May 18, 2015- Henrico, VA
Two vehicles were reportedly involved in an accident on the train tracks near Nine Mile Road and Hanover on Monday afternoon.
According to NBC12, injuries may have resulted from the collision and Norfolk Southern Railway has been asked to stop all trains on the tracks. To date, an investigation into the cause of the accident is ongoing.
In the Commonwealth, there are no applicable damage-caps in most personal injury lawsuits. This means that economic and non-economic damages available to accident victims are not limited by state law.
In this case, liability may be assigned to more than just the drivers of the vehicles involved. While the circumstances of the accident are unclear, it did take place on train tracks, which raises the possibility that other parties may be responsible for damages.
There are more than 250,000 highway-rail grade crossings throughout the country, and the Norfolk Southern Railway operates over 22,000 route miles in 22 eastern states and the District of Columbia.
Railways who own a particular track line do not solely own of the narrow strip of land on which the track sits. That railway also owns the right-of-way – a width of land on either side of the track – and is responsible for a number of duties that can often affect the overall safety of railroad crossing.
This means that said railway must ensure proper installation and maintenance of lights and gates at appropriate crossings; must remove obstructing vegetation and trees so that approaching motorists may have a clear line of sight at crossings; and must properly maintain the railroad tracks in general.
Additionally, the location of a railroad vehicle crossing may mean that the applicable county or local municipality responsible for railroad design, construction or maintenance.
However, the decisions made by the drivers involved in an accident on railroad tracks may affect liability. Drivers who attempt to drive around crossing gates, believing that sufficient time is available to cross the tracks before a train or another vehicle arrives, may be barred from recovering damages under the “contributory fault” or “contributory negligence” rule.
Under this rule, Virginians can only receive personal injury compensation related to an accident if the other parties are found to be 100 percent at fault.
If you have been injured as a result of a car accident, do not be intimidated by the “contributory fault” or “contributory negligence” rule. The experienced personal injury attorneys at ReidGoodwin are here to advise you whether this rule will play a role in your case, and if so, how. Contact ReidGoodwin today to schedule your free legal consultation.