A recent article by CBS local in the Dallas Fort Worth area draws attention to a lawsuit that has already been waiting years for resolution. The families who filed are still desperately hoping that the court system provides them the justice they deserve. In 2012 in Midland, Texas, a flatbed truck carrying over a dozen people was struck by a Union Pacific freight train, resulting in four deaths and sixteen injuries. The survivors have been seeking closure ever since that terrible day, but have been stymied by the system at every turn.
The National Transportation Safety Board had initial jurisdiction over the accident, and the families dutifully testified about what they saw and heard that terrible day. Even so, it took over a year for the NTSB to release their findings, which attempted to absolve the train company of responsibility, claiming the vehicles passed onto the tracks after the warning lights were already flashing.
This could have been the end of it, if not for additional facts coming to light that made it clear the case was not as simple as the NTSB tried to make it seem. Union Pacific had been paid with taxpayer dollars to install signal gates at the crossing, but had not done so. If those gates had been in place, there would have been no need for the NTSB to attempt to assign blame to the victims, because the accident would never have occurred.
Like so many others, the survivors could have simply accepted the initial government ruling, and if they had Union Pacific’s failure to install the safety gates would have never come to light. If you or someone you love has been involved in such an incident, make sure you:
- Insist that all information about the accident be made public, even if it requires a freedom of information request.
- Don’t settle for the company’s initial offer. They are hoping you sign away your rights before you are aware of the level of negligence.
- Don’t settle for an initial report on negligence. There are many reasons investigators might be wrong, including faulty knowledge of the situation as it occurred.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, you will soon discover that the powers that be are often not on your side. If you fear you are being railroaded, contact a personal injury attorney who has experience protecting the rights of victims.