Bright Line Accident Attorney
This past year brought a much-anticipated and huge advancement in transportation to South Florida. All Aboard Florida, part of Florida East Coast Industries, developed the Brightline, with stations in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. This privately owned, operated and maintained passenger rail system is providing a whole new way for South Florida locals to travel throughout this part of the state — with transportation options to Orlando arriving in late 2020 or early 2021.
But as with any transportation system, there are bound to be accidents. Trains are nothing new to South Florida — the Tri-Rail is a frequently used method of public transportation for locals, whether for work or play. But the Brightline runs differently than those slower trains. What makes it so appealing to some – its speed – has become a huge detriment to others.
Some have become victim to their poor miscalculations, thinking they can outrun the train and cross the tracks before it arrives, only to be met with their demise. There have been 15 pedestrian deaths on the Brightline tracks since it began doing test runs back in the summer of 2017, and there have been at least ten serious injuries, most of these were passengers inside their car when the crash occurred.
The Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys at Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato, a personal injury law firm in Fort Lauderdale, can be of the utmost help if you have been involved in a Brightline accident in South Florida. Our expert team has years of experience successfully bringing justice to personal injury cases that involve both automobile accidents and pedestrian accidents. Our personal injury attorneys will always fight to win every case and to maximize every claim, and we want to be able to do this for you.
We also want to be able to provide South Florida residents with the right safety measures to take and hazards to watch out for to ensure you do not become another statistic. Our South Florida law firm is not only here to represent you in the event of a Brightline accident, whether for injuries or wrongful death, but we also want to be a resource for safety tips to help keep South Florida residents knowledgeable and aware of their surroundings.
Lawsuit For Train Accidents
It’s important for all motorists and pedestrians to approach the railroad crossings with caution, regardless of whether there is a train coming or not. Brightline has partnered with the nationwide non-profit organization, Operation Lifesaver, which promotes overall awareness of railroad safety. Brightline has very much acknowledged the safety hazards that can occur around railroad tracks and trains, and wants to do everything they can to empower pedestrians, motorists and cyclists to make safe choices. Bright representatives are even available to provide safety training or an Operation Lifesaver presentation to groups who may be interested in learning more about the program and how it’s helping to spread awareness.
When approaching a railroad crossing, it’s important to follow these safety precautions:
Trains move a lot faster, and are a lot closer to you, than they appear. Once those train track bells start ringing and you see the train coming from afar, it may seem like there is enough time for you cross the track, but do not do it. Due to how large the trains are, they look like they are a lot further away and moving much more slowly than they are in reality. It’s also important to note that in the event of an emergency, it may take the train up to one mile before it can make a complete stop.
Keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings. When you’re on the Brightline station platform waiting for a train to arrive, always stay behind the yellow line. When crossing the tracks, only cross where you see the designated crossing sign, and always make sure to look both ways before making any moves. It is hard to assess whether the tracks are having technological difficulties or the bells and crossings are not working properly.
Keep your ears open too. Listening to your surroundings is just as important as seeing them. Trains can be very quiet — there may not always be a horn blown and the bells may not always ring when the train is coming — so it’s crucial to stay alert when approaching the tracks. Never wear headphones or engage in any kind of distracting activity that could divert your attention.
If you see a moving train, do not try and “beat it” by running across; wait until it has safely passed and you are in the clear. It’s also highly recommended not to walk or bike ride closely along the tracks, and never trespass on the tracks either — it is against the law!
Brightline considers safety a top priority, and is making their commitment well known, releasing a statement saying that safety is the main reason why they have “worked closely with the FRA (Federal Railroad Administration), FDOT, and all local jurisdictions along the railway corridor on designing, engineering, constructing and operating the system.” Brightline is committed to continue working with these organizations to “increase funding for more education and awareness” as well.
The state of Florida is making safety its top priority as well, with state analysts have worked together to create an outline of ideas for Florida lawmakers to consider in an effort to promote further safety regulations, including, ideas such as the Florida Department of Transportation administering a committee specific to safety issues, reviewing the fencing requirements along railroad corridors and guidelines for sealed corridors, granting greater authority to railroad security officials to address trespassing along the tracks and establish harsher penalties for trespassing, considering the use of the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Health to determine whether statewide suicide-prevention activities could be used to greater effect, and review all funding for rail safety at both state and local levels.