Train Accident Attorney
Regardless of whether you take the train frequently, occasionally, or not at all, Pennsylvania motorists and road users still encounter trains on a regular basis. That means drivers and many others are at risk of death or serious injuries in a train accident. Both passenger and freight trains cross millions of miles of track across the US, so it is not surprising that crashes are a common threat. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) reports that there are almost 12,000 train accidents annually, causing up to 800 fatalities and more than 8,600 injuries to victims. Those who work around trains, tracks, and stations are more likely to be affected. Around 14 deaths and 4,100 injuries are to railway employees.
Pennsylvania personal injury laws extend to many fatal and injury-causing accidents, including incidents connected to train travel. At Quinn Law Group, our team is experienced in pursuing legal remedies and dedicated to getting the compensation you deserve for your losses. Please contact our firm to set up a free consultation with a Philadelphia train accident attorney who can provide personalized details. You can also read on for a summary about your rights.
Train Collision Liability
The key to liability with these cases is your position in the accident, since you could be hurt while riding as a paying passenger, a road user, or employee of the railroad. There are three concepts that may apply, and they all involve various forms of negligence:
1. Common Carrier Liability: Passenger trains, including long-range, commuter, and even SEPTA trains, are considered common carriers under liability laws. They transport people and goods for a fee, so they owe a duty to exercise the highest degree of care and diligence to passengers.
The failure to comply with this duty may be the result of a violation of regulations governing trains and rail operations. However, it may also be a breach of duty to not exercise the care and diligence that a reasonably careful operator would in handling the train.
2. Basic Negligence: Train and railroad companies still owe a duty of care to individuals who are not passengers. Negligence is often applicable when trains are involved in motor vehicle accidents. To recover compensation, you must prove that the accident was the direct result of the train operator’s failure to exercise reasonable care.
3. Workplace Accidents: A special law applies for railway workers injured in train accidents. Under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), railroad employees are not subject to state workers’ compensation laws. You may pursue your employer in court to recover damages, and you must prove that the railroad was negligent. However, you do not need to show the direct causal link.
Common Causes Behind Train Accidents
There is a wide range of individuals and entities involved with safely operating the locomotive, attached cars, tracks, depots, stations, and other railroad tasks. Accidents may be the result of:
- Derailments and cars jumping the tracks.
- Train conductor mistakes from lack of training or failure to comply with regulations.
- Defective gates that fail to lower at train crossings.
- Collisions with other trains.
- Stalled motor vehicles on the tracks at railroad crossings.
- Signal defects.
- Cargo falling off freight train cars due to improper loading.
- Mechanical failures; and,
- Failure to properly maintain and inspect tracks.
Train accidents do not always involve crashes, as there are other dangerous conditions that can lead to injuries. Rail companies must properly maintain areas in depots and stations where the public has access. Slips, trips, and falls are common when they do not take reasonable safety precautions, and victims may even suffer injuries from criminal activity.
Compensation for Train Accident Losses:
Quinn Law Group is committed to getting the monetary damages you deserve by law after being hurt in a collision. You can count on your Philadelphia train accident lawyer to seek amounts for two classes of compensation:
- Economic Damages: Some losses are tangible and measurable, such as lost wages and medical costs for emergency care, surgery, and hospitalization.
- Noneconomic Damages: You may also qualify to recover for your subjective losses that diminish quality of life. Pain and suffering are an example of noneconomic damage.
Trust a Philadelphia Train Accident Attorney to Pursue Legal Remedies
For more information on compensation and the legal process, please contact Quinn Law Group to speak to a member of our team. You can set up a no-cost case evaluation by calling (215) 360-3666 or checking out our website. Once we review your details, a Philadelphia train crash lawyer will advise you on the specifics.