Rochester, New York, Car Accidents At Railroad Crossings

Jed Dietrich, Esq. and His Team of Uncompromising, Dogged, and Trustworthy Attorneys at the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. Take Aggressive Legal Action to Obtain Amazing Results for Victims of Car Accidents at Railroad Crossings in Rochester, New York, Throughout Monroe County, and Beyond.

Train Passing There are more than 200,000 railroad crossings throughout the United States. Monroe County is home to several railroads, such as the Rochester and Southern Railroad (RSR). Commuters and residents alike drive across local railway crossings every day without ever considering the risks of doing so. Although most people probably assume that trains rarely crash into vehicles, these types of accidents are more common than you would think. According to the Federal Railroad Administration's data regarding railroad track incidents, in a recent year alone, there were 270 fatal accidents at railroad crossings.

The weight of a railway wagon ranges from 80,000 pounds up to 400,000 pounds. At even relatively slow speeds, the sheer weight and force of a locomotive are enough to devastate any vehicle unfortunate enough to be in its path. Collisions at crossings typically happen when a car drives into the side of a train or a vehicle is struck on its side by an oncoming train. In the latter case, the impact can cause the vehicle to flip over, violently spin around, or get completely crushed. It is nearly impossible for victims to escape unscathed. Those who are fortunate enough to survive usually suffer severe injuries, such as crushed bones, amputated limbs, total paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, and permanent disfigurements. Considering the appalling implications of a train-related accident on your health and future, such as medical bills, life-long disabilities, and diminished earning capacity, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to hire the best possible Rochester personal injury attorney.

For the last 23 years, Jed Dietrich, Esq., much-admired as an American Institute of Trial Lawyers Litigator of the Year, has persuasively demanded more than $175 Million in verdicts and settlements for victims who were injured in Rochester, New York, Monroe County, and throughout New York State. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C.'s extraordinary devotion to surpassing your expectations and getting you every dollar that you deserve is what makes us the best at what we do. Jed Dietrich, Esq., and his team of seasoned train accident attorneys will go all-out to provide the best possible outcome. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. provides complimentary, no-obligation consultations and case assessments. Our Rochester injury lawyers are available twenty-four-seven by calling 585-939-3939 or by filling out the online consultation form.

Common Causes of Railroad Crossing Accidents

Fog Since trains cannot change direction or stop fast enough to avoid approaching vehicles, it is often the car driver's responsibility. However, this certainly does not mean that drivers are always at fault. No two railway crossings are the same. While some crossings are identifiable with gates, flashing lights, and loud horns, others may seem almost indistinguishable from surrounding roadways. Although every accident is unique, factors that substantially heighten the risk of railroad crossing collisions include:

  1. Visual obstructions near the track, such as large buildings, tall fencing, or trees;
  2. Low visibility conditions, like heavy fog, sunlight, or smog;
  3. Slippery conditions, such as heavy rain, ice, or melting snow;
  4. Obstructions on the track;
  5. Inadequate lighting around the track;
  6. Improper maintenance or repairs;
  7. Defective or missing gates;
  8. Faulty tracks;
  9. Lack of warning signs;
  10. Insufficient buffer areas around the tracks;
  11. Defective or malfunctioning warning signals;
  12. The train conductor's failure to signal;
  13. Train conductor negligence;
  14. Mechanical defects on the train; and
  15. Malfunctioning of the vehicle, like faulty tires or brakes.

Without lights, gates, or signals, passive railway crossings fail to protect drivers from entering the tracks while a train is in the vicinity. Since these junctions blend in with their surroundings, they are at fault for many severe car accidents at crossings. These crossings are typically located in rural areas of Monroe County.


Driving Safely Around Railroad Crossings

Most tragic accidents and resulting injuries at rail crossings are preventable. Some important suggestions for safely navigating commuter and freight train crossings include:

  1. Always Stop: When approaching tracks, stop completely, listen, and look both ways.
  2. Give Yourself Room: Some trains are up to 3 feet wider than the tracks. Stop at least 15 feet away from lowered gates, flashing red lights, stop signs, or flagmen.
  3. Yield the Right of Way: It is important to remember that trains always have the right of way.
  4. Get Across: Once you enter the crossing, it is crucial to keep moving until you reach the other side. Never stop in the middle of the tracks.
  5. Pay Attention: Always pay attention and use extra caution around railroad tracks.
  6. Do not Drive Around Gates: No matter how far away the train may seem, never attempt to drive around a lowering gate. Also, do not ignore respective signals or signs for any reason.
  7. Never Assume: Never take for granted that only one train is approaching from a single direction.
  8. Wait: Before starting to drive, wait for the gates to rise completely and for all the flashing lights to stop.
  9. Beware of Passive Crossings: Since passive crossings blend in with their surroundings, it is important to watch out for them.
  10. Get Out: If your car stalls on the tracks, get everyone out immediately, even if you do not see a train approaching.

After a railroad crossing car accident, the only way to determine liability is to have a highly experienced personal injury lawyer perform a thorough investigation, collect vital evidence, and demand internal documents on your behalf. When a collision occurs because of a negligent conductor, malfunctioning brakes, passive crossings, employee's lack of training, or defective tracks, the responsible railroad company, track owner, train manufacturer, municipality, or maintenance contractors can be held liable. Jed Dietrich, Esq. has compelled insurance companies and negligent parties to forfeit at least $1,000,000.00 or more 38 times to compensate his clients. You owe it to yourself to let the Dietrich Law Firm P.C.'s battle-tested Rochester, New York team litigate your claim and obtain the compensation that you deserve. If you have any inquiries about your potential case, please contact us for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation. Our seasoned attorneys are here to help you through your case from start to finish and promise to always treat you with the utmost respect. You can get in touch with our leading Rochester injury lawyers by dialing 585-939-3939 or by completing the online consultation form.

Call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. immediately at 585-939-3939 so that our aggressive, tenacious and hardworking personal injury lawyers can fight to obtain the best result for your personal injury claim in Rochester, New York. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there is never a fee until we WIN for you!

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