Thousands of people make use of rail transportation every day to commute to and from the workplace, amenities, schools, universities and sporting facilities. Unfortunately, many incidents occur during these times, resulting in serious and often fatal injuries.
When dealing with rail accidents, legal action may be possible against one of the following two institutions for compensation as a result of the incident:
- The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) – which is responsible for the operation of all passenger trains
- Transnet – which is responsible for the operation of all goods trains
The majority of passenger injuries sustained in train accidents occur as a direct result of:
- Poor maintenance of carriages and infrastructure
- Train operator or controller error
- Doors that are open while the train is moving
- Overcrowding of passengers in the train
- Lack of crowd control
Level crossings, where the paths of pedestrians, motorists, motorcyclists and cyclists meet rail traffic provide the potential for catastrophic injury.
Often, a failure on the part of road users and pedestrians to follow safety precautions at these crossings is a cause of devastating injuries and loss of life. However, negligence on the part of the authorities responsible for ensuring the proper provision of lighting, signage and barriers and responsible for ensuring the proper maintenance of these safety features as well as the train operators and controllers in their employ can lead to claims in respect of level crossing accidents.
It is important to note that strict time limits apply when filing a claim against either PRASA or Transnet. To be absolutely safe, it is advisable to institute a claim within 3 years from the date of incident.
Talk to a Train Accident specialist advisor today