While large train accidents are somewhat rare, they account for what most people think of when they think of “train accidents.” However, while large accidents may grab headlines, the National Transportation Safety Bureau reports that one person is struck by a train approximately every two hours in the United States – and nearly 900 people lose their lives every year in train accidents.
The last major train accident in Los Angeles occurred nearly a decade ago. Known as the Chatsworth train collision, this train accident resulted in the loss of 25 lives. 135 additional passengers were injured, 46 critically. It was the Chatsworth train collision that prompted swift action on Positive Train Control (PTC), a protection system that allows for greater control of train speed and movement, which may have helped prevent a repeat of this tragic event in subsequent years. PTC legislation was passed just 30 days after the Chatsworth train collision.
There have not been any major train accidents in the South Bay area for several years, but hundreds of people are injured or killed on and around trains in Los Angeles annually. If you or someone you love is among them, it is a good idea to talk to a train accident lawyer who can review the details of your case and help you determine if you have cause to file suit. Many train accidents are caused by negligence, often municipal, and may entitle the victim to compensation. Call Kirtland & Packard at (310) 536-1000 to schedule a free consultation today.
A Look at 2017 and 2018
The Federal Railroad Administration reports that there were 11,671 train accidents or incidents in 2017. Of those, 845 were fatal, an 11.8% increase over 2016. Derailments are the biggest cause of train accidents, with 1,219 occurring in 2017. Yard accidents are the second leading cause of train accidents, accounting for 8.2% of these incidents last year. Signal causes comprised the least frequent cause of train accidents, accounting for 46, or 0.3% of all train accidents in 2017.
As of March of 2018, train accidents linked to signal causes were up 15.4% over 2017, having already resulted in 15 accidents. Yard accidents were up 9.3% from that same time last year, but derailments were down from 2017. As of March, there had been 17 fewer train derailments in 2018 than the year prior.
The total number of train accidents from January – March of 2017 was 2,800. As of March 2018, there had been 2,717 accidents, a 3% decline. However, fatalities are up an alarming 200% from 2017. If you have lost a loved one in a train accident, our South Bay wrongful death lawyers can help. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation and learn more.
We Are Here to Help
Kirtland & Packard was established over 85 years ago and has been a trusted and respected law firm since. Our highly awarded and recognized personal injury attorneys have decades of combined experience helping victims of train accidents get justice – and are prepared to apply this experience to your case to help you secure the compensation you are due.
Effective, dedicated, and attentive, our attorneys are committed to assisting those injured through negligence get fair and full compensation for their damages. Call us at (310) 536-1000 to schedule a free consultation and learn more.
The law office of Kirtland & Packard is located in Redondo Beach. Our train accident lawyers serve the South Bay area of Los Angeles.