Mudslides Lead to Commuter Train Derailment in NoCal

A commuter train derailed in Northern California on Monday, leading to nine injuries when one of the cars tumbled into a creek. Authorities believe that the derailment was caused by mudslides after heavy rains. The mudslide swept a tree onto the tracks, causing a car on the Altamont Corridor Express train to derail, according to a spokesman for the Union Pacific Railroad. Four of the victims had serious injuries while five others suffered minor injuries.

Law enforcement officials expressed surprise that the injuries were not more extensive and were very grateful that no one was killed in the accident or during rescue attempts. The crash occurred near Niles Canyon Road in Sunol, a town about 45 miles from San Francisco. At least one car wound up partially submerged, and rescue efforts were hampered by the creek’s strong currents. A second car derailed but remained upright.

A total of 214 passengers were on board the train at the time of the accident.

Who Is Responsible for Train Accidents?

Unlike a crash between passenger vehicles in which it is usually obvious that one driver is at fault, a train accident can be caused by a number of factors, each carrying its own degree of liability for a different party. For example, the train’s conductor is required to operate the train in a safe manner; if he or she fails to do so, catastrophe can result. A deadly crash in 1991 involving a drunk subway train driver offers an example of the serious effects that can result when a train conductor does not take his or her job seriously.

However, there can also be other types of liability involved in a train crash. The company or the local authorities may be responsible for maintaining certain sections of track and ensuring that they are safe. Failure to do so may lead to a serious accident and liability for the responsible party. Additionally, train companies are responsible for training their employees in handling emergency situations and evacuating passengers safely. Failure to provide for passenger safety could also lead to liability in the case of an accident.

If you have been injured in an accident involve a train or other public conveyance, contact the attorneys at Demas Law Group, P.C., today for help. We can evaluate your case and advise you on the best way to recover compensation for your injuries.