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The Real Risk of Railroad Accidents in Florida: The Scary Truth

Railroad Accidents in Florida

According to a recent article in the Miami Herald, there seems to be another report of an railroad accident in Florida between trains and pedestrians. For most people, when they think about “crashes,” trains aren’t the first things that come to mind.

Railroad Accidents Florida

However, after a four-year review of information provided by the Federal Railroad Administration, the state of Florida ranks number six among all the states in the country with the most railroad crossing deaths in the country.

From the four years between 2014 and 2018, there were over 400 railroad accidents in the country. Of these accidents, 16 percent of them resulted in at least one fatality, while 25 percent resulted in injuries. Something that is even more shocking is that every three hours, someone in the U.S. (either a vehicle or a pedestrian) is hit by a train.

Where do Florida Train Accidents Occur?

Most of the railroad accident deaths in the state of Florida occur in the south. While some also occur on the east coast, it’s important to understand they can occur anywhere. Slower moving freight trains are much less likely to cause a collision, injury, or death. However, the modern faster moving passenger trains, which have become more popular in recent years, are usually the ones involved in the accidents mentioned above.

The Brightline, which started running in 2017, resulted in 15 people suffering fatal injuries in the first year of operation. The same stats are seen around the nation, with the FRA reporting that 2017 marked a 10-year high with over 575 crash deaths and 888 train-related deaths that occurred across the country.

Who is Most Likely to Be Injured or Killed in a Florida Train Accident?

According to the federal data that is available, the majority of train accidents in Florida occur in lower-income, urban area, where there is more pedestrian traffic. In fact, 65 percent of all fatal commuter railroad accident victims are actually pedestrians at the time of the accident.

People on motorcycles and in school buses are more likely to be killed or to be serious injured (about 30 percent) compared to those in a car (seven percent). Officials have reported that in over a third of all these incidents, pedestrians or drives fail to yield or stop for the train, which is required by Florida law. Suicides only accounted for about two percent of these train related deaths.

Who is Considered Liable for a Florida Train Crash Injury or Fatality?

In situations of a suicide, it is unlikely that a rail operator is going to be found liable. Some of the most common causes for other train related accidents include:

  • Maintenance or inspection violations
  • Mechanical failure
  • Railway negligence
  • Conductor error

These casual factors can be the foundation for a personal injury or even a wrongful death claim if a fatality occurred. However, even in a situation where the error or the distraction of a motor vehicle operator or pedestrian played a role, the claims may still be worth pursuing if the operator of the railway of another entity shared part of the responsibility.

If you believe you may have a case, let us help. Contact our legal team at Felice | Ehrlich Attorneys at Law by calling (561) 444-8822 to learn more.

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