Train Accidents: Legal Approach to Injury Compensation in California

Find A California Personal Injury Lawyer for Train Accidents


Train accidents can have devastating effects on a person, physically and mentally. If you or a family member was ever injured in a train accident, you could contact a Personal Injury Attorney in California to sue for damages.


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How Do Train Accidents Happen?


The Federal Railroad Commission keeps track of many kinds of train accidents. However, according to recent figures, derailments, track crossings, and collisions account for most railway accidents in the United States.

  • Derailments. A derailment occurs when a train deviates from its tracks. Defective rails, barriers, poorly maintained machinery, too much freight weight, or other safety standard violations can all cause severe injuries.

  • Railroad Crossing Accidents. Vehicles or people are struck at a railroad crossing. According to the National Safety Committee, in 2017, there were 168 deaths involving motor vehicles and railroad crossings. In addition, 86 persons were killed at railway crossings in the same year.

  • Collisions. A collision can occur in any form of train accident. For example, a car might collide with a train at a railroad crossing, or two trains could crash on the tracks. Any passenger (on or off the train) could be critically hurt or killed in a collision with a high-speed train.

The direct cause of the accident can ultimately decide who is responsible for the injuries you or a loved one sustained. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in California to help you investigate and plan out your strategies.

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When Severe, Disfiguring Injuries Happen

Passengers have been known to suffer significant injuries and even death as a result of railroad incidents. In addition, you could be gravely wounded if you're a passenger, a bystander, or a train employee.

Catastrophic injuries are particularly disabling. Plaintiffs (victims of the accident) are unable to function due to their injuries, which has a detrimental influence on many parts of their lives and having to deal with large medical expenditures.

A horrific accident can induce long-term illnesses and chronic pain, lowering the quality of life of those exposed to it. Furthermore, fundamental daily duties will become arduous if you have lifetime restrictions resulting from a catastrophic injury.


A catastrophic injury is defined differently in each state, but it generally refers to an injury that's either one or more of the following:

  • Significant effects on your health (long-term)

  • On average, your life expectancy has decreased

  • Permanent physical and mental impairments

  • You will never be able to get back to your pre-injury state or condition.

A catastrophic injury differs from a typical personal injury in terms of the degree and severity of the harm. For example, a traumatic accident leaves you permanently changed as a result of the event. A California Personal Injury Lawyer can assist you in filing a claim for further compensation if your circumstance falls into this category.


Who is to Blame in Train Accidents?


Liability or fault in a railway accident is determined by who was legally liable for saving the victim from their injuries. Commuter trains and railroad firms, for example, get compensated for transporting passengers.


While a common carrier cannot ensure rider safety, it must adhere to strict liability regulations to safeguard its passengers.


Railroads, like airplanes, must have a system that records data that may be valuable in investigating the reason for a crash. This detail is crucial for a California Personal Injury Attorney attempting to show the operator's or railroad company's negligence.


When the Accident Involves By-Standers

Bystanders can be wounded in railroad crossings, derailments, and other collisions. In addition, railroad firms may be held accountable if a railroad crossing arm or gate malfunctions or warning signals fail.

The railroad company could be held liable for a train operator's negligence, especially if the business neglected to hire a qualified operator. However, if a bystander's negligence caused the collision, such as crossing the rails while warning lights were operational, it may be difficult to recover damages.

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When it Involves Railroad Workers On-The-Job


Employees of railroads that enable interstate trade between states are covered by federal law. Railroads are required by the Federal Employer's Liability Act (FELA) to follow safety regulations and conduct frequent safety checks to keep their employees safe.


If an injured railroad worker can show that the railroad company's conduct or omissions caused the worker's injury, they may be entitled to recover damages. In addition, railroad employees' families may be eligible for compensation if they died due to the company's negligence.


It's vital to understand that various factors can cause these accidents, and it's critical to hire a California Personal Injury Lawyer as quickly as possible after an occurrence occurs. On behalf of injured victims or their families, the prosecutor should employ experts to assist in the prompt prosecution of these cases.

How Do You File a Lawsuit for Damages Caused by a Train Accident?


To properly settle your claim following a train accident, you must file your case as quickly as possible. Hire a California Personal Injury Attorney to review the occurrence, collect eyewitness testimony, and file the required documentation in the relevant court before the statute of limitations on your case runs out.


Your Lawyer can determine who the proper defendants are in your case, which may include:

  • Conductor/operator of a train

  • Train cars or engines made by a specific company

  • Real estate owners

  • A railroad company

  • Those in charge of railway repairs (such as crews or employees)

  • Related government agencies

Regardless of who you sue, your train accident case will almost certainly be for negligence. The main premise of this type of legal action is that the defendant did not act in a reasonable manner in the given circumstances.

That standard is often raised to that of a similarly situated qualified professional in the event of a commercial vehicle driver or common carrier. You must allege and prove that they breached a legal obligation due to you, and that the breach resulted in your losses.


Find A Train Accidents Attorney in California

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