With a bustling population of nearly 200,000 residents, Salt Lake City features an extensive public transportation system operated by UTA, the Utah Transit Authority. In addition to UTA’s buses, the FrontRunner commuter rail and TRAX above-ground subway system make up the other half of Salt Lake City’s public transportation system.
While the TRAX and FrontRunner rail systems safely carry thousands of passengers on a daily basis, serious accidents can occur when train operators are distracted, fatigued, intoxicated, or careless. If you or one of your loved ones was injured in a UTA accident involving a TRAX or FrontRunner train, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost earnings and medical bills.
To learn more in a free, completely confidential legal consultation, call subway accident attorney Jay Sheen at (801) 618-3580. Jay has over 33 years of experience handling injury and wrongful death claims against negligent train operators, and is committed to helping accident victims and their loved ones obtain the justice and accountability they deserve.
Were You Injured While Riding a UTA FrontRunner or TRAX Train?
With annual ridership close to 19 million passengers, the TRAX light rail system operates three lines across 50 stations serving the Salt Lake Valley area. The TRAX Blue Line (Route 701) runs from the Salt Lake Central Station to Draper Town Center, passing through South Salt Lake, Murray, Midvale, and Sandy along the way. The TRAX Red Line (Route 703) runs from the University Medical Center Station in Salt Lake City to the Daybreak Parkway TRAX Station in South Jordan, cutting southeast through West Jordan en route. The TRAX Green Line (Route 704) runs from the Airport TRAX Station at the Salt Lake City International Airport to the West Valley Central TRAX Station.
The FrontRunner commuter train (Route 750) transports roughly 4.5 million passengers each year. The FrontRunner rail system spans nearly 80 miles of track through the Wasatch Front, stretching from Pleasant View Station in Ogden to Provo Central Station at the southern end.
According to UTA’s 2014 “Year in Review” report, the most recent version available, TRAX accidents decreased by 30% from 2013. While this trend represents a step in the right direction, the fact remains that crashes can and do occur.
According to annual accident data compiled by the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety, there was one UTA (“UTAX”) fatality in 2015, which was caused by a collision between a train and a highway vehicle. Two UTA train passengers were also non-fatally injured. One sustained cuts and skin abrasion to the head and face, while the other injury victim had bruising and contusion on their legs and feet. Other injuries that can result from a train derailment or collision include:
- Back Injuries
- Bone Fractures
- Crush Injuries
- Facial Injuries
- Head Injuries
- Internal Bleeding
- Organ Damage
- Soft Tissue Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
- Sprains and Strains
- Torn Ligaments
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Who is Liable for My Above-Ground Subway Accident? Can I Get Compensated?
UTA employees have a legal duty to operate their vehicles in safe and responsible manner that complies with industry standards and minimizes the risk of foreseeable death or injury, not only to passengers onboard the train, but also to any vehicles or pedestrians who might be near the tracks or vehicle. In fact, because UTA trains are categorized as “common carriers” due to their function transporting passengers, they are held to an exceptionally high standard of care, meaning FrontRunner and TRAX operators are expected to drive even more carefully than the drivers of non-commercial passenger vehicles.
Despite the high professional standards to which UTA employees are held, there are still instances of drivers being careless, inattentive, or outright reckless. When a train operator is negligent in the performance of his or her professional duties, and a person is injured or killed in an avoidable accident as a result, the driver who caused the accident can potentially be held liable for compensating the injury victim or, in the case of wrongful death, the decedent’s surviving spouse and immediate family members.
Some common examples of safety issues than can cause or contribute to preventable train accidents in Utah include:
- Missing or malfunctioning warning lights and safety barriers, such as damaged railroad crossing lights.
- Operator error, such as speeding, becoming distracted by text messages, or operating a train while fatigued, intoxicated, or impaired by prescription drugs that induce drowsiness.
- Track defects, such as broken or misaligned rails.
- Train defects, such as faulty brakes, hand brakes, or communication equipment.
If you or one of your loved ones was injured in a TRAX or FrontRunner accident, you could have a right to compensation for the costs and losses resulting from your injuries. Call the law offices of Overson & Sheen, LLC today at (801) 618-3580 to set up a free legal consultation with attorney Jay Sheen. Jay serves clients throughout the Salt Lake County area, including Bluffdale, Cottonwood Heights, Holladay, Riverton, Taylorsville, Alta, and more. Jay will keep your information confidential.