Safety Hazards for People With Disabilities

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The world is a dangerous place. Commonplace actions like crossing the street or driving home from work put your health and safety at risk. You never know when another car might blow through a stop sign, or when a driver might be too busy checking his text messages to notice you in the crosswalk.

For an individual with a disability, the world can be even more dangerous, as evidenced by a story out of Chicago. On November 7th, 2017, a blind woman was struck and killed by a train while waiting at a stop. According to the conductor, she was standing too close to the edge of the platform.

Though the conductor might be telling the truth regarding what happened, the situation is not as simple as that. Recognizing that individuals with disabilities have the right to safe environments, it is reasonable to expect that some type of barrier or demarcation should be in place to prevent an incident like this from occurring. Years ago, auditory cues were added to traffic lights to signal when it was safe for a blind pedestrian to cross the street. There is no good reason why mass transit couldn’t develop and deploy a similar system to aid a person with a visual impairment in safely utilizing these services. A person is dead because no suitable program was in place to make sure that a person with a disability was safe.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a train accident, or any other type of accident, retaining an experienced attorney is important. This is especially true if there are circumstances that could have prevented the accident, or if an accommodation of a disability could have made the situation safe. Please, discuss your case with a qualified lawyer to determine your next step in getting justice.