Crossing Guard Or Warning Negligence
All crossings along public roadways are maintained by the railroad. That
means the portion of the public between tracks and the cross ties on each
side of the tracks is considered the railroad’s responsibility.
Although there’s no specific legal definition of what constitutes
obstructions at the sides of crossings, trackside vegetation, improvements
and other visual distractions cannot interfere with the crew’s ability
to run the train – or the public’s ability to see one coming.
Digging a ditch, repairing a portion of track, clearing brush, constructing
new siding –even if by an agent of the railroad — may be considered
a liability over which the railroad maintained responsibility. Any and
all work done on a line must be completed with safety of motorists and
the general public in mind.
The railroad also has a responsibility to maintain overpasses, underpasses
and low clearance areas of other vehicles. So, in cases where a sharp
hump exists in the crossing that can affect a trucker, signage at the
crossing is required.
As for crossing lights and gates, it is typically a state agency that oversees
train guards, but they’re typically then overseen by federal regulations.
If federal funds are at all used in the installation of the devices, the
railroads are then compelled to follow exact federal specifications. And
if there is an accident, those regulation will be front-and-center. And
even if the crossing protection was working properly, the railroad has
a duty to maintain the gates.
And even in the case of crossing across private land, they are still deemed
to be public crossings. So even though gates are not always required,
the railroad often still has a liability should there be an accident.
And should another individual work on the track without railroad supervision
so that it interferes with safety, the railroad is still liable.
The causes of failure and the types of railroad negligence vary. Having
an attorney with a focus in railroad litigation is critical in providing
you the opportunity to get the financial compensation you deserve. The
Doan Law Firm can assist in determining damages owed you for a railroad
accident. The Doan Law Firm knows that train accidents don’t wait
for daylight hours to happen. So we’re available to answer your
phone call any time, day or night, at