It takes about six minutes to watch this video, but I believe everyone who works for a railroad, anyone who lives near tracks or drives through intersections with grade crossings, and every person with a family member who is a rail employee should see it.
No one suffered injuries or lost their lives in this CSX freight train derailment in New Orleans, Louisiana (LA) last October, but that seems to have been just one small bit of good luck in an otherwise quite serious accident. As a MARC derailment in the switching yard at Union Station in Washington, DC, proved, people aboard or in the path of a train that has run off its rails often end up in the hospital or worse. Six Amtrak employees and a passenger got injured in that November 5, 2010 incident.
My colleagues take many railroad injury cases involving rail employees, passengers and even people who got hurt by freight trains at railroad crossings or near tracks when they were not riding or working on a train. One of our firm’s most successful cases, in fact, featured a plaintiff who suffered severe and irreversible brain injuries when a Norfolk Southern train derailed and demolished the gas station in which the man was working.
Train derailments can cause terrible damage and deaths. Rail companies must do all they can to prevent such accidents, including ensuring all switches lock securely, all rails are kept in good repair and every engineer, brakeman and switch operator receives proper training in how to recognize and correct potential problems that can lead to a derailment.