Freight Train Slams into Charter Bus, $250M Sought in Personal Injury Lawsuit
PR Newswire reports that on March 7, 2017 a charter bus was hit by a freight train in Biloxi, Mississippi after it became stuck at a steep grade crossing. The train was traveling quickly at the moment of impact and pushed the 20 plus ton bus more than 200 feet upon impact. Unfortunately the charter bus was transporting people between casinos at the time of the accident and was full of passengers, more than forty of whom were injured and four of whom were killed in the accident. At least 15 of the injured passengers have already banned together to filed a personal injury lawsuit against CSX Transportation, Inc. (the railroad company) and others alleging that CSX had prior knowledge that this particular railroad crossing needed attention and that the train conductor in fact had adequate distance to stop when he became aware of the charter bus stuck in his path. Collectively the named personal injury plaintiffs in this case (i.e. the injured people who are suing) are seeking more than $250 million in damages.
Railroad Crossing Accident Statistics
Tragically this is not the first bus-train collision to have occurred at this particular railroad crossing. In fact, it has been reported that more than 17 separate accidents have previously occurred at this single steep grade railroad crossing, at least two of which involved large vehicles that became stuck on the tracks while trying to cross.
You may be surprised to hear that railroad crossing accidents like this recent one in Biloxi are actually quite common in the United States. According to Operation Lifesaver: Rail Safety Education’s website the Federal Railroad Administration reports that in the year 2016 there were 2,025 rail accidents are crossings across the country. These accidents resulted in 798 injuries and 265 fatalities. In order to help reduce your chances of being involved in such an accident take a look at the helpful tips listed below for avoiding accidents at railroad crossings.
Tips for Avoiding Accidents at Railroad Crossings
In addition to only driving when you are alert and focused, following the safety tips listed below can greatly help drivers reduce their chances of being involved in a vehicle-train accident:
- Never Stop on Train Tracks. It is extremely dangerous to stop your vehicle on train tracks and should always be avoided. Be aware that many vehicle-train accidents that occur at railroad crossings are caused by a driver who intentionally stopped his or her vehicle on a train track because they mistakenly believed that they would be able to get out of the way in time if a train came. Be aware that trains often approach crossings at very high speeds and that modern trains make much less noise than older trains do.
- Do Not Drive Around Railroad Safety Barriers. Railroad safety barriers, bars that lower down to block cars from crossing a train track when a train is approaching, are there for your safety. Always obey them and never attempt to go around them. Keep in mind that a barrier may remain down even after a train has passed if a second train is approaching shortly.
- If Your Car Gets Stuck While Crossing a Train Track Get Out of the Car. If your car gets stuck or breaks down while crossing a train track get everyone out of the car and far away from the crossing while you wait for help. Call 911 immediately and if the crossing has a posted number to call for assistance be sure to call that number as well. It is important to call these emergency assistance numbers as quickly as possible so that approaching trains can be warned that the track is not clear.
Injured in a Train Accident? Contact a Local Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you have been injured in a train accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongful act you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. For information about filing a personal injury lawsuit in Mississippi contact an experienced Jackson injury attorney at Derek L. Hall, PLLC today by calling (601) 202-2222.