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My brothers semi-truck was hit by a train and he was killed, what are our legal rights to claim against the railroad company?

Question:  My brother drives a semi-truck, deliveringproducts all throughout the Midwest.  Atrain recently struck his rig and he was killed.  There were no warning lights that a train wascoming and I believe the railroad is at fault. What legal responsibilities do railroads have to motorists andpedestrians injured by trains?

Answer:  Lawsuits for injuries and deaths caused bytrains hitting people or vehicles are complex, both legally and factually.  The law can vary from state-to-state anddepending upon the unique circumstances of the accident.  According to Operation Lifesaver, atrain-safety organization, a train strikes a vehicle or a pedestrian at a railcrossing approximately every two hours in the United States.  A train truck accident has thepotential of producing catastrophic injuries and deaths. 

A railroad’s legal responsibilities to aninjured motorist or pedestrian will depend upon the factual circumstances ofthe particular train truck crash.  Often,pedestrian and motorist claims against railroads will be decided under thenegligence laws of the state where the accident occurred.  Increasingly, these lawsuits are preemptedand governed by federal regulatory safety standards.

Because these cases can depend on complexquestions of state and federal law, you should quickly contact an experiencedattorney if you have been a victim in a train truck crash.

Answered by Linda Adams

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