Light rail serves many people in the Baltimore area. Industry statistics have Baltimore’s Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) ranked 12th in the nation for passenger miles for this form of transportation.
Mile for mile, light rail is dependable, convenient and safe, but any kind of transportation carries risks. Accidents still happen, and injuries for the people involved range from minor to life-changing.
Examples of light-rail accidents include a 2013 incident in which six light-rail passengers sustained minor injuries when a vehicle struck the train at a crossing. The driver also suffered injuries that were not life-threatening. On a sunny morning in 2015, a car made a sudden left turn into the path of the oncoming train. Three people in the car and two light-rail passengers suffered injuries and were taken to local hospitals. In 2016, a train struck a man who was walking on the light-rail tracks after dark. He was pinned beneath the train for a time, and upon rescue went to Shock Trauma medical center with serious injuries.
Trains take time to stop
A train can only follow the track; it cannot swerve to avoid a collision with an object. If you are either in or approaching a crossing, keep in mind that the train is closer than it appears, and the fact that it seems to be moving more slowly than you think is merely an optical illusion. A light-rail train needs 600 feet, or the length of two football fields, to come to a stop.
Taking on mass transit
If you should receive an injury in a light-rail accident, whether as a train or car passenger, find out if you can pursue a claim against the Maryland Transit Authority. Even if your injuries appear to be minor, related health issues may in time develop. Obviously, there will be medical bills to deal with, and you might also have to miss work. In terms of compensation, a personal injury attorney will tell you that when dealing with a government agency, you must file a notice of claim within a year of the accident date.