Train Accidents and Your Rights
Train accidents, as of this day and age, do not happen as frequently as they did before. However, it is a fact that despite the more advanced train systems we have right now – accidents still do happen. In fact, in the US alone, there is 1 train accident every 90 minutes.
In light of the serious injuries or consequences that train accidents bring about, it is primordial that people should start knowing more about it, in order to protect themselves, as well as their rights.
Causes of Train Accidents
In general, trains are actually very sturdy and durable means of transportation. In fact, most train accidents could have been prevented if only the necessary precautions could have been utilized.
The main causes of Train Accidents are: intoxication, excessive speed, negligence in the operation of the train, a distracted locomotive operator, faulty equipment, confusing signals and cars crossing at rail lines at the wrong time, rail road track problems, and many others.
In order to control the upsurge of these accidents and to prevent the loss of lives or injuries to more people, the FRA or the Federal Railroad Administration has instituted a comprehensive workshop for the purpose of reducing railroad damage – and to further prevent the occurrence of any more Train Accidents.
What to Do In a Train Accident
Being in a train accident is a traumatic and horrific experience. However, in order to ensure that your rights are protected against any eventualities, it would be to your best interest to follow these steps so that your problems do not get worse.
- Gather and preserve evidence – this is essential in order to ensure that in case any legal action is filed by you, that the true facts are settled and discussed accordingly. Do not expect the train company to gather the evidence for you, for most probably they will be trying to protect themselves from any liability. And though authorities and police may try their best to find out and gather what really happened during the accident – they may not be able to piece together all the pieces, like you, as a first hand witness or victim can. Hence, if possible, take note of the circumstances surrounding the case. Try to see if the train operator actually stepped on the brakes before the crash, as well as the weather. And if for example your car was hit by a train, then make sure to take pictures of your vehicle and try to preserve it – so that the court, in case of legal action, may examine it firsthand.
- Only Talk To The Proper Authorities – this is to ensure that no third party will try to talk you out of filing any case. Also, do not sign any waivers or documents in connection with the case. At best, if there are such instances, call a Train Accident Lawyer immediately and let him do the talking for you.
- Contact Your Insurance Company – this is viable, most especially if your insurance includes all kinds of accidents. However, take note that although insurance companies may seem to be there provide help – most usually, they are there to protect their own interests. So, again, what is essential is that you have a Train Accident Lawyer beside you to ensure that you will be able avail of all the claims that you should have under your coverage.
- Contact A Train Accident Lawyer – a lawyer will know all aspects and legalities of Train Accidents. This means that he will be able to efficiently deal with the laws surrounding such case, as well as the standards of care that all the parties should have followed. In effect, he will be able to ensure that all the rights of the parties are protected.
Under the law, the following parties may be held liable for any injuries, property damage or fatalities that may have been caused by Train Accidents. They are:
- The train company – the owner of the train, whether a private person, a public agency or a company, is obligated by law to keep all their trains efficient, durable and in good condition. The company is also the party primarily liable for hiring their employees. This means it is responsible for the negligent acts of its employees and can be held accountable for any deaths, injuries, damages that may have been incurred by other parties in connection with the accident.
- The track owner – the law also requires the track owner to exercise the necessary diligence in ensuring that the tracks are in good condition and will be safe for trains to use. If the train accident is found to be caused by faulty tracks – then the track owner, whether a company or government entity will be held liable for the damages, deaths and injuries resulting from the accident.
- Third Party – if the train accident was caused by a party not a passenger of the train, like for example a driver of a car or truck that collided with the train – he may be held liable for the injuries or damages sustained by passengers, if it is found that it is his acts which caused the accident.
- Manufacturer of the train’s engine and other equipment – this party will be held liable if it is found that the accident was caused by faulty equipment, engine or other parts of the train. Hence, it will be the party liable for the deaths, injuries or damages suffered by the parties.
The Train Accident Lawyer
In train accidents, the person who has the experience and the legal knowledge to ensure that the necessary facts are ferreted out – is the Train Accident Lawyer.
With his expert knowledge and expertise in the field, parties who have been injured or hurt by a train accident will be compensated accordingly. He will file the necessary actions to claim compensation for the medical bills and that the injured parties may have incurred, including, among others: loss of income, property damage, moral damages, life care and many other claims.
In effect, with the help of a Train Accident Lawyer, the persons that should be held liable will be made liable, while the injured parties will be compensated for the injuries they may have sustained.