In the early hours of Tuesday, October 24, Uber driver Hugh James found himself in a life or death situation. While trying to cross in his Honda Accord over the railroad tracks near the Bethpage, Long Island Station, his car suddenly became stuck. With the help of a stranger, he tried to move his car off the tracks, but failed to do so before the train arrived. James was able to escape safely, but his Honda Accord was hit by the train. Thankfully, there were not fatalities or injuries, only a smashed Honda. However, James received a summons for obstructing a rail grade crossing. Why is James at fault, if he was the one who was in the dangerous position?
Railroad Crossing Rules
Drivers are not allowed to cross rail tracks until railroad personnel waves them through. In this case, James may not have seen or been aware of the coming train, but he attempted to cross the tracks without adequate approval. Trains can be charged with obstructing a rail grade crossing as well. Although trains have the right of way, trains cannot be at a full stop and blocking a road for more than 10 minutes. If they do so, they too can be summoned for obstructing a rail grade crossing.
Although these rules seem complicated, they are crucial for protecting the health and safety of commuters and drivers. Train and car collisions are one of the deadliest types of collisions, potentially causing serious and sometimes fatal injuries. These injuries come with expensive medical costs, along with auto repair costs, and even some costs that are not obvious at first. These costs can include lost wages, pain and suffering, and daily transportation costs for doctor visits. These costs can add up, quickly burying those injured in bills and debt. Luckily, there is a way for victims to minimize their losses and focus entirely on recovering.
If you have been involved in a train and car crash, contact the experienced lawyers at MyLegalNetwork.com. They will review your case and determine who is responsible for the collision. For example, if a car crashes into a stopped train, but if the train has been stopped for more than ten minutes (and therefore obstructing a rail grade crossing), the train could be held liable. These lawsuits are complex and require diligent attention, so make sure to hire knowledgeable and helpful personal injury attorneys. Personal injury attorneys can earn you compensation, even if you are a passenger on the train that was hit. Additionally, railway employees may be eligible for compensation under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), a rule that protects employees. Do not wait and allow medical bills to accumulate. Call the personal injury attorneys at MyLegalNetwork.com today at (718)364-4000 to receive the compensation you deserve.