DeKalb County Railroad Crossing Accident Attorneys

When Accidents Happen in Kane County, Trust Turner & Sackett Law Offices

In Illinois, every railroad company is legally obligated to ensure that each railroad crossing is safe for pedestrians and motor traffic. A malfunctioning railroad crossing light, faulty crossing gate, or silent warning alerts can result in catastrophic railroad crossing collisions. When this happens, the railroad company is held liable and victims can seek compensation due to negligence. However, pursuing damages is often difficult due to railroad companies using the argument that trains have the right-of-way because of their inability to instantly stop or derail from the track.

Regardless of whether the railroad company attempts to repudiate any claims, Turner & Sacket Law Offices will work tirelessly to pursue the compensation you are rightfully owed. With years of experience handling personal injury cases, our dedicated railroad crossing accident attorneys in DeKalb County and Kane County have achieved multiple successful settlements, including cases worth millions of dollars.

To speak with one of our railroad crossing accident lawyers in DeKalb County about your train crossing accident, call (800) 761-0993 or contact us through our online form. We offer free consultations.

Causes of Railroad Crossing Accidents

pedestrians walking next to a railroad on a train platformWhile it is often the driver’s responsibility to avoid a train accident due to the difficult nature of a train quickly evading imminent collisions, it doesn’t automatically place the driver at fault. On some occasions, fault is placed on the railroad companies for their failure to exercise ordinary duty of care, putting the public at risk of danger.

Other times, faulty design of a railroad crossing is the root of the problem. Properly designed railroad crossings should give conductors enough distance for trains to have proper breaking clearance as well as have warning systems for drivers that alert drivers of an incoming train well before it is in sight.

A jury takes many things into consideration when determining whether a railroad crossing is a safety hazard, including whether there was:

  • A crossing gate failure, such as a malfunctioning crossing arm
  • A line-of-sight obstruction
  • A crossing with improper signage
  • A negligently marked or designed crossing
  • A failure to sound alarm or horns

Other causes of railroad crossing accidents range from negligent train engineers to a train travelling well above the speed limit.

Unprotected Train Crossings & Determining Liability

According to preliminary statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration, there were 2,214 railroad crossing collisions in 2018 resulting in 270 fatalities and 819 injuries. Many of these collisions occur at unprotected or passive crossings, which are those with no more than a railroad crossing sign. In fact, the majority of railroad crossings do not have warning devices such as lights and/or gates, making them extremely dangerous. When there is a railroad collision accident at an unprotected crossing, multiple parties can be held liable.

Liable parties may include:

  • The operating railroad company
  • The track owner
  • The train designer or manufacturer
  • The county or city
  • The vehicle driver or pedestrian

If you or a loved one was harmed in a railroad crossing collision, contact our DeKalb County railroad crossing accident lawyers at (800) 761-0993 or through our online form. We offer free consultations and legal services in both English and Spanish.

How Common Are Railroad Crossing Accidents?

According to recent data, railroad crossing accident statistics indicate that this type of accident is far more common than most people would like to believe:

  • Illinois is one of the five states with the most railroad crossings intersecting with public roads
  • Of all of the public railroad crossings in the U.S., only about 36% have gates to deter vehicles from crossing when a train is present
  • In 2015 there were over 2,000 railroad crossing accidents, resulting in over 200 deaths and over 900 injuries

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