Railroad and Train Accidents - The Sanders Firm
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Railroad and Train Accidents

Train accident

Train accident victims are receiving compensation nationwide.

Train and railroad companies have a greater legal responsibility compared to the other types of defendants in personal injury cases. They are responsible of keeping not only passengers and employees out of risk, but also bystanders.

Under FELA (Federal Employers’ Liability Act), passengers and bystanders are owed “utmost” and “ordinary” duty of care, respectively. Consequently, they are liable for a majority of injuries and fatalities, leading to verdicts normally favoring the plaintiff.

The possible plaintiffs in train accident lawsuits are passengers, bystanders, and employees of the company. The three different scenarios represent different injuries and reasons behind them. Due to the variety of types of accidents and injuries, railroads companies face the risk of being liable for an extensive list of reasons.

 

Types of Cases and Their Respective Plaintiffs

  • In cases of injured passengers, which vary from heart attacks to injured extremities, the company can be liable for starting without passengers safely seated or aboard, failing to maintain safe entrances, and more. The company’s liability begins whenever a passenger is under the carrier’s control or manifests an intent to board, and does not end until the passenger has safely left the train.
  • Railroad workers are vulnerable to accidents that could cause catastrophic injuries. Cases include slip and fall injuries, exposure to toxic chemicals, and fatalities due to malfunctioning equipment. The company is legally responsible for failing to provide a safe work environment.
  • Bystanders, on the other hand, are almost exclusively involved in train and car collisions. In these cases, train companies can be found responsible for poor cross sections conditions, or not having proper signaling for those who are crossing to be aware of trains crossing. As a matter of fact, collisions between trains and cars account for the majority of train accidents across the nation. According to the Federal Railroad Association, there are more than 2,000 collisions every year in public and private crossings.

 

Case Value

Several factors determine the value of a train accident case:

  • Type of injury suffered and level of harm
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages and loss of future income
  • Comparative fault: How much is the victim at fault?
  • Punitive damages

 

Past Settlements

  • A 19 year old railroad conductor suffered upper thigh injuries that forced him to undergo amputation in both legs. The Jury awarded the plaintiff $33 million, punishing the company for failing to provide a safe workplace. The accident took place while the plaintiff was switching train cars. When investigating the scene afterwards, the attorneys found several safety hazards and malfunctions in the train that caused the life changing accident.
  • A 44 year old woman was a passenger on a train that went through a crossover switch at a high speed and derailed. The plaintiff suffered herniated discs. The Jury awarded the woman $430,000, a record verdict for an artificial disc replacement surgery case.
  • An engineer dismounted his locomotive and as he walked between tracks, another locomotive moved without any signal and struck him from behind. The injury led to an amputation of his leg below the knee. The Jury awarded the plaintiff a $3.750 million award due to unauthorized train movement.

Legal Advice you can count on

If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a train accident, you may be eligible for compensation. A successful outcome on your claim could entitle you to damages for medical expenses, future wage loss, pain, and suffering. For a free and honest evaluation of your case, reach out to The Sanders Firm.