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Los Angeles Railroad Accidents and Crossing Safety

Metrolink at LA stationLos Angeles railroad accident attorneys from Ellis Law have learned that the Oxnard crossing where a recent Metrolink accident occurred is one of the most dangerous railroad crossings in all of California. The National Transportation Safety Board is sending investigators to look into lighting and visibility at the crossing, where several collisions and deaths have occurred in recent years. The most recent incident, which occurred on February 24, resulted in 29 injuries and the death of the train engineer.

According to data from the Federal Railroad Administration, the crossing had one collision in 2009, two collisions in 2010, and another collision in 2014, which resulted in the death of two people. In the 2009-2013 period, the crossing had more collisions that any other crossing site in all of Ventura County and is one of the most hazardous in the state of California.

At Ellis Law, our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers are available to represent any parties who were injured during the February Metrolink crash or any other train crossing incidents in the southern California area. Liability issues in connection to such crashes can be complex and a plaintiff who decides to sue over injuries will need the experience and knowledge of a skilled attorney in order to be successful in court.

LA railroad attorneys talk about liability issues

The liability issues involved in railroad accidents can be quite complex and attorneys need to have an in-depth understanding of this issue to represent their clients successfully.

For instance, many questions have been raised about the behavior of the truck driver, Jose Alejandro Sanchez-Ramirez, who crashed into the train in February. Some have questioned whether his decision to drive directly onto the railroad tracks rather than the road parallel to the tracks may have been the result of some form of distracted driving, from talking on the cell phone. Police also have concerns about why he fled the scene of the accident.

Not only Sanchez- Ramirez, but also his employer, may be held liable in a court of law if it turns out that reckless actions on his part led directly to the accident. His employers, Harvest Management LLC, would be liable for any such actions under the principle of vicarious liability.

However, it also appears that the safety of the crossing itself may also have played a role in this and other accidents. A poorly maintained station, including a station with visibility and lighting problems (which the Oxnard station may have had) could have contributed directly to the occurrence of the accident. Investigations are ongoing, but both the town responsible for the station’s upkeep and Metrolink itself may bear some responsibility in this case.

Ellis Injury Law – legal advocates you can count on

At Ellis Law we understand the complexities of railway law and can represent you successfully in a lawsuit designed to gain the compensation you deserve for any injuries or losses you have incurred as the result of this or other Metrolink accidents. Federal law regarding railway liability is more intricate than one might first imagine, but we know how to work within existing statutes to make sure that liable parties are brought to justice.

If you are in the Los Angeles area and have been affected by this or similar collisions, please contact our offices at 1-800-INJURED to set up a free case review and to learn about all of your legal options.

  1. LA Times, Metrolink crash: Oxnard crossing most hazardous in Ventura County http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-metrolink-train-collision-crossing-danger-20150224-story.html
  2. LA Times, Metrolink crash: NTSB to examine lighting, visibility at grade-crossing http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-metrolink-crash-ntsb-crossing-20150225-story.html