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Derailment of Train Attests to the Risks of Tanker Car Transport of Hazardous Materials

February 15, 2013

While train crashes, including derailments that result in toxic chemical spills, have declined consistently in recent years, a North Carolina train derailment last weekend serves as a reminder that train collisions or derailments cause a number of deaths each year and an average of twelve incidents per day.

The freight train accident involved the derailment of nine tanker cars including four transporting anhydrous ammonia. Three of the other derailed tanker cars had previously been used to ship flammable liquids so these train tanker cars were also considered dangerous. Hundreds of residents were evacuated and all others were warned to avoid the area.

Passenger trains like Amtrak continue to transport people across the country while freight trains move cargo including hazardous materials. Trains that collide with motor vehicles or pedestrians can cause fatalities and serious injuries, such as broken bones, fractures, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, dismemberment and extensive burn injuries. Freight trains traveling across Georgia on a daily basis move a vast array of hazardous and toxic chemicals. When these trains collide with vehicles or leave the track, the tanker cars may release toxic gases and liquids. Although many may presume spills of toxins in freight train crashes are extremely rare, every two weeks hundreds of people are evacuated because of toxic derailment spills somewhere in the U.S.

Studies conducted in areas where toxic chemicals have been released in train accidents have revealed an increase in the rate of birth defects and other childhood illnesses. If you or a family member has been exposed to hazardous materials during a freight train derailment, you should consider seeking immediate medical attention because diagnostic tests may reveal adverse effects that do not immediately become evident. If you believe that you or your children have experienced severe medical conditions because of the release of toxic chemicals, our experienced Georgia train derailment attorneys offer a free initial consultation to assess potential claims.

Our Atlanta railroad collision lawyers handle not only train derailments that result in toxic chemical exposure, but also all other types of train accidents and derailments including:

  • Railroad crossing accidents caused by malfunctioning or defective warning signals
  • Pedestrians and bicyclists hit by trains
  • Head-on and other crashes between trains and motor vehicles
  • Passenger train derailments

Freight and passenger trains are subject to an extensive array of state and federal laws and regulations. Many train collisions and derailments result from the callous disregard of such safety rules. Montlick and Associates is available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

No matter where you are located our Georgia train accident attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or Free 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.