fulfilled, fatal accidents may occur, and the train driver or train company can be held liable for injuries that may result.
People who are injured in train accidents may be entitled to compensation for damages resulting from their injuries, including:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost Wages
- Loss of ability to earn
- Scarring and disfigurement
If a person is killed in a train accident, his or her family members may be able to pursue compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one. Wrongful death damages can include:
- Medical expenses incurred prior to death
- Conscious pain and suffering prior to death
- Loss of the economic support of the loved one
- Loss of the companionship of the loved one
- Funeral expenses
People who have been injured in a train accident are advised to seek the counsel of a train injury attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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