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Pennsylvania Train Accident Lawyers

Train travel is a relatively safe means of transportation. However, each year there are thousands of train derailments, collisions, and other types of train accidents. Pennsylvania train crashes and derailments may not be among the most common types of accidents, but when these accidents occur, they tend to be very severe. Train accidents frequently result in severe injury or death. Those injured in a train accident, whether as a passenger, an employee, pedestrian, or as the driver or passenger of a car, can pursue a claim to recover money damages for their injuries.

Our 210 TC Pennsylvania train accident lawyers of Console & Associates, are a dedicated team who regularly represents individuals and families affected by train accidents. We have successfully pursued claims against many major rail operators, and we know what it takes to hold a railroad company liable for an accident victim’s injuries.

Since 1994, Console & Associates has been a thorn in the side of insurance companies, proudly standing up for the rights of accident victims and their families. When you bring Console & Associates onto your team, you will get the peace of mind knowing that you have an experienced ally who will have your best interests at heart every step of the way.

Train Accident Statistics

According to the United States Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), there have been more than 1,860 train accidents every year over the past ten years. Derailments are the most common type of train accident, with an average of 1,320 train derailments per year.

Train crashes are far less common; however, they are much more dangerous. For example, while there are only about 120 train collisions every year, these accidents are responsible for the majority of train accident injuries and fatalities.

Below is a more in-depth look at the past few years of train-accident data, compiled by the BTS:


Train accidents: 1,724 accidents, 78 collisions, 1,213 derailments

Train accident injuries: 433 injuries, 14 injured in collisions, 113 injured in derailments

Train accident fatalities: 7 total deaths, collisions – 3 fatalities, derailments – no fatalities


Train accidents: 1,785 accidents, 81 collisions, 1,268 derailments

Train accident injuries: 159 injuries, 13 injured in collisions, 46 injured in derailments

Train accident fatalities: 7 total deaths, collisions – no fatalities, derailments – 3 fatalities


Train accidents: 1,934 accidents, 86 collisions, 1,375 derailments

Train accident injuries: 204 injuries, 24 injured in collisions, 155 injured in derailments

Train accident fatalities: 7 total deaths, collisions – 5 fatalities, derailments – no fatalities


Train accidents: 1,848 accidents, 115 collisions, 1,283 derailments

Train accident injuries: 57 injuries, 12 injured in collisions, 20 injured in derailments

Train accident fatalities: 4 total deaths, collisions – no fatalities, derailments – no fatalities

Notably, these statistics exclude train accidents that occur at intersections between highways and railroads. However, the Federal Railroad Administration monitors the number of train accidents involving vehicles. According to the most recent data:

  • 2009: 1,934 collisions, resulting in 249 deaths and 743 injuries.
  • 2010: 2,051 collisions, resulting in 260 deaths and 887 injuries.
  • 2011: 2,061 collisions, resulting in 250 deaths and 1,045 injuries
  • 2012: 1,985 collisions, resulting in 230 deaths and 974 injuries
  • 2013: 2,101 collisions, resulting in 232 deaths and 975 injuries
  • 2014: 2,296 collisions, resulting in 262 deaths and 871 injuries
  • 2015: 2,080 collisions, resulting in 237 deaths and 1,047 injuries
  • 2016: 2,050 collisions, resulting in 255 deaths and 853 injuries
  • 2017: 2,124 collisions, resulting in 271 deaths and 846 injuries
  • 2018: 2,227 collisions, resulting in 260 deaths and 845 injuries
  • 2019: 2,216 collisions, resulting in 293 deaths and 807 injuries

Amtrak is a major passenger train service in Pennsylvania. According to Amtrak, the company operates approximately 110 to 120 daily trains throughout the state, serving more than 6.6 million passengers a year. There are 13 different train routes in Pennsylvania, including:

  • The Acela Express Line
  • The Northeast Regional Line
  • The Keystone Corridor Line
  • The Capitol Limited Line
  • The Cardinal Line
  • The Crescent Line
  • The Lake Shore Limited Line
  • The Palmetto Line
  • The Silver Meteor Line
  • The Silver Star Line
  • The Pennsylvania Line
  • The Vermonter Line
  • The Carolinian Line

The most popular train stations in Pennsylvania for Amtrak riders are:

  • Philadelphia – 30th Street Station: 4,503,055 passengers per year
  • Lancaster Station: 577,305 passengers per year
  • Harrisburg Station: 520,998 passengers per year
  • Paoli Station: 258,214 passengers per year
  • Pittsburgh Station: 129,946 passengers per year

Holding a Railroad Company Responsible after a Pennsylvania Train Accident

 210 TC Pennsylvania Train Accident Lawyers Trains often move at high speeds and are crowded with passengers who are not secured in any type of restraint. When a train derails or collides with another train or vehicle, these massive machines can cause incredible damage – to those both inside and outside the train.

