One never knows when tragedy will strike but most people don’t give it a second thought until something does happen. This was most likely true for the 55 railroad passengers injured in Halifax, NC when an Amtrak train collided with a tractor-trailer truck on the tracks at N.C. Highway 903 and U.S. Highway 301. Out of the 55 injured most were listed in good to stable condition by the hospital. But all injuries have their own challenges and what is good to stable as far as hospital ratings most likely isn’t considered “good” for the people involved who now have to continue their life despite the pain.
So is this a freak accident? Hardly, between 2005 and 2014, federal investigators reported 585 railroad accidents in North Carolina, which is a little more than one collision per week. They peaked at an annual total of 77 wrecks in 2008. Since then, there's been a slight decline but they have been averaging 50 a year since 2009. The Federal Railroad Administration said there have been 303 injuries and 57 people killed at railroad crossings in the past ten years.
Click here to read about a client of ours who suffered a railroad crossing injury and recovered a sizable settlement.
As North Carolina railroad injury lawyers we know these type of accidents happen often, but what exactly causes them? It's a tough question with no single, definitive answer. Many car-train wrecks involve a combination of factors which led to the accident. Often the local police just take the railroad company investigators' word for it and blame the auto driver for any train wreck where the highway intersects the rails at grade.