Railroad/Train Accidents

If I am injured in a railroad accident, can the transportation service be liable?
If the transportation service was negligent, it could be liable for your injuries. In most states, a common carrier may be liable for personal injuries to passengers. Typically, a common carrier is required to employ the highest degree of care, diligence, and vigilance in transporting passengers. The carrier must have the necessary equipment and a reasonable degree of skill required to carry out the transportation of passengers.

What constitutes train accident negligence?
Failure to use reasonable care while operating a train constitutes negligence. Determining who was at fault in any train accident means figuring out who was negligent, and accordingly, responsible for causing the accident. Because the operator is considered an agent of the transportation service, if your injuries were the result of an operator’s failure to use reasonable care, you could have a valid claim against the transportation service.

What is the NTSB?
The National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) is an independent federal agency with jurisdiction over train accidents in the United States. The NTSB issues safety recommendations designed to prevent accidents. It also conducts special studies of transportation safety issues of national significance.

What role does the FBI play in the investigation of a train accident?
The FBI investigates the possibility of sabotage or some other criminal act that may have contributed to an accident. Though the FBI is consulted in many large train accidents, it takes over jurisdiction only in rare cases where it is suspected that criminal acts caused the accident.