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Hampton Roads Railroad Crossing Accidents

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Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Hampton Roads Railroad Crossing Accidents

Virginia and North Carolina have thousands of railroad crossings. Many of them are in remote rural areas and are lacking safety features. We also see Hampton Roads railroad crossing accidents.

Cities such as Norfolk and Portsmouth have many urban crossings across railroads where trains shuttle commodities back and forth to the ports. There are also crossings in Newport News, Suffolk, and Williamsburg.

Every year, we see incidents at crossings. They could be narrow escapes in which cars suffer damage from trains or serious incidents like the crash in Valhalla, New York, in which a Metro North train hit an SUV on the tracks killing the SUV driver and five passengers.

An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board into that crash looked at the motives of the woman who stopped on the tracks as well as the design of the crossing.

There are many possible causes for crossing crashes, ranging from negligence of a vehicle or a train driver, to poor crossing design, speeding by a train or equipment malfunction.

Every year, hundreds of people die in crossing accidents. In 2013, there were more than 2,000 railroad crossing accidents that killed 288 people.

Main Causes of Hampton Roads Railroad Crossing Accidents

1 Trying to beat the barriers.

Often when drivers hear lights or alarms sounding at crossings they will try to get across before a train. If you do this you are taking your life in your hands.

2 Drowsiness or inattention

We have seen instances in which truck drivers have failed to heed warnings due to drowsiness and crashed into trains at grade crossings.

3 Malfunctioning crossings

If a crossing has lights and barriers and they fail to work properly, you could end up being involved in a grade crossing accident.

4 Failure to maintain a crossing

We have heard about cases in which cars have become trapped in rails or the design of a crossing has been poor. A failure to cut down vegetation around a crossing can leave a railroad liable for wrecks at a crossing

5 Failure of the Train Operator to Warn of the Train’s Approach

If the engineer fails to sound a horn when approaching a crossing, a railroad could be held liable for a crash.

There are many factors that lead to grade crossing accidents. Always exercise care and never stop on tracks. If you or a loved one has been hit by a train, call our Hampton Roads railroad accident team at (757) 455-0077.

John Cooper

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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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