Portland Train Accidents Involving Vehicles
Train accidents that involve other vehicles tend to occur at railroad crossings when a roadway intersects the track. In some cases, these accidents can be caused by vehicle malfunctions or safety device defects that render drivers unable to avoid a collision. In others, these accidents are the result of errors or omissions on the part of the people responsible for the operation of the train. After an accident, your accident attorney will thoroughly investigate the cause of your collision and determine who could potentially be held liable. Some of the parties that may be at fault for a train accident include the following:
- Vehicle manufacturer;
- Railroad companies;
- Property owners;
- Government agencies.
Trains are capable of causing extremely serious injuries and damage when they are involved in accidents with passenger vehicles. In fact, the non-profit railway safety advocacy group Operation Lifesaver indicates that the force of a 30-car freight train hitting a car is equivalent to the force of a car hitting an aluminum can. For this reason, people who are involved in accidents with trains often sustain extremely serious injuries that can have long-term and devastating results.
Portland MAX Light Rail Accidents
Tens of thousands of people in the Portland metro area ride the MAX light rail, or Metropolitan Area Express, each day, usually without incident. Despite being relatively safe, riders and motorists can be injured when these trains are involved in accidents. Due to the fact that these trains are operated by Tri-Met, a quasi-government agency, there are certain issues that need to be addressed by victims after an accident that are not present in an accident involving only private parties. These issues can make legal claims arising out of MAX light rail significantly more complicated than other types of cases, so it is important for victims to speak with an attorney who is familiar with handling cases involving public transportation vehicles. Some of these issues include the following:
- The agency must be notified of a victim’s intent to seek compensation within 180 days of the accident;
- Filing the claim within the applicable statute of limitations;
- Establishing negligence on the part of the agency or the agency’s employees.
Train Accidents Involving Railroad Workers
Working on a railroad can be extremely dangerous work, as there are countless hazards at every turn when working in and around trains. In order to establish uniform liability standards for railroad companies and to ensure that injured railroad workers were able to obtain compensation for their losses, Congress enacted the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) in 1908. Unlike workers’ compensation claims, claims made under FELA allow workers to obtain compensation for their pain and suffering, often resulting in significantly more compensation than they would receive from a workers’ compensation claim arising from the same incident.
In order to recover under FELA, however, workers must be able to establish that their accident was the result of some type of negligence on the part of the employer. Some of the ways in which the employer of a railroad worker could be negligent include the following:
- Failing to provide adequate training;
- Providing employees with subpar safety equipment;
- Failing to enforce safety regulations;
- Requiring workers to work unreasonably long hours;
- Failing to provide adequate supervision.
After an accident, the best way to determine whether you have a claim is to have your case reviewed by an experienced Portland railroad accident attorney.
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