Train accidents are pretty common – contrary to the beliefs of most people. Sometimes, people deliberately leave their vehicles on the railroad, the signals at road crossings can be conflicting, the equipment can have problems, or the operators can get distracted.
Regardless of the real cause, a crash can take a toll on you financially, emotionally, and physically. Luckily, Pasadena personal injury attorneys can help you take advantage of the state and federal laws that protect you, and require people that dodge their responsibilities to pay for their actions.
What Types of Train Accidents Can One Get Compensation for in California?
Train accidents can happen in several ways, and victims of these accidents can get compensation, especially when someone’s negligence contributed to the crash.
- Derailments: Occupants of nearby buildings, passengers, and railroad workers can get injured when a train goes off its track. This happens when one train car pulls others off the track, and the entire train gets affected.
- Train Collisions: It is rare for one train to collide with another. But when that happens, the size and speed of the trains can cause severe injuries to people involved.
- Train Crashes with Cars: Accidents happen at the point where a train track crisscrosses a road. Sometimes, the driver can find themselves in the line of traffic because they didn’t see the train coming. At other times, it occurs when a driver thinks that they can drive fast enough to beat the train, yet the signals are flashing.
- Pedestrian Hit by Train: Crossing or walking along the train track in the path of an oncoming train can cause a serious accident.
In case of injuries following a train accident, a qualified Pasadena train accident lawyer can assist in getting compensation in full. They can assess the details of the case and file a personal injury case before the statute of limitation lapses.
Can I Seek Compensation if I’m a Train Employee?
Unlike most other employees, railroad workers are not covered by the usual workers’ compensation. Instead, the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) covers you if you get injured while working. Pasadena train accident lawyers can guide you on how to file a lawsuit with FELA and demonstrate how the railroad company’s negligence caused your injuries.
The lawsuit will be successful if you have evidence to show that the railroad:
- Failed to provide adequate employee supervision
- Required you to work under unreasonable time pressure
- Required you to work longer hours than regulations allow
- Didn’t provide correct safety equipment
- Failed to provide proper safety training
Simply put your pieces of evidence together and get ready for the lawsuit. With the assistance of a personal injury lawyer who understands the laws in California, you are guaranteed to recover compensation in full.
Who Should I Sue in a Train Accident?
Finding out the party or parties that failed to do what they were supposed to do, resulting in the accident, is very critical. Those parties and their insurance companies are required by law, to pay you and every other injured person some damages. Work closely with your train accident lawyer in Pasadena to assist you in the fact-finding journey and uncover all forms of negligence.
- Railroad Company. It is the role of the railroad company to ensure that their tracks and trains get the necessary maintenance. They also ought to ensure that train employees, such as the engineers and conductors, have the requisite training and experience to work in the train. They can be held liable for your injuries if they fail to perform their responsibilities.
- Train Operator (Public Agency or Company). The agency or company needs to ensure that the rail cars, trains, and other equipment are working well. They also have to supervise employees and provide everything they need for the job. Making engineers work long hours being sleep-deprived is negligence on their part.
- Track Owner. Different parts of a train track could be owned by different government entities or private companies. Sometimes, deficiencies in certain parts of the track can contribute to the accident. In such a case, the entity that manages or owns that part can be held liable.
- The driver of the Car. When a vehicle collides with a train on the tracks, the driver might have acted negligently.
- Manufacturer. A faulty signal, engine, or other parts of the train you were in, or the one you collide with can cause an accident. In some instances, the manufacturer of that component or part can be held responsible for the crash.
What Damages Can I Recover After a Train Accident?
The most crucial thing to do after a train accident is to fight for compensation. The person or institution that is responsible for the accident should cover your damages directly or through their insurance company.
- Punitive Damages – The defendant might be asked to pay you if they acted egregiously or maliciously. You might be awarded these damages if you prove that the party acted with malice, fraud, or oppression.
- Property Damage – If your property was also damaged during the accident, you could be paid to repair or replace it.
- Lost Wages and Future Earnings – You can receive damages if the injuries reduce your working capacity and for the days you missed work to nurse your injuries.
- Pain and Suffering – You could get this compensation if you got burns, disfigurement, or limb amputation. It also applies to you if you were left with post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia, anxiety, and other emotional disorders.
- Medical Expenses – The compensation also covers costs of therapies, assistive devices, medications, doctor visits, hospital visits, and surgeries.
Accident Lawyers Fighting for Victims’ Compensation
Recovering compensation has a set of challenges because persons responsible always try to deny fault or give you less than you deserve. You need an attorney who can investigate the accident’s facts and fight for nothing less than full compensation.
At Thon Beck Vanni Callahan & Powell, PC, we are personal injury attorneys in California with the technical expertise and experience to handle all aspects of train accidents. If you’ve been injured in a train accident or derailment – call (626) 795-8333 and take advantage of our tenacity and skill.