Trains are essential in today’s society, carrying passengers more than 16 billion miles per year. Although trains rely on older technology, they are also one of the most environmentally-friendly modes of transportation, contributing to less than 2% of all transportation greenhouse gas emissions. While trains are generally considered to be safe, there are thousands of train accidents every year across the United States, often resulting in serious—if not fatal—consequences.
Train accident victims often face a long road to physical recovery. However, these accidents do more than cause physical injuries; they also disrupt your life, result in financial expenses, and may limit your ability to work or live your life the way you intended. A train accident lawsuit provides victims an opportunity to recover meaningful compensation that can make the process easier.
When you reach out to Console & Associates, P.C., you will immediately be connected with a train accident attorney who understands what you are going through and can answer your questions. We understand that you may not be ready to file a case today, and that’s okay with us. We just want to make sure that you are well-informed about your options so you can make the best decision for yourself and your family.
Give us a call to learn more, and if you decide to bring a case with Console & Associates, P.C., you won’t pay for our legal representation unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf. That’s part of the No Fee Promise we make to each one of our clients.
Call us today at (866) 778-5500!
Trains are usually safe, but that is unfortunately not always the case. In fact, on average, there are more than 2,000 train accidents each year in the United States. These accidents result in more than 200 fatalities and 800 injuries annually. Some train accidents involve passengers; however, a large number of these incidents involve motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. Thus, while train accidents are much less common than car accidents, they still impact the lives of thousands of families every year.
At Console & Associates, P.C., we represent individuals and families in train accident lawsuits. We believe that holding negligent train operators accountable for their actions not only helps our clients obtain meaningful compensation but also encourages a safer ride for everyone else. Our train accident lawyers have more than 25 years of experience representing injury victims, helping them collect damages that allow them to more easily move forward with their lives after a serious accident. And because we offer a No Fee Promise, you are never responsible for any legal fees unless we can get you a train accident settlement or obtain a favorable jury award.
When most people think of a train accident, images of a train derailing come to mind. Certainly, derailments are very serious accidents that can easily result in serious injury or death. However, there are also other types of train accidents that can similarly impact an accident victim’s life.
The following are the most common types of train accidents:
For passengers aboard a train, a derailment is the most feared type of accident. A derailment occurs when, for whatever reason, a train loses contact with the rails, causing the train to shoot off the tracks. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, there were more than 1,000 train derailments in the United States in 2020 alone.
Walking on a moving train can be dangerous, yet it is necessary in certain circumstances. Sometimes, a passenger’s need to get up and move around coincides with a sudden stop, causing them to lose their balance. Other times, another passenger’s luggage or debris in the train’s walkway causes the passenger to slip and fall. Train operators are responsible for ensuring a safe ride, which means they must routinely inspect the train for potential hazards.
Passengers on medium- and long-distance train rides may store their luggage or other belongings in overhead bins. If these bins are improperly designed or a passenger fails to safely secure their belongings, items can fall onto unsuspecting passengers, potentially causing serious injury.
While you may not hear about train-on-train collisions very often in the news, on average, there are more than 100 of these collisions each year. Train-on-train collisions, even at low speeds, can cause serious injury for passengers on board. Often, these are preventable accidents caused by a train operator’s negligence.
Train-crossing accidents make up the greatest percentage of injuries and deaths among all types of train accidents. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there were over 1,900 train-crossing accidents in 2020. These accidents resulted in nearly 200 fatalities and almost 700 injuries.
Railroad companies and train operators have a duty to passengers, motorists, pedestrians and everyone else on the road to ensure the train is safely operated. While not every train accident is due to operator error, many are. If you’ve been injured in a train accident, the dedicated train accident lawyers at Console & Associates, P.C. can help you understand your rights and pursue a claim for compensation against the responsible party.
Train accidents don’t usually occur without someone failing to do something they were supposed to do. In legal terms, this is referred to as negligence. Some of the most common causes of train accidents include the following:
Train accident victims, however, should be prepared for the railroad company or train operator to argue that they were at fault. For example, a train company may claim that a pedestrian was negligent for walking too close to the tracks or that a motorist wasn’t paying attention to an approaching train. The assistance of an experienced train accident lawyer can be critical to defending against these often-baseless claims.
