The Pedestrian-Train Accident: Whose Fault is It?

It is an unfortunate fact that the majority of cases involving a pedestrian-train accident result in a fatality. While many of these accidents may be due to carelessness on the part of the pedestrian, a large number are likely the result of negligence or defective safety measures that are originally designed to protect the general public and workers. 

If you have been injured in a pedestrian-train accident or have lost a loved one, it is understandable you will want to know who is responsible. Determining liability will rely on a careful examination of the circumstances surrounding your case. However, there are a number of issues which may have contributed to the cause of a pedestrian-train accident that are fairly common. 

Poorly Marked Safety Zones & Guardrails

Most people know and are aware of the dangers of trains. That doesn’t mean railroad companies do not have a responsibility to keep passengers and workers safe. Railroad operators and companies have an obligation to clearly mark platforms and crossings, providing pedestrians with warnings of potential danger. An example of this is the “Mind the Gap” warnings that are posted on station platforms to remind pedestrians to maintain a safe distance from the edge. 

If these markings are unclear or absent from dangerous areas, the likelihood of a pedestrian-train accident occurring is increased. Defective guardrails may also result in a pedestrian-train accident if the rail gives way and the pedestrian falls onto tracks, or between the tracks and a train. It is important to determine who is responsible for the safety station maintenance if you or a loved one is involved in an accident. 

Outdated or Faulty Crossing Equipment

If the safety equipment at a crossing is outdated, defective, or faulty, it can end in tragedy. Never cross at a red light, even if you do not see a train. Similarly, never walk around a lowered barrier that you suspect is faulty. Contact the number on the barrier for assistance from the entity responsible for maintenance of the equipment. It is not worth risking your life crossing train tracks unless you are absolutely sure it is safe to do so. 

Wrongful Death

You may have a wrongful death case and may be entitled to compensation if someone committed an intentional act which resulted in the death of a loved one, even if the death of the decedent was not the intention of the act. An example of this could include a friend pushing another friend onto tracks without realizing there was a train coming. If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, seek additional consultation with an experienced lawyer. For a free consultation to discuss the circumstances surrounding your potential case in greater detail, we urge you to reach out to the offices of H. Lehman Franklin P.C.  Call us at 912-764-9616, or email to speak to one of our legal representatives today.