Experienced West Virginia Railroad Accident Attorney
The West Virginia rail system is comprised of two Class I railroads and 11 regional railroads, altogether containing over 2,400 miles of track. CSX Transportation is West Virginia’s largest carrier, followed by Norfolk Southern, and regional railroads, such as Winchester & Western, which travels through Martinsburg, make up the rest. For commuters, Martinsburg is served by Amtrak and MARC, and West Virginia offers numerous tourist trains throughout the state. Given all this rail activity, railroad and train accidents do happen in West Virginia. A railroad accident attorney at Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson in Martinsburg is able to represent victims of train crashes, working to obtain maximum compensation for injuries.
Causes of Railroad & Train Accidents
According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), about every three hours a person or vehicle is hit by a train, generally at a highway-railroad crossing or intersection. Railroad accidents may also involve platform accidents and injuries (such as a slip and fall), train derailments, equipment failures, and more. Frequent causes of railroad and train accidents include:
- Signal and communication errors
- Train operation errors
- Failure to brake properly
- Improper use of switches (going from one track to another)
- Mechanical and electrical failures
- Track, roadbed, and other structural failures
- Broken rails or welds
- Improper loading procedures
- Environmental conditions
- Failure to keep train platforms safe and free of hazards
Railroad companies own their own track and are in control of train platforms, which means they are responsible for both maintenance and regular inspections of the track and loading and unloading areas. If an accident occurs involving a railroad company train, the railroad company may be liable for injuries and damages caused by maintenance-related oversights and errors. On the other hand, Amtrak and MARC are government-owned, which means government agencies are responsible for keeping track and platforms safe for passengers. If a train accident occurs, these agencies may be held accountable for injuries and damages. Most tourist trains are owned by private entities who are also responsible for preventing passenger injuries.
If You’ve Been Injured in a Railroad Accident in West Virginia, Call Our Firm
If you’ve been injured in a railroad accident or you’ve lost a loved one in a train accident, please contact the law firm of Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced West Virginia personal injury attorneys. We have the knowledge and resources to go up against large companies and government agencies to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve after being involved in such a devastating accident.