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The Trouble with Brightline Trains in South Florida

In so many ways, getting hit by a train is worse than getting hit by a car.  Whereas it is easy to find billboards and TV commercials encouraging people who have been injured in car accidents to contact a personal injury lawyer, one rarely finds ads targeting people who were hit by trains, because most people hit by trains do not live to file a lawsuit.  A collision between a car and a pedestrian is bad news for the pedestrian, to be sure, but even if you are in a car when a train hits you, even the fanciest car offers you little protection.  South Florida is leaps and bounds beyond the rest of the country when it comes to commuter rain-related fatalities, and two news stories from this fall serve to highlight the trend.  If someone close to you has been struck by a train, contact a South Florida wrongful death attorney.

Brightline Train vs. Pedestrian

At the beginning of the morning rush hour on November 13, a Brightline train struck a pedestrian on the Florida East Coast railway tracks in Deerfield Beach.  The impact sent the pedestrian flying, and he landed on Dixie Highway near the railroad crossing at Southwest 15th Street, where several cars hit him.  Although motorists stopped to offer assistance, the victim was pronounced dead at the scene when police arrived.  News reports did not release the identity of the pedestrian.

Brightline Train vs. Maserati

On September 12, 2019, a Maserati sped around the arms of a railroad crossing in Oakland Park, attempting to outpace a freight train traveling southbound on the tracks.  The driver apparently did not notice the Brightline train on the northbound track; this train struck the car, crushing it and causing a fire.  The driver of the Maserati was pronounced dead at the scene, and the conductor of the train was treated at the hospital for minor injuries.

The Legal Issues

Commuter train accidents in South Florida are a major problem.  Despite Brightline’s attempts to reinvent itself by changing the company’s name to Virgin Trains USA, commuter trains remain a hazard to pedestrians and motorists alike in South Florida to a much greater extent than in any other metropolitan area in the United States.  The families of people killed after being struck by trains may be entitled to damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.  If the conductor of the train could have prevented the accident but did not, it makes sense to name the train company as a defendant.  If the accident happened because of a malfunction of the railroad crossing arms or signals or because the crossing was designed in such a way that it does not effectively keep pedestrians and cars off the tracks, then it may be possible to file a premises liability lawsuit against the city or county.

Contact Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather Injury Lawyers About Wrongful Death Cases

Wrongful death accident attorneys offer hope to families financially devastated by the accidental death of a family member.  Contact Palm Beach Gardens wrongful death attorneys at Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather Injury Lawyers for a consultation.

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