Recent Train Accidents in South Florida
Over the last month, cameras at railroad crossings have shown motorists and pedestrians continuing to drive and walk through railroad crossings that were lowering or already lowered. These sometimes split-second decisions in South Florida have led to deadly crashes. Recently, two siblings were killed when the brother drove around railroad crossing gates. At the time of the accident, the bells were ringing and the lights were flashing. The vehicle was subsequently hit by a high-speed train, dragged to the Broward County line, and both the driver and passenger died as a result. This fatal crash occurred near 214th Street and East Dixie Highway in Aventura. Another crash occurred in Miami on January 13 of this year, though the driver and passengers were injured and transported to the hospital with injuries. The collision involved a truck and a Brightline train.
How to Avoid Accidents
The reasons behind these decisions may include drivers lacking the patience to wait until the crossing is safe to drive through; the high amount of traffic in some areas leads drivers to make unsafe decisions, or perhaps the crossings do not have enough safety precautions to limit drivers speeding through these areas. In some cases, pedestrian accidents are found to be related to drugs and alcohol or suicide attempts. Trains, such as the Brightline train involved in the fatal crash in Aventura, travel up to speeds of 79 mph. The train would need at least 1,500 feet or one-quarter of a mile to stop.
In South Florida, this is not the first accident that a Brightline train was involved in. The siblings are believed to be the 51st and 52nd deaths attributed to an accident involving Brightlight trains and pedestrians or motorists since the company began operating in the region in 2018. These deaths are part of a continuing trend that reveals Brightline has the worst fatality rate among the country’s approximately 800 railroads. An analysis from the AP shows that the Brightline trains are involved in a collision with a pedestrian or vehicle at approximately every 33,000 miles. Central Florida’s SunRail is involved with a collision with a pedestrian or vehicle at approximately every 100,000 and is the second to Brightline in the average number of collisions based on federal data. Thus far, no deaths have been found to be caused by Brightline operations, staff, or equipment.
These trains often run through densely populated communities, such as Miami. Currently, Brightline is working on a $4 billion expansion from South Florida to Central Florida, with the goal of taking more drivers off the road by providing a different mode of transportation. Often, train accidents result in catastrophic injuries or death. Lawsuits resulting from a train accident operate in a similar way as other personal injury claims. If a train company is responsible for injuries and/or death, the company can be held liable for damages. Those who have been injured in motorist and pedestrian accidents involving high-speed trains should contact an experienced attorney about the accident. If you or someone has lost a loved one due to an accident that involved a high-speed train, an attorney can help you understand what legal steps may be taken, including whether or not you may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the train company.
Protect Your Rights
Clayton Trial Lawyers can protect your rights and make sure valuable evidence is not destroyed. Often, insurance companies want to take statements immediately after an accident; therefore, it is important that you have received legal advice before providing such a statement. Your attorney can advise you on issues ranging from how to make sure you are fully compensated for your vehicle to how to make sure you are getting the best medical treatment available. Contact us today.