Like all other transportation businesses, or common carriers as they are also known, railroad companies owe a duty of care to their passengers. However, because railroad companies also own the land surrounding the railroad, they also owe a duty to those who cross or otherwise interact with railroad crossings. This includes motorists and pedestrians at railroad crossings.

A railroad company’s duty requires it to operate trains with care, take the necessary precautions to avoid an accident, and clear any hazards in the immediate area of the railroad. However, hundreds of people die each year in train accidents, and thousands more are seriously injured. The majority of these accidents involve trains colliding with people or cars at railroad crossings; however, on average, hundreds of people are injured in train derailments and train collisions involving other trains each year.

Causes of Pennsylvania Train Derailments and Other Train Accidents

One of the issues many Pennsylvania train accident victims face in the aftermath of an accident is determining the cause of the accident. Unlike cars, trucks, and motorcycles, most people are unfamiliar with how trains work or what goes into safely operating a train. Thus, after a train derailment or another train accident, victims are frequently left wondering what went wrong.

As experienced personal injury attorneys who have handled train accidents for years, we have noticed that the vast majority of train accidents result from one of two things: operator error or mechanical malfunction. Of course, each of these two classifications can be further broken down into one or more specific causes.

The following are the most common causes of Pennsylvania train accidents:

  • Overworked employees
  • Employee drug and alcohol use
  • Failure to perform the necessary maintenance
  • Inadequate hiring and training procedures
  • Employee cell phone use
  • Workplace safety violations
  • Poorly maintained equipment
  • The use of defective equipment
  • Speeding
  • Malfunctioning railroad-crossing mechanisms, including safety arms, gates, and lights
  • Improper maintenance of train tracks

Regardless of the reasons behind a Pennsylvania train accident, in most cases, the cause has nothing to do with the accident victim. At Console & Associates, we can help you and your family understand the recovery process and assist you in preparing a claim to help hold Amtrak or any other railroad company responsible.

What to Do if You’ve Been Injured in an Amtrak Accident

When discussing train accidents, it is important to note that there are several types. In most cases, accident victims fall into one of three groups: passengers, employees of the railroad, and those injured in Pennsylvania railroad-crossing accidents. Each of these accidents involves very different considerations from the victim’s perspective, as well as from a legal perspective.

Passengers injured in a Pennsylvania Train Accident

 210 TC Pennsylvania Train Accident Lawyers Railroad companies are common carriers. A common carrier is a public or private entity that transports people or goods for a fee. The law confers benefits to common carriers in recognition of the necessary service they provide. However, along with these benefits come responsibilities. For example, common carriers must provide their services to anyone, provided there is space available, the person offers to pay, and there is no reasonable reason to refuse to do so.

Additionally, the law imposes a special duty on a common carrier whenever it transports a passenger. This duty requires the carrier 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.” While this language is hardly a model of clarity, it can be understood to mean that common carriers owe passengers a significant duty to keep them safe during their travels.

At the same time, the law recognizes that a common carrier cannot ensure someone’s safety. Thus, Pennsylvania train accident cases will often come down to whether the railroad acted reasonably, under the circumstances, to protect the passenger.

Employees Injured in Pennsylvania Train Crashes

In most Pennsylvania workplace accident cases, an injured employee’s default means of recovery is through a workers’ compensation claim. The workers’ compensation claim has its benefits in that it is often much quicker than getting compensation through a personal injury claim. Additionally, these claims do not require an employee to prove their employer’s negligence caused their injuries.

However, there are also significant drawbacks. For example, a workers’ compensation claim will only cover an employee’s economic losses, including medical expenses and lost wages. Generally, non-economic damages, such as those for an employee’s pain and suffering, cannot be recovered through a Pennsylvania workers’ comp claim.

The workers’ compensation system does not apply when it comes to railroad employees who are injured on the job. Instead, injured railroad employees pursue a claim against their employer through the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). FELA was passed back in 1908 in response to the pervasive safety violations in the railroad industry.

Under FELA, railroad companies owe employees specific duties, including:

  • To provide a reasonably safe workplace, including providing safety devices and safety equipment for their employees.
  • To inspect the workplace to ensure that all safety measures are met and that the workplace is free of hazards.
  • To provide employees the necessary training and assistance to ensure they perform their job safely.
  • To ensure workers are safe from any intentional acts of violence committed by other workers.
  • To enforce mandated safety rules and regulations.
  • To prevent unreasonable or unrealistic work quotas that can put workers in danger.

FELA claims are very different from workers’ comp claims. In fact, they more closely resemble a traditional personal injury case in that an injured worker must establish that the railroad was negligent. This is done by showing that the company violated one of the duties it owed the employee.