Trains weigh up to 18,000 tons when loaded with passengers or cargo and can reach lengths of well over a mile. Given their bulk, trains are capable of causing almost unimaginable damage to passengers, motorists, and bystanders. Some of the most common injuries caused by train accidents are:
At Console & Associates, P.C., we’ve represented countless clients in train accident cases, and we understand how traumatic a train injury can be. We recognize that, after an accident of this magnitude, reaching out to a lawyer may not be on the top of your to-do list, and for a good reason; you are focused on your physical recovery and on trying to get your life back to “normal.” However, if you want to speak with a lawyer to determine if your injuries were due to another’s negligence and whether you have a train accident case, we are here to help you through the process.
Train accident lawsuits are some of the most complex personal injury cases. This isn’t necessarily because the issues involved are complicated—although they can be. The primary reason these cases are challenging is that there are specific laws in place related to train accidents. For example, workers injured on a train cannot typically bring a workers’ compensation claim and must file a lawsuit under the Federal Employers Liability Act.
Passengers, motorists, pedestrians, and anyone else injured in a train accident, can bring a personal injury lawsuit. However, determining who is responsible for a train accident isn’t always straightforward. For example, any of the following parties may be liable for a train accident, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident:
Train operators, or engineers, are responsible for driving the train. The duties of train operators include monitoring the train’s speed, air pressure, and other instruments; working with other railroad workers to ensure a safe trip; keeping an eye out for obstructions on the track; checking the train for signs of mechanical problems; and documenting and reporting any potential issues.
Under most states’ laws, railroad companies are “common carriers,” meaning they owe passengers the utmost duty of care. This obligation requires railroad companies to take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe ride. Thus, if a negligent railroad employee causes a train accident, the railroad company may be liable for any resulting injuries.
In accidents caused by defective or poorly maintained railroad tracks, the company that owns that particular section of track may be liable. Most of the railroad tracks in the United States are privately owned; however, it is not necessarily the train company that owns the track. An experienced train accident lawyer can help accident victims determine what company owns the track and whether the company was negligent in the design or maintenance of the track.
Companies that own railroad tracks are also responsible for ensuring that any railroad crossing is properly marked and sufficiently visible. This means installing railroad gates when necessary.
In some cases, a railroad crossing may become obscured by surrounding foliage. Those who own land adjacent to a railroad crossing have a duty to ensure that nothing on their property obstructs motorists’ view of the tracks. Often, but not always, railroad companies are the ones who own the land next to the track.
While most of the railroad tracks in the United States are owned by private companies, state and federal governments own some sections of track. Additionally, local governments usually own commuter rails. Depending on the type of train involved in the accident, the state, local or federal government may be responsible for maintaining the tracks.
Proving that another party was negligent after a train accident can be challenging. However, the fact that a train accident occurred is a good sign that someone was negligent. To successfully bring a train accident lawsuit, an accident victim must be able to establish the legal elements of a negligence claim.
Notably, the duty railroad companies owe to passengers is greater than the duty they owe to motorists and others who are not aboard the train. This is because, under most states’ laws, trains are common carriers. A common carrier is a company that provides transportation for a fee. While the duty of common carriers can vary depending on the state and the situation, this classification typically imposes a “duty to exercise the highest degree of care, foresight, prudence, and diligence reasonably demanded at any given time by the conditions and circumstances then affecting the passenger and the carrier during the contract of carriage.”
Sadly, many train accident victims pay the ultimate price for another’s negligence. In the tragic event of a fatal train accident, an accident victim’s surviving loved ones may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against any negligent parties.
A wrongful death lawsuit is a type of personal injury claim in which families can seek compensation from the party or parties responsible for the death of their loved one. Every state has a slightly different wrongful death statute; in general, however, a wrongful death claim is based on the legal theory of negligence. In other words, a death is “wrongful” if it was caused by another’s negligent actions.
Wrongful death claims can be filed by either the executor of an accident victim’s estate or their surviving family members. Every state imposes different requirements on who can bring the case. Similarly, the proceeds of a wrongful death lawsuit are distributed according to state law. In most cases, courts will divide wrongful death proceeds up among surviving family members.
