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5 Ways Streetcar Accidents Happen

Posted on in Personal Injury

Milwaukee streetcar accident injury attorneyMilwaukee recently began operating a streetcar line, known as The Hop. The Hop now runs on a 2.5-mile loop through downtown and the Historic Third Ward. While streetcars provide a valuable form of transportation, they also present specific safety risks, and they can cause serious bodily and property injury.

Unfortunately, the risk of accidents can be higher when a streetcar system first begins operation. Necessary safety precautions may not be implemented, and drivers can be inexperienced. In addition, motorists may not be used to sharing the road with the streetcars. Victims of streetcar accidents may include streetcar passengers, drivers and passengers in a vehicle that collides with a streetcar, and pedestrians and bicyclists traveling near the tracks.

Here are five ways a streetcar accident can occur:

  1. Streetcar driver’s mistake. Just like the drivers of cars, streetcar operators can fail to follow the rules of the road. Streetcars can be driven too fast or fail to follow traffic signals. They can also fail to yield to a car with a right of way or to yield to pedestrians where appropriate. Injuries may also occur if an operator closes a streetcar’s doors too quickly on passengers who are entering or exiting. 
  2. Streetcar driver’s inattention. One dangerous aspect of streetcars is that they are very heavy and cannot slow down or stop as quickly as cars or buses. Thus, any time a driver takes his eyes off the tracks, an accident is more likely to occur. Drivers may be distracted by cell phones, communications from other drivers, or passengers. Streetcar drivers often have long shifts and can become fatigued, making accidents more likely to occur.
  3. Defective or malfunctioning streetcars. Streetcars are used heavily, and such use puts a lot of wear and tear on the cars. In addition, a streetcar may not be properly maintained and repaired, which can lead to traffic accidents.
  4. Faulty tracks. Tracks must be properly maintained in order to keep the streetcar system operating. Tracks can become unusable without much indication until an accident occurs.
  5. Drivers on the road. Drivers of cars and trucks must learn to contend with streetcars. Drivers who do not follow the rules of the road or who drive while distracted or intoxicated can cause an accident with a streetcar, injuring streetcar passengers, the drivers of other vehicles, and pedestrians.

Contact a Milwaukee Streetcar Injury Attorney

If you or someone close to you has been injured in a streetcar accident, our team of attorneys can provide the legal help you need. We offer personalized legal services, working to ensure that you receive full and fair compensation for the damages you have suffered.

Our firm typically charges no legal fees to accident victims unless we successfully recover compensation for your injuries. We understand that this is a difficult time in your life, and we want to do everything we can to help make you whole again. Contact the skilled Milwaukee, WI streetcar accident lawyers at Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP today by calling 414-271-1440.



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