Train accidents

Train accidents

Train accidents

Train accidents can have disastrous results, resulting in serious injuries, considerable financial losses, and mental distress. If you or a loved one has been in a train accident in New York, it is critical that you understand your legal rights and seek the advice of an experienced train accident lawyer.

Fortunately, train accidents have become less frequent over the last few decades. Nonetheless, they are still more common than most people think. In 2018 there were more than 1800 train accidents reported in New York. In that same year, 199 people got injured and 8 people died as a result of train accidents.

Train accidents can be more complex than other kinds of accidents because there are several parties that can be held responsible. The compensation you may receive will depend a lot on the details of your accident. 

What Are the Most Common Causes of Train Accidents in New York?

When it comes to train accidents in New York, various elements might play a role. Understanding the most prevalent reasons can aid in deciding the appropriate legal course of action and throw light on potential obligations. The following are the primary causes of train accidents in New York:

Human error

One of the primary causes of train accidents is human error, especially train operator lack of ability. Train operators’ mistakes, such as speeding, disobeying signals, or running trains when exhausted or drunk, can lead to catastrophic accidents.

Mechanical failures

Mechanical failures in trains, such as faulty brakes, poor rails, or faulty equipment, can result in accidents. Mechanical failures can be caused by poor maintenance procedures, inadequate inspections, defective repairs, and manufacturing flaws.

Track defects

Inadequate railway track maintenance can create hazardous circumstances that contribute to train accidents. Track flaws such as damaged rails, loose bolts, or faulty alignment endanger train operations and passenger safety.

Signal malfunctions

Signal failure can lead to railway crashes or derailments by misguiding train operators. These faults can be caused by faulty signaling systems, poor communication between control centers and trains, or signal operator mistakes.

Train operator negligence

Train operator negligence, such as distracted driving, failing to follow safety regulations, or engaging in irresponsible behavior, can result in serious accidents. Train operators must prioritize passenger safety and run trains with extreme caution and care.

Weather conditions

Severe weather conditions, such as heavy rain, snowstorms, or dense fog, can make train operations dangerous. Reduced vision, slick tracks, and insufficient braking abilities can all raise the likelihood of an accident.

Obstacles on tracks

Objects or impediments on railway tracks, such as fallen trees, trash, or automobiles, can cause crashes, derailments, or abrupt stops, putting passengers’ lives in danger.

Collisions with vehicles or pedestrians

Collisions involving trains and cars at railway crossings, as well as pedestrians trespassing on lines, can be disastrous. Accidents can occur due to failure to respect traffic signals, insufficient warning signs, or careless behavior by vehicles or pedestrians.

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Train Accident?

Liability in railway accidents can be difficult to determine since numerous parties may share fault. Every accident is different but there are some parties that are commonly responsible for this type of event. The following entities are possibly liable:

  • Railroad companies: Companies that operate and maintain trains and tracks may be held accountable for accidents caused by their carelessness, insufficient maintenance, or failure to follow safety requirements. In most cases, the railroad company will be the first party that can be held liable for the incident. 
  • Train operators: If the accident happened as a result of the train operator’s carelessness, they may be held liable for the losses. Speeding or operating the train under the influence of drugs or alcohol is considered negligence and if there is evidence of any of these conditions the operator can be considered responsible for the accident. 
  • Manufacturers: If a defective product or a malfunctioning piece of equipment contributed to the accident, the producer or distributor of the problematic component may be held accountable.
  • Maintenance or repair companies: If a third-party train repair company is hired to repair or maintain the trains and the accident is caused by a faulty repair or maintenance done by said company, they may be held responsible.
  • Government entities: Government agencies in charge of railway infrastructure maintenance may be held liable if their carelessness or failure to address known dangers led to the disaster. 

Determining the responsible party for a train accident is not easy. In most cases being able to accurately identify the liable party requires a lot of investigation and evidence. For that reason it is advisable to speak to a train accident attorney. An experienced train accident attorney will not only help you get the compensation you need, but they also know other experts who can help in the investigation process and the evidence gathering to build a solid case. 

What Steps Should I Take Immediately Following a Train Accident in New York?

After a train accident in New York, taking the following steps is crucial:

  1. Seek quick medical assistance for any injuries received in the accident: Put your health and safety first by seeking immediate medical attention for any injuries sustained in the accident.
  2. Report the collision: Notify the relevant authorities, such as local law enforcement or the train company, about the accident to ensure that the occurrence is properly documented.
  3. Take images or recordings of the accident site, injuries, and property damage to preserve evidence. Gather contact information from any witnesses that are there.
  4. Refrain from making statements: Do not divulge the specifics of the accident or accept any payouts without first speaking with a train accident lawyer.
  5. Consult an expert train accident lawyer: Seek legal counsel from an experienced train accident lawyer who can safeguard your rights, guide you through the legal process, and assist you in pursuing reasonable compensation.

