When a train accident occurs, it can cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. An accident can also devastate the lives and families of passengers, railway employees, and the surrounding public.
If you have suffered injury due to a train wreck, there may be multiple people to hold accountable for your losses.
An award-winning train accident lawyer at Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. can help make sure that the responsible parties pay what they owe you.
Train Accident Causes
Trains are complex, large, and fast pieces of machinery that can wreak havoc in countless ways. Between human error, mechanical failures, and rail defects, there are many reasons why a train accident might occur, including the following:
- Unsafe train speed,
- The compromised physical condition of a conductor or other railway employee,
- Broken or defective rails,
- Radio communication errors,
- A failure to signal or obey a signal,
- Negligent actions of a conductor or other railway employee, and
- Mechanical failures on the train.
In your case, discussing what caused a collision or derailment can be a complicated and challenging endeavor. However, our knowledgeable train accident lawyers are up to the task of investigating your claim, and we can obtain accurate information regarding what happened in your case.
Train Accident Injuries and Losses
Whether an accident involves a train that derails, a collision with another locomotive, or a crash with other vehicles or structures, the aftermath can be catastrophic. Victims of train accidents may experience the following:
- Broken bones,
- Internal bleeding,
- Flexion and extension injuries of the neck and spine,
- Traumatic brain injuries,
- Property damage,
- Health complications from exposures to chemical substances spilled during a wreck,
- Pulmonary contusions, and
- Mental health complications.
Victims and their family members deserve compensation for the above-listed losses, but you may find that insurance companies that handle the claims for at-fault conductors or manufacturers want to downplay your right to payment.
This is why you should immediately speak to a train accident attorney from Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. about your case. We can gather the evidence necessary to support your claims and assemble a strong compensation case.
We are tough negotiators who often get what we are seeking from the opposing party. But if the insurer is not reasonable and refuses to settle for a just amount, we are not afraid to take your case to trial when necessary.
There are many people or entities that could be accountable for a train accident. If you are a victim in a wreck, you might have the right to claim compensation from the following:
- The conductor;
- The train equipment manufacturer or repair person;
- A railway employee;
- The rail manufacturer or repair person;
- The government;
- A manufacturer of any materials used to construct or repair the train, to construct or repair the railway, or to hold hazardous substances;
- The transportation company;
- A government entity; or
- Any other party who was involved in the accident.
There are many standards for establishing fault in a railway collision or derailment case, and we review many below.
Intentional, Unlawful Actions
If someone intentionally caused a train wreck that hurt you, that person can be criminally and civilly liable for their actions. Due to the complexity of operating a train, you might need the help of an attorney and other experts to prove the at-fault party’s behavior was intentional.
Negligence is a common, actionable cause of train accidents. The negligent party is responsible for paying damages if you can prove the following:
- The defendant (liable party) owed you a duty of care;
- The defendant failed to meet (i.e., breached) their duty of care to the injured party; and
- The defendant caused damage to the injured party through their breach.
Those in the railroad industry owe many duties to their passengers and the public, including ensuring that their conductors are properly licensed, their train equipment is in good working order, their railways are in safe condition, and their employees are properly fulfilling their work obligations.
There are several regulations that codify these requirements, and a skilled railroad accident lawyer at Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. can pinpoint all violations an at-fault party has committed in your case.
To prove you have a right to compensation in a train accident case, you do not always have to prove that an at-fault party had criminal intentions or acted negligently before the accident occurred. In a strict liability case, the only elements you have to prove are that:
- You were using the at-fault party’s product in an anticipated or intended way, and
- Your intended or anticipated use of the at-fault party’s product injured you.
You can sue an at-fault party for a design defect or a manufacturing defect in their product. This standard for recovering compensation could apply to defective train equipment or defective parts on a railway.
What Can I Recover in a Train Accident Case?
Depending on the type of legal action you bring against an at-fault party in a train accident case, you can recover the following:
- Economic damages for financial losses caused by the accident,
- Non-economic damages for pain and suffering and related issues, and
- Punitive damages to punish the at-fault party for exceptionally bad behavior.
At Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C., we can help ensure that you receive the maximum amount of damages available in your case. The compensation you receive can make your post-accident rehabilitation smooth and effective.
What Should I Do After a Train Accident?
Your likelihood of winning a train accident case and receiving maximum compensation increases if you are proactive immediately after a wreck.
We know that taking swift action to protect your interests while you are trying to recuperate from injuries is incredibly difficult, and that is why we can handle many of the following steps for you. If you are in a train crash, you will likely need to do the following to obtain the best outcome:
- Seek medical attention right away, and follow your providers’ recommendations;
- File an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s carrier;
- Collect evidence of the cause of the accident and the harm you suffered; and
- File a lawsuit within the proper time frame.
To prove your claim, you may need to enlist the help of several experts, including an accident reconstruction professional, a manufacturing specialist, and physicians. Our attorneys can put you in contact with these professionals and maximize your compensation.
Do Not Hesitate to Ask Us for Help
Our train accident lawyers at Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. are top-of-the-line advocates for the injured. We have received several top honors from the legal community and many five-star reviews from our clients.
Our attorneys are experienced and knowledgeable. They react swiftly to protect your rights and address your needs with compassion and understanding.
We are not afraid to take complex cases to the negotiation table or to trial. In fact, complex cases involving serious injuries are in our wheelhouse.
We are here to win you the compensation and legal relief you deserve. If you would like to speak to one of our attorneys, please give us a call or reach out to us on our website to schedule an appointment.