If an employee is successful in proving the railroad company was negligent, the employee is eligible for both economic and non-economic damages, which may include compensation for:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Any decrease in earning capacity caused by the accident
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disability

Under FELA, an employee must file their claim within three years of the date of the accident. Failure to do so will almost certainly result in the court dismissing the case, leaving the injured employee with no means of recovery. Thus, employees injured in Pennsylvania railroad accidents should reach out to an attorney to discuss their claim as soon as possible.

Pennsylvania Railroad Crossing Accidents

Unlike incidents involving passengers or employees, Pennsylvania railroad crossing accidents involve parties with no previous relationship with the railroad company. However, railroad companies still owe a duty to motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and others. However, these accidents can be extraordinarily complex because there may be multiple parties involved. Determining which party’s negligence caused the accident is not always straightforward.

For example, a railroad crossing accident could be caused by any of the following:

  • Negligent operation of the train;
  • Defective equipment, either in its design or how it was manufactured;
  • Defective train track
  • Government negligence

Further complicating matters is the fact that trains often travel on tracks that are owned by other companies, so it may not be obvious which parties to look to for liability. Given these complexities, an accident victim must conduct a thorough investigation of the crash before knowing how to proceed.

Of course, one of the biggest hurdles in Pennsylvania railroad crossing accidents is disproving the defendants’ claims that the injury victim’s own negligence caused their injuries. Railroad companies’ go-to defense in these cases is that the driver, passenger, or pedestrian should have been on notice that they were near train tracks and should have taken the appropriate precautions.

At Console & Associates, our team of Pennsylvania train accident lawyers commands a vast knowledge of this complex area of the law. We use this knowledge to help our clients and their families recover the compensation they need to move on after a major accident.

How Can a Pennsylvania Train Accident Lawyer Help with Your Case?

Richard P. Console Jr.

Train Accident Lawyer, Richard P. Console Jr.

Every train accident is different, both in terms of how it happened as well as how the accident affected the victim and their family. At Console & Associates, we take the time to get to know you and understand the full extent of the accident’s impact on your life.

When you call to schedule a free consultation with one of our Pennsylvania train accident lawyers, here is what you can expect:

  1. Understanding your rights: We start every client meeting by discussing your rights and answering any questions you have about the legal process. We will not rush you through this process because we recognize that knowledge is empowering. The better you understand the process, the more comfortable you will feel.
  2. Communicating with the railroad company and its insurer: Once you bring us onto your team, we will take over all communications with the railroad and its insurance company. We know what documents and other evidence to ask for to help prove your claim.
  3. Staying on top of your medical care: Our Pennsylvania train accident attorneys will frequently stay in touch with you to ensure that you receive the medical care you need to heal as fully as possible. We will also keep copies of all your medical records to help prove the extent of your injuries.
  4. Investigating the accident: Determining which parties to name in a Pennsylvania train accident lawsuit is a crucial step in the process. However, identifying all potentially liable parties can be challenging. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the accident to uncover all viable theories of liability.
  5. Negotiating a settlement offer: As experienced attorneys who have handled all types of accidents for more than 15 years, we can help you build a strong case and avoid the insurance company’s sneaky tactics to decrease your payout. Too often, insurance companies try to minimize how much they pay out in claims, which results in accident victims obtaining insufficient compensation for their injuries.
  6. Aggressively litigating your claim: If the railroad or their insurance company is not willing to offer you a fair settlement, the veteran trial attorneys at Console & Associates will take your case to court, seeking full and fair compensation for your injuries.

When Console and Associates handles your Pennsylvania railroad accident, you can rest assured that you, your case, and your family are in capable and caring hands.

Reach Out to a Dedicated Pennsylvania Train and Amtrak Accident Lawyer for Immediate Assistance

If you or someone you love suffered severe injuries resulting from an Amtrak accident, SEPTA crash, or regional rail collision, contact Console & Associates. We know what it takes to get the compensation you need to move forward after being involved in a life-changing accident. In fact, we have more than 25 years of hands-on experience representing injury victims and their families in all types of Pennsylvania personal injury cases.

To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with one of our Pennsylvania train accident lawyers, give us a call at (215) 225-2040. You can also contact us through our online form to have one of our experienced attorneys reach out to you.

Console and Associates, P.C.
100 S Broad St #1523 Suite B
Philadelphia, PA 19110

Client Testimonial

I whole-heartedly recommend him to anyone searching for results and compassion throughout the process. There are so many attorneys out there who don’t care about their clients or don’t really understand personal injury matters. Choosing one of them can really be a huge life-changing mistake. Do yourself a favor and just call and talk to him, and you will see what I am talking about.

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