Common Questions about Train Accidents
What are the common causes of train accidents?
Since the new millennium, train accidents across the country have been decreasing due to new technology. However, the most common cause of railroad accidents are at crossings, when the train collides with a motor vehicle. Sadly, many motorists try to beat trains through the crossing and speed into the intersection, barely sneaking under the crossing bar only to collide with the oncoming train. Statistics reveal that a crossing accident occurs every 90 minutes in the United States. Other reasons for accidents include derailment, conductor negligence, improper track maintenance and faulty equipment.
Does a train have to crash for the train company to be held liable for injuries?
No. In fact, many passengers suffer serious injuries without the train crashing. Incidents like improper starting or stopping, improper door closings, or failure to warn can cause injuries that range from cuts and bruises to head trauma and brain injuries.
Who can be held liable for train accidents?
There are a number of parties who can be held liable, depending on the cause of your injury. This may include:
- Train operators or railroad employees
- Track owners or the party that governs the area of track on which you were hurt
- Manufacturers and suppliers of the train and component parts of the train
- Chart publishers or train traffic controllers
- Mechanics or train repairmen
What damages are recoverable in train accident cases?
If you have suffered a railroad injury and survive, you can sue for past and future medical expenses, loss of wages and the inability to earn future wages and punitive damages when applicable. If your loved one has suffered a wrongful death because of a train accident, his or her survivors are entitled to compensation for the economic losses as a result of that person’s death. This may include funeral and burial expenses, compensation for emotional distress and loss of companionship, and the wages that person would have earned (to the dependants) had the person not died untimely.
If I’m a railroad employee, are my injuries covered by Workers’ Compensation?
In most cases, no. Railroad employees who work for interstate railroads are covered by a different law, known as the Federal Employer Liability Act (FELA), which allows injured workers to sue their employer. Unlike workers’ compensation, FELA allows workers to recover damages for pain and suffering and other noneconomic damages, but requires proof of wrongdoing on the part of the employer.
Why should I choose Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd. to represent my train accident claim?
The attorneys at Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd. have more than 75 years of experience litigating personal injury cases. We are firmly dedicated to providing our clients with a high degree of personalized attention. When you call us, we will call you back no matter what. Our lawyers care about winning your claim, but we also care about you. We want you to heal quickly from your train accident injury without obsessing over your medical bills and lost wages.
Your initial call to Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd. is always free, and we work on a contingency basis. You pay no fees unless we win your case. If you were injured on a train or in a railroad accident and you live in the Chicago area, please call or email our office today for a free initial consultation.
If you or a loved one has been hurt, and you need help, please call or email us today for a FREE consultation.