Franklin Park and Metra police have determined that the death of a woman hit by a Metra train yesterday morning was a “tragic accident.” Officials report that Melrose Park native Florence Perez, 44, was killed after walking too close to the tracks near the Franklin Park station.
Unfortunately, this accident was not unique—statistics show that fatalities involving Metra trains are relatively common, particularly in the suburbs of Chicago. A study by Northwestern University revealed that a pedestrian is killed by a Metra train about once every 10 days, and though some of these are because of pedestrian negligence or carelessness, every tragic death deserves an investigation.
What Causes a Train Accident?
Officials report that yesterday’s accident was the result of the victim walking around lowered crossing gates before she was hit by the train, and that the train’s engineer had sounded its horn in warning. This may rule out the accident as a wrongful death, but in Chicago and its suburbs, train stations are undeniably dangerous places.
A slip and fall on an insufficiently maintained train platform, for example, can result in serious injuries—or worse. Icy stairs and platforms, loose screws and nails, and even insufficient lighting can all cause slips, trips, cuts, falls, fractures, and other accidents. If you’re hurt on or around a public train platform, or you believe a loved one’s Metra or CTA-related injury or death was the result of someone else’s negligence, a wrongful death or accident lawyer in Chicago can investigate and help you hold the right people accountable.
Who Is At Fault for a Train Accident?
Pedestrians on or around train crossings and platforms play a critical role in maintaining their own safety, and you should always be diligent when you’re in a potentially unsafe area. At a train crossing, for example, don’t try to sneak past a lowered or lowering crossing gate. In inclement weather, be mindful of potential snow and ice around stairs and train platforms.
This doesn’t, however, mean that any accident is necessarily the pedestrian’s fault—in fact, quite the opposite may be true. The authorities that maintain a train line are also responsible for keeping it safe for its passengers, and that includes maintaining safe conditions, hiring and training responsible engineers, and ensuring that safety measures like crossing gates are in working condition.
Without the right safety measures and maintenance programs in place, a train platform or crossing can become significantly more dangerous that it should be—and pedestrians are those who pay the price.
If You’ve Been Hurt On a Train Platform
If you’ve been hurt on or around a public train platform or crossing, and you suspect that it was not your fault, contact an accident lawyer in Chicago as soon as possible. At Malman Law, our accident and wrongful death lawyers have helped people like you in seeking justice and holding the negligent accountable.