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Authorities investigate New Jersey train accident

Recently, a train traveling from Camden through New Jersey derailed because of a bridge collapse. The train was carrying some toxic cargo, some of which spilled following the crash; authorities had to evacuate several nearby homes. Thankfully, however, there are no reports of serious injuries. Authorities are still monitoring nearby water supplies for contamination, although at this time there appears to be no cause for alarm.

Just like in car accidents, authorities will now conduct a thorough accident investigation in order to determine the precise cause of the crash. Specifically, t is not clear whether the train derailment contributed to the bridge collapse or whether instead it was the other way around, with the collapsing bridge derailing the freight locomotive. As worthy of note, at least one person remarked that this same bridge had a history of structural issues and was re-built in 2009.

While this was a lucky case, not all train accidents end without a serious injury. For example, when a car collides with a train at a railroad crossing, the car will often sustain extensive damage on account of the size of the train. These collisions are not necessarily the motorist's fault. In the case of a railroad accident, for example, the railroad's control signals might not be working, meaning that the driver may not see the train coming.

In New Jersey, railroad companies do not get special treatment. If a railroad company or individual engineer operates a train negligently and it injures a member of the public, then the company or the individual will bear the liability of paying damages for the accident victim's loss.

Source: CNN International, "Investigators probe cause of New Jersey train derailment," Dec. 1, 2012

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