How Many Toxic Train Derailments Were in 2023?

How Many Toxic Train Derailments Were in 2023?

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How Many Toxic Train Derailments Were in 2023?

The Ohio train derailment in February 2023 raised many questions about railway safety and maintenance, the responsibility of private and government entities, and the dangers of transporting toxic materials.

If you're curious about how many toxic train derailments were in 2023, read on. If you or a loved one were impacted by a recent train disaster, you can also contact Morgan & Morgan for a free case evaluation to learn more about your legal options. The support of an experienced and qualified lawyer may be necessary if you or a loved one are dealing with damage to your property or bodily injury because of a toxic train derailment.

What Happens in Train Accidents

Train accidents can leave a wake of destruction behind them, and many people may have significant property damage or bodily injury because of a preventable train accident. Despite the fact that trains have been a common mode of transportation and moving freight for many years, there is still the possibility for a significant train derailment to cause damage and injury or even death. 

When this happens, an appropriate investigation into the cause of the accident may reveal more about whether or not multiple parties are responsible for the accident and the injuries. For example, suppose a train carrying toxic materials derails and causes devastation to the surrounding area. If the train or its contents were not properly monitored and maintained for the duration of the entire trip, individuals responsible for that process could be held accountable for the spilling of these contents in a court of law. Additionally, those responsible for track maintenance may also be held liable for the train derailment.

It is often very challenging to gather evidence after train accidents and to fully understand exactly what happened, but this is why it is so vital to identify a personal injury lawyer who has the right experience in this field and who will do everything possible to gather evidence to learn more about why you were hurt or damaged in this accident. 

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

  • What Happened in the Ohio Train Derailment?

    On February 3, 2023, a train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in eastern Ohio, igniting a fire that covered the town of East Palestine in smoke. To avoid an explosion, the authorities carved out an evacuation zone and carried out a controlled burn and release of toxic fumes to neutralize burning cargo inside some of the train cars.

    Residents feared for their health as concerns mounted about the effect the derailment and the fire could have on the environment and the transportation network. There are ongoing investigations and lawsuits surrounding the incident.

  • Who Is at Risk Following These Dangerous Incidents?

    All too often, situations involving spilled chemicals or hazardous materials are not even recognized until years later. For example, many emergency workers and concerned citizens who came into New York City to help deal with toxic rubble developed cancer many years later. These dangerous chemicals may not cause immediate medical conditions but may instead build up over time, leading to problematic medical concerns. At the point that this begins being studied by professionals, it may be too late to protect anyone who was in the vicinity. 

    Other common examples include toxic water lines where people are drinking from or growing material in dangerous soil and only discover the impact years later. In East Palestine, officials were involved in managing a controlled burn for the purposes of minimizing an explosion. A total of 1.1 million pounds of vinyl chloride spilled in the toxic train derailment, in addition to isobutylene and butyl acrylate. Vinyl chloride has previously been linked in research to brain, liver, and lung cancers, although the full scope of impacts may not be known for years to come as it relates to the East Palestine toxic train derailment.

  • What Type of Injuries From Train Accidents?

    Anyone hurt in a serious train accident like a train derailment needs to be evaluated for medical injuries immediately. This is because many common injuries can come with significant consequences and painful medical conditions. A train derailment comes with major problems for most victims because of the speed of the train and the lack of protections that might be afforded to someone in a passenger vehicle.

    For example, passenger vehicles have benefitted from decades of research and design improvement to help make them as safe as possible in the event of a crash. Their primary purpose is to transport people safely from one location to another and since they are broadly available and used by consumers, lots of money and effort have gone into making cars safe with features like seatbelts and other technology. However, on a train as a passenger, people have little to no protection if the train crashes. 

    While many injuries from train accidents include things like broken bones, head injuries, and internal bleeding, more severe concerns like paralysis may also apply. Furthermore, many injuries from toxic train derailments don't involve people onboard. Since most of those trains are used to transport goods rather than people, there are two categories of people who may wind up hurt after one of these trains with chemicals derails: those near the crash site on the day it happens, and other people who, over the course of years, may be exposed to the spilling of the chemicals and other dangerous materials on that train. 

    One of the saddest things about toxic train derailments is that people who have been exposed to some of these dangerous obstacles may not even realize it at the time. Instead, they may develop medical conditions over the course of their life and never see the connection between these and the toxic train derailment. It often takes multiple people coming forward to share their concerns or environmental studies on the area to identify what types of chemicals were involved, whether they got into the soil or water, and what types of cancers or other dangerous medical conditions are associated with their release into the soil and other places. 

  • What Options Do Victims Have?

    Victims in any toxic train derailment or other dangerous accident case may have grounds to pursue compensation with the help of a personal injury lawyer. A thorough investigation may be completed by state and federal authorities, but this might also require your involvement in hiring a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. The personal injury lawyers at Morgan & Morgan recognize the dangerous fallout from the Ohio train derailment case and will do everything possible to fully investigate the many ways that your life may have been changed. 

    In many cases involving things like toxic train derailments, it is hearing the information from others who have suffered that helps you decide whether or not to file a lawsuit yourself. For example, you might hear a news story about a cluster of cancers or EPA tests that have revealed serious problems in the water or soil, thus prompting you to contact an experienced toxic train derailment attorney. Sometimes cases involving the resulting medical conditions are brought individually, but it is far more common for them to be consolidated together in an effort to show the severity of the underlying issue. It can take years or sometimes even decades for people to realize, however, that their medical conditions and the rise in certain medical problems is directly related to a toxic train derailment. 

    If you believe you have been exposed to dangerous or toxic chemicals because of the Ohio train derailment or any other recent train derailment case, this information should be shared with an attorney as soon as possible. It can be dangerous to sign any agreements or settlements with railroad companies during this time, as you may not realize you are signing away your rights and your ability to pursue additional compensation. 

    Contact Morgan & Morgan today to further discuss your options and next best steps with a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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