How Long Do I Have to File a Train Accident Lawsuit in New York?

In New York, there are specific deadlines, known as statutes of limitations, for filing train accident lawsuits. Generally, personal injury lawsuits must be filed within three years from the date of the accident. However, this deadline does not apply to government entities.

Suing a government entity in New York requires following specific procedures and adhering to legal requirements. Typically, this entails proving that the organization was negligent, failed its duty of care, or violated your fundamental rights. Following that, a notice of claim must be submitted within a set term, generally within 90 days of the incident. This notification notifies the government body of your intent to sue and contains pertinent information about the incident, damages, and injuries sustained. The notification must adhere to the precise standards established under New York law. Following the filing of the notice of claim, the government entity may have the chance to examine the situation or maybe propose a settlement. If no agreement is reached, a lawsuit may be launched within the statute of limitations.  Working with a train accident attorney will ensure that you meet the deadlines necessary to file a claim and start the process of recovering compensation for your injuries.

What Compensation Can I Receive for My Medical Expenses, Lost Wages, and Pain and Suffering?

If you have been injured in a train accident in New York, you may be entitled to various forms of compensation, including but not limited to:

  • Compensation for present and future medical expenditures incurred as a result of the injury, such as hospital bills, surgeries, prescriptions, rehabilitation, and therapy.
  • Lost wages: Compensation for money lost as a result of the injury, including missed workdays, impaired earning ability, and potential future income losses.
  • Compensation for physical and mental misery caused by the accident, including pain, anxiety, sadness, and loss of pleasure of life.
  • Property damage: Compensation for any damage to personal property caused by the railway accident, such as automobiles or personal items.
  • Wrongful death: In the sad case of a fatal train accident, surviving family members may be able to seek compensation for loss of companionship, burial expenses, and financial assistance through a wrongful death claim.

What Are the Most Common Injuries in Train Accidents?

Train accidents can cause a wide variety of injuries. In some cases, the injuries can be catastrophic and leave permanent consequences. These are some of the most common injuries after train accidents:

TBI (Traumatic Brain Injuries)

TBIs can arise as a result of a collision or the train’s violent movement. These injuries have the potential to have long-term effects on cognitive function, memory, and general quality of life.

Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)

Serious railway accidents can result in spinal cord injuries, which can result in paralysis or lifelong damage. These injuries frequently need substantial medical treatment and follow-up care.

Fractures and Broken Bones

The impact of a railway collision might result in fractures and fractured bones. These injuries may necessitate surgery, immobilization, and extensive rehabilitation. 

Soft Tissue Injuries

Sprains, strains, and severe bruising are frequent soft tissue injuries in railway accidents. While they are not fatal, they can cause substantial discomfort and impede movement.

Internal Organ Injuries

Internal injuries from a railway collision might include damage to organs such as the lungs, liver, spleen, or kidneys. These injuries can be fatal and need prompt medical attention.

Why Should I Hire a Train Accident Lawyer Instead of a General Personal Injury Lawyer?

Unlike a general personal injury lawyer, train accident lawyers are usually very experienced in handling train accident claims. This means that train accident attorneys are better at determining who is liable for your injuries.

They also have vast knowledge about the evidence that is crucial to demonstrate someone else’s negligence in train accident cases. Moreover, train accident lawyers often collaborate with professionals from various fields who possess expertise that can contribute to a thorough investigation of the accident.

Finally, in the event that the liable party is a government entity, it is important to work with someone who knows specifically what steps need to be taken to be able to file a lawsuit against the respective organization.

Can a Train Accident Lawyer Help Me if I Lost a Loved One in a Fatal Train Accident?

Yes, a train accident lawyer can assist you in pursuing a wrongful death claim if you lost a loved one in a fatal train accident. They can provide compassionate support, navigate the legal complexities, and help you seek justice and fair compensation for your loss.

In conclusion, train accidents in New York can have severe consequences, resulting in injuries, financial losses, and emotional distress. Understanding the common causes, liability factors, immediate steps to take, legal timelines, potential compensation, and the importance of hiring a specialized train accident lawyer is crucial for protecting your rights and obtaining the compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a train accident. If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a train accident, do not hesitate in contacting Greenberg & Stein P.C. At our law firm you can find some of the best train accident attorneys in New York ready to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us at 888-716-4088 to schedule a free consultation to review your case.

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