According to the Los Angeles Times, the Metro Blue Line has earned a dubious distinction. It is reportedly on pace to have more deaths this year than any other in its two-decade history, as well as ranking as one of California’s deadliest rail transit routes. The Metro Blue line extends from Long Beach to the 7th Street Metro Center in downtown Los Angeles. In its first few years of existence, it averaged a little over 50 accidents per year, and in 1999, it had the most fatalities of any other route in California with 10 deaths and 50 accidents involved collisions with other motor vehicles at railroad crossings.
If you or a loved on has been injured in a railroad accident, seek the advice of a top Stockton accident attorney right away in order to explore your options and ensure you obtain the compensation you deserve. So far this year the blue line has seen six fatalities and twenty-two accidents.
As a result of the number of collisions, officials implemented several different safety measures including photo enforcement at crossing to discourage drivers from racing through intersections in an effort to beat oncoming trains. However, this year the number of accidents has spiked with a high number of suicides, which create additional concerns.
Additionally, families of those killed and injured victims point to safety concerns involving maintenance of the light rail system and dangers along its tracks. Safety advocates are calling for immediate action to decrease the likelihood of accidents.
As stated by the father of a boy killed along the tracks “This is what I call negligence,” ..”How many more deaths have to occur in order for somebody to do something about it?”
Any time a railway accident occurs, a number of factors may be at play. In some instances, a motor vehicle or individual ignores safety alerts such as the gates lowering, flashing lights and sounds. However, other times these warning signals are absent either as the result of a defect, failure to maintain the railway properly or other error such as train engineers failing to slow down to avoid accidents or sounding their horn to warn any vehicles or pedestrians in their path.
From a legal standpoint, the blue line or any other rail system may be found negligent if they breach their “duty of reasonable care” to their passengers or others and this breach causes a foreseeable harm. For example, while trains generally have right of way, railroads must exercise care when their lines cross roads. Railroads meet this requirement by erecting crossing barriers, posting signs or guards, and maintaining any protective or warning devices. Persons killed or injured by a train at a crossing may claim that the railroad was negligent in exercising this care.
Where the blue line or any other rail way has been found negligent, they may be required to pay compensation for injuries caused or other damages in a wrongful death case.
For more information about railroad negligence or if you or a loved one has been injured in a railroad accident, please contact a top Stockton personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Frederick J. Sette for an immediate consultation.