There can be many things that cause or contribute to a train accident, from aggressive driving to malfunctioning equipment. Determining who was at fault for a train accident is usually a complex task.
If you or someone you love was injured after a train accident, you must discuss your case with a personal injury attorney. There could be multiple parties at fault for your injuries, and you may be eligible for compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
Who Was Negligent?
Trains involve many people to run properly. First, train operators must be fully trained and competent. Second, the train maintenance staff is responsible for making sure that the train and tracks meet minimum standards before they are allowed to be operational. Lastly, train companies and governing bodies are responsible for training and managing all personnel, as well as enforcing compliance standards for safety.
In the state of Indiana, most train tracks cross streets, thus sharing some intersections with vehicles and pedestrians. Local public agencies are responsible for the upkeep of railroad crossings, including warning signs and lights that keep people safe from collisions with a train.
Vehicle operators must also abide by traffic laws to prevent accidents at railroad crossings. Drivers must exercise care when crossing train tracks, even if there are no lights or signs. Any vehicle drivers aggressively trying to “beat the train” are liable for property damage and injuries.
After a train accident, one or more of the people described above may be guilty of negligence. As a result, these individuals and organizations can be liable for any subsequent injuries in a personal injury claim.
Who Was Injured?
After a train accident involving passengers, there is usually a variation in the severity of injuries among the passengers. Some train accidents cause mild injuries, while others can cause severe injury and death to those riding the train.
When trains collide with cars, not only are passengers on the train in danger of injury, but any vehicle passengers can have injuries, as well. Those injured may spend days, weeks, and months in the hospital recovering from injuries after a train accident.
Unfortunately, many train accidents lead to injuries resulting in death. If someone you love has been killed in a train accident, there may be several parties responsible. You should speak with a personal injury attorney to discuss your wrongful death case.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Train Accident
If you’ve been injured in a train accident, insurance providers will likely be working quickly to protect one or more of the personnel described above. They may offer you a settlement that is less than what you deserve and need, which is why it’s important to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Strong personal injury attorneys will be able to help you understand who was at fault for your injuries and how to proceed. They will also help you know whether it is in your best interest to accept a settlement offer or proceed with a personal injury lawsuit against negligent parties.
The costs associated with your injuries are known as damages. Whoever is responsible for those damages in a train accident must compensate the injured party accordingly. Because many train accidents involve more than one negligent party, the damages may be spread across multiple guilty parties to be paid to the injured victim (or victims).
For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your train accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.