Thankfully, railway accidents in Scotland are relatively rare, but sadly, when a railway accident occurs there is likely to be casualties who suffer personal injury and, tragically, some may be fatally injured.
Railway incidents include:
- Train collisions
- Train derailments
- Accidents on board trains
- Accidents involving people on the train lines
- Accidents on railway infrastructure such as bridges, viaducts, and at stations
Train derailments can be caused by adverse weather conditions which trigger landslides or create hazards on the railway tracks. While train collisions can be caused by signalling failures and errors, as well as speeding.
Rail networks and duty of care
ScotRail and other UK operators providing trains into and out of Scotland, such as Avanti West Coast, London North Eastern Railway, Cross Country and others, owe their passengers and staff a duty of care to keep them safe while they are onboard trains.
Network Rail is the owner and manager of almost all of the railway lines and infrastructure across the UK. It owns, manages and maintains the railway lines, stations, overhead wires, tunnels, bridges, level crossings and earth works at the sides of the tracks. Effectively, it owes a duty of care to all its customers, including the rail service and freight operators which use the rail network to provide passenger and freight services to the public and other businesses.
Passenger accidents in Scotland
As a passenger on a train, your rail service operator is responsible for keeping you safe. In the event of a accident caused by a faulty train or an error by the train driver, your railway accident compensation claim might be against the rail service operator or the manufacturer of the rolling stock.
However, if a railway accident occurs as a result of a problem with the infrastructure, such as a problem with the railway track or defective signalling, or you suffer an injury while using a station, your claim might be against Network Rail.
Apportioning blame and liability for a railway accident can be a complex process and may well involve more than one defender. Railway accident claims are typically time-consuming and complex, so it is important that you are represented by an experienced personal injury solicitor in this field.
Railway accident statistics
Transport Scotland statistics for 2018 revealed the following:
- 1 train collision
- 5 derailments
- 7 incidences of trains striking objects
- 24 incidences of trains striking animals
- 4 train fires
- 1 bufferstop collision
One member of the public and one member of staff died in a railway accidents in 2018, while 221 injuries occurred in accidents on trains and 495 people were injured in accidents at stations. *
* Scottish Transport Statistics No 39, 2019 Edition
Types of injuries suffered in railway accidents
Many railway accidents result in fairly minor injuries, such as whiplash type injury and bumps and bruises. The more serious accidents such as train collisions and derailments may result in serious, life-changing injuries, such as, brain injury, spinal injury, amputation and serious crush injuries.
Sadly, railway accidents also cause fatal injury.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a railway accident in Scotland, Thompsons Solicitors are here to help.
Talk to Thompsons – Personal injury solicitors in Scotland
We are one of the largest and most successful personal injury law firms in Scotland and have a proud of history helping injured people to receive the justice they deserve.
We work closely with many unions to assist their members following work accidents, and we only ever represent individuals – we never represent insurance companies or big business defenders.
There are many ways to get in contact with our friendly and approachable team and anything you say to us will be in the strictest confidence. You are never under any obligation to go ahead with a claim and we are happy to discuss the whole process with you so you can decide whether working with Thompsons is the right way forward for you.
Call us on 0800 0891 331 or text CLAIM to 78866 to discuss making a railway accident compensation claim. You can also fill in our online claim form and we will call you back.