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Railroad Crossing Cases Summarized By Personal Injury Attorney

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Summarizes Railroad Crossing Cases

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This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Railroad Crossing. For more information on railroads see the pages on Wikipedia. 


Railroad Crossing-Statutes

See Va. Code § 56-363 stating it is policy of state that railroad crossing shall, where reasonably practicable, pass above or below existing structure.

See Va. Code § 56-405 as to duty to maintain grade crossings of public roads.

Railroad Crossing-Cases

1993 Wright v. Norfolk & W. Ry., 245 Va. 160, 427 S.E.2d 724.

Plaintiff approaching railroad crossing has duty to look and listen with reasonable care. He does not have absolute duty to discover presence of train unless by so looking and listening he was bound to have discovered. Railroad crossing is proclamation of danger. When vehicle operator drives blindly upon a grade crossing and takes no precaution for his own safety, his negligence precludes recovery. In this case, plaintiff was held guilty of contributory negligence as matter of law.

1976 Norfolk & W. Ry. v. Wright, 217 Va. 515, 229 S.E.2d 890.

Plaintiff’s decedent struck at railroad crossing within corporate limits. Under circumstances, no duty to sound warning.

1976 Bunn v. Norfolk, F. & D. Ry., 217 Va. 45, 225 S.E.2d 375.

No evidence that there was any peculiar or unusual condition surrounding crossing such as to render it unusually dangerous; it was not error to refuse to submit to jury question of whether crossing was ultra-hazardous.

1965 Ocean View Imp. Corp. v. Northern & W. Ry., 205 Va. 949, 140 S.E.2d 700.

Blocking of crossing by moving train for excessive period of time was not violation of ordinance.

1957 Mann v. Norfolk & W. Ry., 199 Va. 604, 101 S.E.2d 535.

Statutory duties imposed upon railroad in regard to a public crossing does not apply to private crossing.

1953 Bangley v. Virginian Ry., 195 Va. 340, 78 S.E.2d 696.

Plaintiff claimed that crossing was unusually dangerous. Plaintiff’s course of conduct and his own familiarity with crossing established it was not unusually dangerous.

1951 Atlantic Coast Line Ry. v. Bowen, 192 Va. 162, 63 S.E.2d 804.

Proximity to large city of crossing over which trains operated at speed in excess of 50 mph and presence of hedge that partially obscured view of approaching motorist presented jury question of whether crossing was dangerous.

1950 Seaboard Airline Co. v. Crowder, 191 Va. 635, 62 S.E.2d 227.

Condition of crossing and warning signals held not to be proximate cause of accident.

1950 Wray v. Norfolk & W. Ry., 191 Va. 212, 61 S.E.2d 65.

Garbage truck struck at railroad crossing. Defendant’s verdict. If railroad crossing signals are not given, doctrine of comparative negligence is to be applied and negligence of traveler on highway shall not bar recovery for his injury or death. However, applicability depends upon whether crossing in question was link of public way.

1949 Norfolk & W. Ry. v. Epling, 189 Va. 551, 53 S.E.2d 817.

Plaintiff’s decedent struck and killed by train at grade crossing. Contributory negligence on part of plaintiff’s decedent.

1949 Chesapeake & O. Ry. v. Faison, 189 Va. 341, 52 S.E.2d 865.

Automobile struck by train at grade crossing. Crossing held to be private one and plaintiff at best bare licensee. Company owed him no duty to keep crossing in safe condition free of obstruction or to warn him of presence of gate. Note: Constant or frequent use by public of private crossing, with knowledge and acquiescence of railroad company, may give to such passageway attributes of public crossing.

1948 Virginia Transit Co. v. James, 188 Va. 135, 49 S.E.2d 285.

Pedestrian crossing in front of stopped train is not necessarily contributorily negligent.

1948 Ivory Storage Co. v. ACLR Co., 187 Va. 857, 48 S.E.2d 242.

There is common law duty to provide adequate warning at dangerous crossing. Fact that trains travel at over 50 mph over this highway crossing near large city is sufficient to make this dangerous crossing.

1946 ACLR Co. v. Clements, 184 Va. 656, 36 S.E.2d 553.

It is only where peculiar and unusual conditions render crossing extra hazardous that railroad company can be charged with negligence in failing to protect it by gates or other safeguards unless duty to provide such protection has been imposed by legislative authority.

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Railroad Crossing Cases Summarized By Personal Injury Attorney

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