Ventura Train Accident Lawyer
In Ventura County, train tracks are a common sight, acting as the veins that connect our bustling communities. Prominent trains like Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner and Metrolink’s Ventura County Line service commuters every day, while freight-carrying trains also frequent our rails throughout the day and night. But what happens when something goes wrong on the tracks? Train accidents are complex events that require extensive investigation to determine how they happened and who was at fault. If you were involved in a crash at a grade crossing, hurt as a pedestrian on the tracks, injured as a passenger in a derailment, or otherwise harmed in a train accident in Ventura County, Zavala Law can help. Contact our dedicated Ventura train accident lawyer today.
Train Accident Statistics: A Closer Look
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there were more than 2,000 train collisions across the United States in 2022. Sadly, California ranked second in the nation with the second-highest rate of accidents, including 172 total highway-rail grade crossing collisions resulting in 42 deaths and 38 injuries.
Common Causes of Train Accidents
- Insufficient Warning at Crossings: Especially in rural areas, many train crossings lack sufficient lift gates and lights. The absence of these crucial warning systems can lead to devastating collisions.
- Train Derailment: A train coming off its tracks can spell disaster not just for those on board but also for nearby drivers and bystanders. From operator errors to faulty tracks, the reasons can vary, but the outcomes are often devastating.
- Collisions with Other Vehicles: Your odds of surviving a collision with a train are 20 times less than if you were in an accident with another vehicle. Insufficiently marked rail crossings and other factors contribute to these grim statistics.
- Premises Liability: Train operators must maintain their stations and trains to be reasonably safe. Hazards like slippery stairs or unmarked live wires can result in serious injuries to paying customers.
- Sudden Stops: An abrupt halt can send standing passengers tumbling, leading to potential injuries from falls. Vehicles or animals on the tracks might require engineers and conductors to make snap decisions, but they still have a duty to execute the stop properly and in a reasonably safe manner.
- Distracted or Drowsy Conductors: Train engineers are not immune to distractions, and given the high stakes involved, they should take extra care to avoid them. Whether it’s a glance at a phone or nodding off due to fatigue, such moments of inattention can result in catastrophic accidents. More than one major train disaster has been attributed to a conductor distracted by texting.
California Laws on Motorists at Train Crossings
California law mandates specific actions for motorists at train crossings, such as stopping at least 15 feet from the nearest rail when a signal indicates an approaching train. Non-compliance could not only result in legal penalties but also place lives at risk. In addition to obligations on motorists to stop and yield, other laws require crossings to have sufficient, operating traffic controls such as railroad crossbuck signs, gates and lights. Malfunctioning or missing safety measures could spell liability in a train accident.
Why Choose Zavala Law for Your Ventura Train Accident Case
Matt Zavala, our firm’s lead attorney, brings a decade of experience in insurance defense, extensive trial and litigation skills, and seasoned mediation expertise to the table. This unique blend of skills and experience enables him to craft winning strategies for his clients, resolving cases efficiently and effectively.
Our Commitment to You
At Zavala Law, we place as much importance on personal service and a positive client experience as we do on achieving successful outcomes. We’re not your run-of-the-mill personal injury law firm; we genuinely care about you and your case.
Contact Zavala Law Today
If you or a loved one has been impacted by a train accident in Ventura County, don’t hesitate to reach out to Zavala Law by calling 805-429-4292 for a free consultation. We’re here to provide the support, guidance, and legal expertise you need to navigate this difficult time.