Train accidents account for most of the injuries people suffer every year. Though there has been a significant decrease in recent years, however, it is sad to know that a significant number of people still experience train accidents in Florida. This year alone, over 350 fatalities have been recorded as a result of train accidents.
No doubt, it is the civic responsibility of any railroad company to ensure that trains operate safely. Basically, they must see to the good upkeep of both the trains and their tracks. They are required to do everything in their ability to ensure that these accidents are reduced to the barest minimum by making train operators understand the nature of their job and ensuring that crossings are well-marked without any form of obstructions.
Recently, a jury verdict worth $10.7 million was affirmed by a court in a wrongful death case owing to the failure of a railroad company to take the necessary precautions to prevent a train accident from occurring. The incident occurred when the plaintiff’s husband was traveling with a friend in a car. They were driving when they came across a set of railroad tracks and unknowingly collided with an oncoming train.
The accident caused the car to summersault. But the plaintiff’s husband who was the driver of the vehicle couldn’t make it due to the numerous injuries he sustained in the accident. However, the passenger managed to survive despite sustaining some serious injuries.
According to the passenger, neither he nor the driver saw or heard the oncoming train not until he heard the driver scream “train!” that was when he knew a train was approaching. But the passenger explained that there was nothing the plaintiff’s husband could do at that point to save the situation as the train was directly on the tracks.
With the help of a Florida injury attorney, the plaintiff was able to sue the railroad company and file a wrongful death lawsuit, using the following evidence to support her claim:
- That only a single black-and-white sign was used to mark the railroad crossing;
- The difficulty of a motorist to clearly see down the track from both directions due to an overgrown vegetation around the crossing;
- The failure of the train operator to sound the horn while the train was approaching the intersection.
A verdict was passed in favor of the plaintiff for $14.8 million by the jury upon hearing the evidence presented by the Florida injury attorney. A total sum of about $10.4 million was fixed as the final damages after the court ordered a 35 percent reduction on the award. This was because it was determined that the plaintiff’s husband was 35 percent wrong. However, the railroad company went to a higher court to appeal the verdict but got rejected.