Who Might Be Liable for a Train Accident?

Train accidents are responsible for thousands of injuries—and hundreds of fatalities—every single year. While the affected parties are usually entitled to compensation, they must determine who was to blame before they can seek the funds needed to make their lives whole again.

In other words, if you were hurt in a train accident, you won’t be able to proceed with your personal injury claim until you identify all those who played a role in the incident. To help you get started, here are some of the most likely culprits, which your legal team can help you narrow down:

1. The Railway Operator

Companies that operate railways must take reasonable measures to keep their passengers safe. For example, they have an obligation to maintain their rail cars, tracks, and other essential equipment.

Railway operators are also responsible for doing their due diligence when hiring and training employees. They must verify credentials, provide both initial and ongoing training, and ensure adequate supervision at all times.

2. A Parts Manufacturer

Trains have a lot of moving parts, and if any of them are defective, an accident is all but inevitable. When accidents are attributed to mechanical malfunctions caused by flawed parts, the manufacturer is usually liable.

3. A Negligent Motorist

When motorists ignore railroad crossing signs, they can be deemed liable for any collisions that result. Should this end up being the case, injured victims can proceed with a third-party claim against the negligent motorist’s insurance carrier.

What Kinds of Damages Can I Seek by Filing a Train Accident Claim?

Once you and your legal team determine who was to blame for the incident in which you were hurt, you can seek damages. Like other kinds of personal injury actions, those involving train accidents are governed by tort law, and in California that means the following damages are recoverable:

  • Pain and suffering,
  • Emotional distress,
  • Loss of enjoyment in life,
  • Property repairs,
  • Lost wages,
  • Loss of future income and benefits,
  • Medical expenses,
  • Reasonably necessary replacement services,
  • Home and vehicle modifications, and
  • Domestic help.

How Long Do I Have to Take Action After Getting Hurt in a Train Accident?

If the responsible party disputes liability, challenges your credibility, or is otherwise uncooperative, you may have to file a formal lawsuit. Should that end up being the case, you’ll likely have two years to do so.

In the state of California, the typical statute of limitations for personal injury actions is two years; however, there are a few exceptions to this deadline. If a government agency was to blame, for example, you may have to submit an administrative claim within just six months. For this reason, it’s wise to call a lawyer as soon as possible.

Discuss Your Case with a Train Accident Attorney in California

At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, we know what it takes to hold even the largest and most powerful entities liable for their negligence. If you were seriously hurt while riding a train, we’ll help you take action against all those who are to blame. To set up your free case review with a train accident lawyer in California, call 1-800-GO-HARRIS or complete our Online Contact Form.

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