For much of the 20th Century, Illinois was widely acknowledged as a central hub of train transportation throughout the nation. That designation carries through to the present as freight, goods, and people travel by train within Chicago, the suburbs, and across the rest of the state. Trains serve a vital function in the city and they are a daily presence in the lives of many.
Even if you do not travel by train, chances are that you cross the path of a train or train tracks on a regular basis. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclist, and those who drive personal cars have a hard time moving from one spot in Chicago to another without potentially seeing a train or tracks. This can lead to a train accident and potentially to serious injuries. Victims of these collisions may be entitled to seek financial compensation through the use of a civil claim for damages, a type of relief that can provide monetary relief to cover damages like medical bills, lost wages, and even pain and suffering.
In an effort to increase awareness of the dangers presented by trains, Illinois is recognizing this week as Rail Safety Week. It is a national program that is being recognized in the state for the first time because in 2013, Illinois had the third most deaths by train in the nation. These instances involved 21 people who were killed by a train while in a vehicle and another 25 people were killed in train accidents as pedestrians. In addition to those who were killed, 67 people were hurt by trains in Illinois.
The reasons for train injuries and deaths are varied but include the heavy train traffic that is experienced across the state. As Chicago has a high concentration of both people and trains, many of the accidents take place within the city’s limits. Some are the fault of motorists who attempt to drive around warning gates or try to race a train so they will not have to wait at a crossing. Other collisions are due to speeding trains, improperly working machinery, failure of safety devices, or even a mistake by the operator of a train. At least one incident in Illinois last year is believed to have occurred by a teen who was intentionally trying to get as close to a passing train as possible.
Each train accident that takes place in Chicago or in Illinois has a unique set of facts surrounding it and the resulting legal implications vary as a result.
When a train accident leaves a victim injured, there may be multiple claims to explore to obtain financial relief, including payment for the bills incurred as a result of the crash. Speaking with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in Chicago may help you understand whether you are entitled to compensation and who may be held legally liable for your losses.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we understand the devastating nature of train accidents and we make it our business to fight for the rights of those who have suffered from these crashes. We offer a free case consultation to those who call us toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575. If you prefer to meet with us in person but you are too injured to travel to our offices, we also offer free in-home and in-hospital consultations so that you can receive the answers you deserve.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., there is never an obligation on your part for taking advantage of our free consultation and everything discussed will be kept confidential. If you have been hurt or if your loved one has lost his or her life, call us today and let us help you seek a recovery you deserve.
Prior Blog Entry:
7 Injured After CTA Bus Hits 2 Parked Cars, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published September 11, 2014.
Alarming Number Of Rail Deaths Prompts ‘Rail Safety Week,’ by Bob Roberts, CBS Chicago, published September 15, 2014.