Train travel is a relatively popular form of transportation across California, including here in the Bay Area. Whether using light rail to commute to and from work or more traditional trains to travel throughout the state, trains can be a good alternative to the congestion of automobile travel.
Unfortunately, when train accidents occur, they can be devastating. A single train accident often results in more injuries (and a higher likelihood of fatalities) than a comparable car accident. Earlier this week, Californians were given a grim reminder of the dangers trains sometimes encounter.
On Monday evening, a commuter train in Northern California derailed in a location about 45 miles east of San Francisco, sending its lead car into a creek. Of the 214 passengers aboard the Altamont Corridor Express train, nine suffered injuries.
According to news reports, the derailment occurred when the train struck a tree that was on the tracks. A mudslide appears to be what left the tree there in the first place.
Perhaps the most harrowing aspect of this accident was that the train's lead car plunged into Alameda Creek. Emergency responders reportedly "battled currents throughout the night to pull people from the car."
As far as train accidents go, the derailment earlier this week was a relatively minor incident. It could have been far worse. But even when train accidents are minor, injured passengers can be left with expensive medical bills and long periods of recovery, both of which have financial consequences. In such cases, they may wish to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney about their rights and legal options.