by Jeffrey J. Kroll

On June 27, 2022, the unthinkable occurred. An Amtrak train traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago derailed in Missouri. Sadly, four people have died. Over 150 people were transported from the scene to various hospitals for treatment of injuries that range from minor to serious. The train crashed into a dump truck, and several of the train’s cars derailed at a rural crossing near a gravel road.

Tragically, this isn’t the first or the last of this type of accident to occur. For the past three years, officials have been pushing for safety upgrades at the railroad crossing in Missouri where the accident took place. None had been made. The crossing is in a rural area near Mendon in western Missouri and has no lights or other signals to warn of an approaching train. ‘Passive’ crossings, like the one near Mendon, make up about half of all crossings in the U.S. There are 130,000 passive crossings nationwide and 3,500 in Missouri.

Since 1990, there have been over 54,539 derailments accounting for 5,547 injuries, equating to roughly 1,704 derailments and 174 injuries per year. In comparison over the last decade, Amtrak has averaged 24 derailments annually, according to data reported to the Federal Railroad Administration. What causes this frequency? Broken rails and welds are responsible for more than half of all track-related derailments. The second most common cause of train derailments is equipment failure in a train or car. These issues are unacceptable in today’s transportation industry. At Kaveny + Kroll, they are unacceptable to us.

A train or railway accident not only puts your life on hold by missing work while treating your injuries and rehabilitation, but it can also impact your entire family. All too often, we at Kaveny + Kroll have seen this ripple effect. Despite what you may think, assistance from an attorney can help get your life back.

If you or someone you love was injured or killed because of an Amtrak or Meta train accident or derailment, please consult the attorneys at Kaveny + Kroll by calling us at 312-761-5585. Visit our transportation page for more information. Our firm has the resources and experience with these tragic train accidents to fight for you and your family.