California Train Accidents Pose Serious Problems for Residents

You might be surprised to learn just how common train accidents are in California. The Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis reports 2,635 train accidents in the United States in 2017 alone. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics says that 183 train incidents happened in California in the year 2000. Many people assume that trains are an inherently safe form of travel, but this isn’t necessarily the case.

Causes of California train accidents

Train operators have rules to follow just like any vehicle operator. There are speed limits especially around corners and in cities. Sadly, operators sometimes try to operate under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Weather conditions and even unanticipated fire or vandalism can cause train accidents. Equipment failure is another common problem, and train operators often fail to update equipment and machinery as often as they should. Any of these factors can cause or contribute to a California train accident.

The 2008 Metrolink train crash

One of the most famous California train crashes was the Union Pacific and Metrolink train crash in Los Angeles. It occurred in 2008, and investigators learned that the Metrolink train operator’s texting may have contributed to the crash. The crash occurred when the Metrolink train failed to yield the right of way and ran a red signal. In total, twenty-five people died and many more sustained injuries.

Train accidents can cause significant damage to property and people. Being involved or affected by a train accident is something that should not be taken lightly, contact a personal injury attorney near you if a loved one or yourself have been injured due to a train accident in California.

 

What to Know About Proving Fault in a Car Accident in California

If you are struck and injured by someone else in a car accident, you must prove it was the other person’s fault before you can collect damages. 

While police reports are pretty good at hashing out what happened in an automobile accident, they don’t always give every bit of information. When the police arrive, sometimes they will have a collision report. This is what they document from their independent witnessing of the vehicles. Some of the things they will observe include: 

  • How the vehicles are positioned
  • Crash debris on the street
  • skidmarks
  • Damage to both vehicles
  • Road conditions
  • Weather conditions
  • Other information if applicable

While officers try to do their best they can in determining who’s at fault, they aren’t perfect. Again, reports are an excellent tool; they are only a part of the process. If you are involved in an accident, and the fault has not been determined, you may need to enlist the help of an Orange County car accident attorney. 

The California vehicle code is more accurate. If it can be determined which person violated the law, you will have much more leverage. A couple of things you can show: 

  • The other driver was in violation of the law
  • The violation played a huge role in causing the accident.

Two of the most straightforward accidents to prove

Rear end accidents – In most cases, if a driver slams on their brakes and runs into the back of your vehicle, they will be deemed at fault. The driver, regardless if you slammed on your brakes, will be charged with inattentive driving. 
Left turn accidents – If you have the right of way and a car hits you, that can also determine who is at fault. 

The best thing to do in this situation is to find a skilled Orange County car accident attorney to handle your claim. They rely on a staff of professionals who can thoroughly investigate your claim. A skilled accident attorney will use investigators who can do crash reenactments and other tools to prove your case.