Have you been injured or lost a loved one in a train accident? Contact an Arizona Train Accident Lawyer for a free consultation about your legal rights.
Train accidents can involve locomotives or light rail systems. They can result in catastrophic injuries and death.
A Train Accident Attorney Can Help
Traveling by train is safer than traveling by car or bus. But, when a train wreck occurs, the consequences are often devastating. The injuries suffered by train accident victims are usually severe or fatal. Our Arizona train accident lawyers can assist victims of train accidents and light rail accidents to recover the compensation they are entitled to.
Train accident lawsuits are complicated. Significant investigative work is often required to properly prepare the case. It is necessary to acquire and analyze evidence to determine and prove both liability (who is at fault for the accident) and damages (the amount of compensation due to victims). Accident reconstructionists, engineers and other experts may have to be hired.
The emotional and financial burden on train accident victims can be overwhelming. If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of a train wreck, contact us to see if you have a valid claim. Let us focus on your legal recovery and maximizing your legal compensation while you focus on your physical and emotional recovery.
Reasons for Train Crashes and Train Injuries
Most train wrecks occur at train crossings. Train collisions typically occur with vehicles (cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles) bicycles and pedestrians. Other types of railroad accidents include crashes between two trains, derailments and hazardous material spills.
The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration has a Highway-Rail Crossings Program to help lower the number of train crashes at railroad crossings. While we applaud efforts to reduce train wrecks, unfortunately train accidents still do occur. And many of them are preventable.
Train accidents and train injuries can result from one or more of the following factors:
- Unprotected railroad crossings
- Conductor fatigue or error
- Brakeman fatigue or error
- Mechanical failures
- Improper track maintenance
- Spillage of hazardous waste
- Defects in trains, tracks or infrastructure
- Excessive speed
- Other reasons
If a train accident was preventable and the companies in charge did not take proper precautions, those companies may be responsible to pay for the resulting injuries.
Train Accident Lawsuits
An experienced train injury attorney will investigate the reasons for the accident and determine who may be at fault. Depending on your train crash, the responsible parties might include the owner of the train, the owner of the track, the driver of a motor vehicle, the manufacturer of the train, the manufacturer of other equipment, a maintenance company or others. In some cases, more than one party may be responsible for your injuries.
Before a lawsuit is filed, your attorney will investigate the railroad accident and resulting train crash injuries. Evidence must be secured. Witnesses may need to be located. Experts may have to be hired. The defendants have to be identified and located.
Your injuries and losses have to be carefully considered in order to make a claim for the compensation you deserve. Damages you may be entitled to include past medical bills, future medical bills, lost wages, impaired earning capacity, pain and suffering, and compensation for disabilities.
Train companies are usually large corporations with large teams of experienced defense attorneys. By hiring a trial lawyer to represent you, you can level the playing field and maximize the chances of winning your claim.
Special Considerations for Accidents Involving Trains
If a train accident lawsuit is filed, there may be questions about whether the court must apply state law, federal law or both. If there is a conflict between state and federal laws, the federal laws will normally apply.
In some cases, federal laws may enable train companies to escape liability. The Federal Railroad Safety Act of 1970 (FRSA) addresses safety issues, including warning horns. In some cases, a railroad might avoid liability if the horn complied with federal regulations. If the person inured in a railroad accident is an employee of the train company, the Federal Employer Liability Act may apply instead of state law.
Legal regulations define how long a train company employee can work in one shift. If these rules are not followed and an accident occurs, the train company may be at fault. Workers who are tired are more likely to make mistakes.
Some train cars are pulled by one or more engines in front, while others are pushed by one or more engines from behind. If cars are pushed, the chances of a derailment after a collision may be increased.
Some railroad crossings are in remote areas and are not often used. If an out-of-the-way crossing is not properly maintained, the chances of an accident are increased.
If the train or train tracks are owned by a governmental entity, the time for filing a lawsuit may be much shorter than against private parties. There may also be special procedures that must be followed to make a claim against the governmental entity.
These are other factors can be considered by an experienced train accident attorney in analyzing your case.
United States Train Accident Statistics
- There are roughly 3,000 train accidents every year
- Train accidents claim about 1,000 lives every year
- About every two weeks people are asked to evacuate their homes due to train derailments that cause chemical spillage
- Each year, on average, more people die in train crashes than in commercial airline crashes
- When a train-vehicle crash occurs, the force is equivalent to a car crushing a soda can
- A typical 100-car freight train weighs the same as 4,000 cars combined
- About 2 out of 3 collisions at railroad crossings happen during daylight
- Approximately every two hours, either a vehicle or a pedestrian is struck by a train, an average of 12 incidents each day
- A motorist is almost 20 times more likely to die in a crash involving a train than in a collision involving another motor vehicle
- More than half of all grade crossing collisions occur where train speeds are 30 mph or less
- More than 50% of train accidents occur at unprotected railroad crossings
- According to the Federal Railroad Administration, more than 80% of railroad crossings are not protected by lights and safety gates
Contact an Experienced Arizona Train Accident Lawyer
Our Arizona train accident lawyers have the knowledge and resources to properly prepare your case and fight for you. Our goal is to maximize the amount we recover for our clients. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation at (480) 361-2442.