Who’s Liable for Your Injuries in a Train Accident?

train accidentIn the U.S. millions of people travel by train every day, whether the trip is a short commuter ride to work or a weeklong vacation journey covering several states. When train accidents happen, the risk of injury or death to passengers, crew, and bystanders is a high probability due to the size and velocity of trains. Accidents can involve passengers, railroad workers, pedestrians and other persons who may have been walking, riding, or driving in the vicinity of the accident.

Common carriers

A railroad is a common carrier. The term also applies to railways, buses, airlines, trucking, and cruise ships. Common carriers are regulated by federal and state laws. The causes of most train accidents can be divided into three categories: 1. equipment or maintenance failure; 2. electrical or mechanical problems or defects; or human error, and include:

  • Travel at unsafe speeds
  • Inadequate maintenance of trains
  • Poor visibility at crossings for car and truck drivers
  • Track crossings lacking safety equipment and signals
  • Train operator’s failure to sound a warning
  • Improper maintenance of the railway track
  • Malfunction of defective train parts or systems

Cause of action

If you were injured in a train accident, you could be entitled to compensation. Your injuries could be the result of a train derailment, a train colliding with your car, motorcycle or truck. You might have been a pedestrian hit by a train or a passenger on the train who was injured while onboard from falling objects, flying glass, or a defective door.

You may have a cause of action against the carrier if there is evidence of negligence or other error. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and suffering, loss of income, medical costs, and other damages. You may have a claim against the city or state where the accident happened. If the cause of the accident is found to be a defective train part, you could file a claim against the company that made the defective part.

You may have a claim against the operator of the train or the owner of the railway. If the accident was due to carelessness or negligence on the part of the operator, you might also have a claim for negligent hiring, training and supervision. Claims may also be filed against the manufacturer of defective parts or maintenance crews who worked on the railway or the train itself.

Limited time to file your case

The period of time open for you to file your case can be as short as 30 to 60 days from the date of the accident. You don’t have wait to fully learn the extent of your injuries and how your recovery may affect your job, family, or other obligations.

Even if you feel you came through the accident okay and have exhibited no symptoms of injury, you should see a doctor and consult an attorney. Symptoms can be delayed or hidden. A legal professional experienced in personal injury matters can ensure you receive proper medical attention and that the full extent of your injuries is documented.

It is advisable that you consult with an attorney as soon after the accident as possible, before a statutory period during which you must file a legal action to obtain compensation for losses and injuries expires.

The lawyers of Angell Law Firm are personal injury attorneys who are experts in  personal injury law, which is the only kind of case they handle. If you have been injured in a train accident, whether as a passenger, pedestrian, or car driver, the Angell Law Firm can help. Call (770) 217-4954 today to discuss your legal options. The Angell Law Firm is located in Atlanta and serves the Rome, Augusta, Athens, Macon, Columbus, Savannah areas and more.