We’ve all heard stories or read reports about train crashes. Typically, these accidents are either caused by an object such as a car on the tracks or a train derailment. As a passenger of a vehicle, it should be relatively easy to avoid being hit by a train; just don’t get caught sitting on the tracks. However, as a passenger of a train, there is little we can do about derailments. If you’re like thousands of other Americans, you may rely on train transportation to get to work every day. And if the threat of a derailment is looming in your mind, it may make for a long commute.

Unlike in the movies, train derailments are not usually the result of speed. Maintenance issues like broken wheels, bearing failures and axle defects account for a great many trained derailments. However, broken rail and weld issues top of the list of causes of main line derailments at 15.3 percent or more than double the percentage of the number two cause: track geometry.

Unfortunately, as maintenance is the major cause to main line train derailments, passenger safety depends heavily on rail company’s dedication to the safety and maintenance of their tracks. Of course, with thousands of miles of laid railway, keeping every inch in top working condition may be difficult but it should be a priority for rail lines.

Each year, hundreds of passengers are injured or killed in train accidents. If maintenance or a rail defect is to blame, injured individuals and their loved ones may be entitled to compensation. Working with an experienced attorney can help families recover from these disasters and receive the compensation they deserve.