Millions of people ride trains in the United States on a daily basis. Although railroad accidents are not that common, they do occur. And when they do, the outcome can be catastrophic. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reports that hundreds of passengers die each year from railroad accidents.
At Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd., our attorneys pride themselves on giving 100 percent of their legal knowledge and skills to obtain justice for clients who have been injured or have lost a loved one in a tragic train accident. We work for you, not just your claim.
Reasons for Railroad Accidents
Railroad crossings are the most dangerous places for accidents, and in many cases accidents are due to cars attempting to rush a crossing. However, a devastating train crash can happen for a number of other reasons, such as:
- Colliding with another train that it mistakenly crosses paths with
- Mechanical failure
- Inadequate security on the train
- Dated and unsuitably-maintained tracks
- Absent or inadequate warnings at crossings
- Conductor or engineering negligence
Trains: A Common Carrier
A train is a "common carrier," meaning it has a higher duty to safely transport passengers from point A to point B than a private vehicle operator. Pedestrian accidents and motorist claims against railroads are often determined under the negligence laws of the state where the accident occurred. However, these lawsuits are often governed by federal regulatory safety standards.
FELA: A Law Protecting Railroad Workers
Railroads are at least as dangerous for railroad employees as for passengers. As many employees as passengers are killed on railroads each year. The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) applies to railroad workers who are injured or killed on the job, allowing them and their families to receive compensation for their injuries. FELA is different from Workers' Compensation in that it allows you to sue your employer and receive compensation if the railroad exhibited negligence that led to your injuries.
There are many factors that can cause a railroad accident, and different parties who can be held responsible for your injury, such as:
- Railroad company or public agency that owns and operates the train
- Train operator or railroad employee
- The company or government entity that owns or controls that section of railroad
- A negligent motor vehicle driver
- The manufacturer of the engine, signal equipment or other equipment
The train accident injury lawyers at Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd. are here to help you get the money you deserve. If you live in the Chicago area and have been injured in a railroad accident, please call or email our office today. We offer free consultations and will never charge unless we get money for you.
If you or a loved one has been hurt, and you need help, please call or email us today or text "Walnerlaw" to 41513 for a FREE consultation.