Train Accident Cases
Personal Injury Lawyers - Representing People Nationwide
If I am injured in a train accident, is the transportation service that operates the train liable?
The transportation service may be liable if negligence on its part resulted in your injuries. Most passenger train operations are designated “common carriers” and as such are regulated by the federal government. Individual state laws determine the liability of a common carrier for personal injuries to its passengers as long as they do not conflict with those of the federal government. Generally, however, a common carrier is required to use the highest degree of care in the transport of its passengers. This duty extends to providing safe places for its passengers, including areas for boarding and unloading of passengers.
Who is responsible for maintaining railroad grade crossings?
Typically state and federal authorities initially approve, fund, install and inspect the crossings, sometimes with help from local governments. The railroad companies are usually then responsible for maintaining the crossings, including the clearing of vegetation to keep adequate sight lines.
What if I’m a pedestrian who was hit by a train at a crossing?
Although the purpose of most crossing signals is to alert motorists, you may still have a claim against the railroad company if you can demonstrate that the crossing was not properly maintained or if the train itself was operated in a negligent manner. You may also be able to bring a claim against any other entity or person whose negligence contributed to the accident.
What if the accident did not occur at a designated railroad crossing?
You may need to show that the railroad company was aware that people frequently crossed the tracks near the site of the accident, that there is a common path to cross there, or that the train was operated in a negligent manner.
What if I’m in a train accident and I work for the railroad company involved?
The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), which applies to railroad workers injured on the job, allows a limited exception to the general prohibition against suing an employer.
If I am injured in a train accident, whom can I make a claim against?
You can make a claim against any entity or person responsible for the collision, including the railroad company and governmental jurisdictions in which the accident took place.
What damages are recoverable for death or injuries received in a train accident?
Damages may include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Future wage loss
- Pain, disability and emotional distress
- Loss of support and services
- Loss of care, society, and companionship
What should I do after a train accident?
After a catastrophic event, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, representatives of companies involved, and the media may try to elicit statements from you. Most of these individuals have extensive training in dealing with such an event and may have agendas that are not necessarily in concordance with your best interests. Provide law enforcement agencies with any facts you may recall, but be cautious or, better yet, consult with an attorney before providing statements to anyone else. Keep a detailed journal of the events and document all physical and mental injuries as they develop over time.
What is the involvement of the NTSB and the FBI in a train accident?
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency with jurisdiction over train accidents and may investigate the accident with the purpose of issuing safety recommendations to prevent future accidents. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) takes over jurisdiction in rare cases where a criminal act is suspected as the reason for the accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a train accident, please contact us. We will help you find an experienced accident lawyer near you who can help you recover the financial compensation to which you are entitled.