Oklahoma plans to upgrade a number of railroad crossings in an attempt to reduce the number of railroad accidents in the state. The state will spend $100 million to improve 300 railroad crossings throughout Oklahoma over the next 3 years. During 2014, a total of 12 victims were killed and 21 victims were injured in railroad accidents in Oklahoma. Additionally, there were a total of 45 accidents at railroad crossings during 2014 in Oklahoma.
Approximately half of the railroad accidents in 2014 were at railroad crossings that were not equipped with flashing lights or mechanical arms. At least one railway crossing in Oklahoma City will be upgraded as part of the project, though it will not be one of the first 10 railway crossings upgraded. According to officials, railroad crossing upgrade locations are selected based on different factors, including average daily traffic counts at roads and railroad tracks; the type of condition of existing warning devices; and accident data.
Train and railroad crossing safety is of special importance because train accident injuries can be serious and, in some circumstances, catastrophic. The dangers of an unguarded railroad crossing, for instance, can be serious. Because of the serious injuries an unexpected train accident can cause, different legal resources, depending on the circumstances, are available to protect victims. Victims may suffer unexpected physical, emotional and financial damages following a train accident. Victims may suffer damages including medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering damages to begin with. Additional damages, such as future medical care, lost earning capacity and loss of enjoyment of life, as well as others, may continue into the future.
Because of the life-altering injuries and damages victims may suffer in a train accident, a number of legal options may be available to assist them. It is important for train accident victims to be familiar with their rights following a train accident and what remedies might be available to help them with the sometimes long process of recovery.
Source: Times Record, "Oklahoma To Upgrade 300 Railroad Crossings," Randy Ellis, Oct. 5, 2015