Railroad crossings can be dangerous, especially if there are inadequate or defective warning devices. Train versus motor vehicle collisions are usually catastrophic or fatal. More often than not, the driver of the motor vehicle is generally considered the at fault party because trains cannot stop or turn like a vehicle can. However, like most things, there may be exceptions. 

Railroad Crossing Sign

Train track crossing collisions are complex and generally involve state and federal issues. Railroad crossing accidents require considerable investigation to determine what caused the collision and who may be liable. An expert is often needed at the onset of the investigation. There may be several responsible parties, including the operator of the car or the train, the railroad track engineer, the warning gate manufacturer, the company that tests the warning equipment, or even the city. 

Here are some of the instances in which a party other than the driver of the vehicle may be at fault: 

  • Inadequate, broken, defective, or malfunctioning crossing gate arms, lights, or bells.
  • Railroad crossings that are unmarked/unprotected
  • Flawed/unsafe design of the railroad tracks or trains
  • Obstructed views caused by vegetation 
  • Failure to maintain the train track and railroad crossings
  • Train operator's failure to signal with headlight, horn, whistle, or other warning device
  • Operating the train at an excessive speed 

Railroad Crossing Gate and Lights


If you or a loved one has been injured in a train versus motor vehicle collision, and you believe someone else may be at fault, contact Castle Law Office of Kansas City for a free consultation. 

Jason C. Amerine
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President and Owner, Castle Law Office of Kansas City
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