Train Accident FAQ
Attorney Jeremy Vishno Answers Your Questions Following a Train Accident
Any accident involving a train is likely complex, involving multiple injuries and several responsible parties. If you're involved in this type of transit accident, here's what you need to know about those legal implications.
- Can I qualify for compensation after a train accident?
- Who can be held liable after a train accident?
- What kinds of damages can I recover?
- Why is it important to investigate the scene of the accident?
- If I am an employee of the train company, can I still file a claim?
- How can retaining a train accident attorney help me?
Can I qualify for compensation after a train accident?
In general, if you were injured due to a train accident that was not your fault, you could be entitled to compensation. This includes train derailments, collisions between trains and cars, motorcycles and trucks, train-pedestrian accidents, property damage accidents and even falling objects and closing doors on the train itself. However, in order to actually collect compensation, you'll need to prove negligence on the part of the train's owner or operator. That is where a skilled train accident attorney can help.
Who can be held liable after a train accident?
Several different parties might be partially responsible for a train accident, depending on the circumstances. 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. You may even have a claim against the city or state in which the accident occurred.
Finding and proving negligence on the part of the responsible party in a train accident can be difficult. However, an experienced train accident attorney will be able to pore over documents, conduct a thorough investigation and determine which parties are responsible.
What kinds of damages can I recover?
As with an automobile accident, you can recover damages for any losses you suffered as a direct result of the accident. This may include medical expenses, disability, emotional distress, pain and suffering and lost wages due to inability to work while recovering. Spouses of people injured in train accident may also be able to file a claim for loss of services or companionship. Finally, if you've lost a loved one in a train accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim.
Train companies and their insurers are constantly looking for ways to reduce their liability. They will often make a "lowball" offer to get you to settle quickly, and many injured passengers accept those offers because they don't understand the full extent of the damages they are owed. Instead of taking that offer, contact a train accident attorney who can fight for every type of compensation you deserve.
Why is it important to investigate the scene of the accident?
Circumstances can change quickly in the aftermath of an accident as evidence is lost and witnesses' memories fade. The more information you have on the circumstances surrounding your accident, the easier it is to build a strong case and fight for the compensation you need. That's why it's important to hire a veteran train accident attorney who can interview witnesses, identify surrounding legal issues, preserve the wreckage and evaluate liability. An attorney can also protect you and your family during investigations conducted by civil authorities and insurance representatives.
If I am an employee of the train company, can I still file a claim?
As a rule, yes. While general prohibitions exist on filing against an employer, the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) allows a limited exception for railroad employees. When a train accident occurs, everyone injured as a result of negligence has a right to compensation, including employees as well as passengers. Of course, taking one's own employer to court can be a difficult process, but a knowledgeable train accident attorney will know how to help you navigate that process.
How can retaining a train accident attorney help me?
In the aftermath of a train accident, the railway company and any other responsible parties, together with their insurers, will do everything in their power to reduce their own liability - and thus your compensation. Any information they are able to collect from you will be used from that purpose. Once you have a train accident lawyer on retainer, you can direct any questions from the train company or their insurance to your attorney, protecting your case and making a victory at trial more likely.
The above answers are intended to be a general overview of the legal circumstances surrounding a train accident. For more information about your individual case, contact the Vishno Law Firm for a free evaluation.