According to the Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Safety Analysis, in 2009 more than 700 people were killed and more than 7,700 were injured in train accidents and other railroad-related incidents across the country. In previous years, the numbers had been even higher.
Train accidents may by caused by a variety of (and occasionally multiple) causes—including defects in train equipment, track or signal defects, and human negligence. A much-publicized 2008 crash, for example, involved a train operator who was texting right before his train collided with another, killing 25 passengers. As a result, new federal regulations have been proposed, attempting to address the problem of distracted driving.
In the most serious accidents, the National Transportation Safety Board takes the lead in investigating the accident and determining its probable cause. People who were injured in a train accident caused by negligence or by defective or malfunctioning equipment may be able to claim compensation for their resulting medical bills, pain and suffering, wages lost due to the injury, and more.
Passengers are hurt every year not only in dramatic incidents such as crashes and derailments, but also in the course of everyday activities, such as getting on or off a train. In such cases, the railroad company may still be responsible and owe the injured person compensation.
Railroad companies are “common carriers,” meaning that they are in the business of transporting the public for profit. As such, they are held to a high standard of care, and expected to go to great lengths to transport their passengers safely.
If you or one of your family members has been injured in a train accident or any railroad-related incident, you should discuss your situation with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. In the process of pursuing compensation, it is very important that you don’t miss any deadlines for filing a claim, and that you identify correctly the parties from whom you might seek such compensation.
The attorneys at Needle Law Firm have successfully represented clients injured throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania. While the vast majority of our cases are resolved through settlements, we are not afraid to go to court when needed—and we do not charge a fee unless you win.
For a free consultation, please call us at (570) 344-1266, or fill out and submit our online “Contact Us” form.