At Console & Associates, P.C., our wrongful death attorneys handle all types of accidental death cases, including those stemming from fatal train accidents. We have the legal knowledge, dedication, and resources necessary to effectively bring a case against the largest and most powerful businesses and insurance companies.
After a train accident, it may seem as though your life was suddenly turned upside down. Everything you know about your life—from your daily schedule to your long-term goals—takes a back seat to your recovery. Understandably, the thought of calling a lawyer to discuss filing a legal case may not make your list of priorities.
At Console & Associates, P.C., we understand what you and your family are going through. However, we also understand the long-term financial impact that a train accident can have on victims’ lives. We are here to help in any way we can.
If you have questions about whether you may be entitled to a train accident settlement or who was at fault for the accident, we can help you answer those questions. For the past 25 years, we’ve represented thousands of accident victims and their families. Over this time, we’ve come to realize that it is never too soon to reach out to a lawyer to discuss your case. That doesn’t mean you have to file a case tomorrow—or at all. However, understanding your rights as an accident victim is an important part of the recovery process.
After an accident caused by another’s negligence, it isn’t fair for you to be left on the hook for your accident-related expenses. Working with a skilled train accident lawyer is crucial to the success of your claim. In fact, a study conducted by the Insurance Research Council in 2014 found that claimants who worked with an attorney recovered 3.5 times more in compensation than those who pursued the claim on their own.
Certainly, there are many train accident lawyers who will be eager to take your case. However, you only have one chance to bring a lawsuit, and you should make sure that you select a train accident law firm you are comfortable with. At Console & Associates, P.C., we provide each of our many clients with exceptional representation from the moment we are brought onto a case. Unlike some other train accident law firms you may encounter, we are not exclusively focused on the financial aspects of your case; we want to help our clients recover not just financially but physically and emotionally as well.
We believe the best way to do this is by working together as equals. Thus, one promise we make to each of our clients is that we will always listen to their goals and incorporate them into our representation. When you bring Console & Associates, P.C. onto your legal team, you aren’t just getting a lawyer; you’re getting an advocate who will stand alongside you at every stage of the claims process.
Choosing a train accident attorney to handle your case is a critical decision that should not be taken lightly. At Console & Associates, P.C., we understand that there are many personal injury law firms out there, each with its own style and approach, and no single firm is the best choice for every accident victim. We like to think that, at Console & Associates, P.C., we’ve developed an effective approach that our clients appreciate.
We begin by taking the time to get to know you and what your life was like before the accident. We then discuss the accident, your injuries, and how they’ve impacted your life. From there, we will offer our honest assessment of your case and provide you with advice and guidance on how to most effectively bring your case. Throughout the process, we do everything we can to make the process as easy on you as possible.
At Console & Associates, P.C., we also offer all clients a No Fee Promise, which means that we do not accept payment from you unless we can successfully resolve your case, either through a train accident settlement or a favorable jury award.
Most train accident cases are resolved through pre-trial settlements. However, whether an insurance company will extend a settlement offer—as well as the amount of an offer—depends on many factors.
The reason an insurance company makes a settlement offer is to protect the company against the potential of a sizable damages award, should the case go to trial and resolve in your favor. Thus, an insurance company will consider the evidence indicating that the insured party was at fault, the extent of your injuries and whether your own negligence played a role in the accident when deciding whether to make a train accident settlement offer.
All personal injury cases are subject to statutes of limitations. A statute of limitations is a law that outlines the amount of time an accident victim has to bring a case. Every state creates its own statutes of limitations, so it is important to check your local laws; most states allow for a case to be filed within two years of the accident, but some states impose shorter statutes of limitations. An experienced train accident attorney can help you determine when you need to file your claim.
While you do not necessarily need a personal injury attorney to represent you in a train accident case, most accident victims choose to work with an attorney because of the value professional legal representation can bring to a claim. However, after an accident, the cost of hiring a lawyer is certainly a factor in this decision.
At Console & Associates, P.C., we represent train accident victims on a contingency basis, meaning we will handle your case at no upfront cost to you. In some cases, we will also advance the litigation costs, such as investigation and deposition expenses, filing fees, and expert witness fees. Under our No Fee Promise, we will not ask you to pay us anything unless and until we can obtain compensation for your injuries. This means that if we can’t win your case, we won’t get paid.