Train Derailment Accidents
While we hear about car accidents on a daily basis, train accidents appear to be less frequent. Although they are less likely to occur, they can be deadly. Train derailment accidents, in particular, are very serious and cause life-threatening injuries to passengers on board.
While trains and other forms of public transportation tend to be relatively safe, major accidents in recent years have caused alarm in various communities. This is because driver negligence is typically to blame, and if the operators had been more careful, these accidents could have been avoided altogether.
If you have been seriously injured due to a train derailment, it’s important to have legal representation. The Chicago train accident lawyers from Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. will aggressively defend your case and help you achieve a favorable outcome.
Call us today at (312) 236-2900 for a free, initial consultation.
Causes of Train Derailments
Train derailments can happen for various reasons. In most cases, human error is the cause. Inexperienced operators may exercise poor judgment and speed.
In the case of the Amtrak train derailment in May 2015, the train was going twice the speed limit – more than 100 mph in a 50 mph zone. When a train is going that fast, it’s difficult to quickly slow down around curves.
In some cases, operators are too slow to react. This may be caused by fatigue. They may not apply the brakes soon enough. They may even accidentally speed up instead of slowing down.
Distractions are other issues that operators face. Some accidents have been caused by inattention or engaging in distracting acts – such as reading or texting – while driving.
In some situations, though, malfunctions are to blame. Trains typically have sensors that alert operators when something is amiss. Advancement in technology allows these sensors to activate long before maintenance or service is needed. These sensors are well in place before an accident occurs. However, when a malfunction occurs, these sensors may not appear.
It may appear as if the train manufacturer may be at fault for this type of malfunction. However, if the transportation company failed to maintain the train properly or knew about the malfunction, but failed to take action, then it could be held liable.
Train derailments are quite complex. It takes a fair amount of investigation to determine the cause of the accident and who should be held liable. There are two main causes: human error and mechanical defects.
If it is found that the train operator is at fault, he or she can be sued, as well as the employer. The doctrine of respondeat superior allows a person to sue an employee and employer if the injury occurred under the scope of one’s employment.
If the accident was caused by a defective mechanism, you may be able to file a product liability claim. The manufacturer could be held liable if it is found that the mechanism is considered dangerous. The manufacturer could face additional penalties for allowing a defective device to be placed in the market for purchase, if the company knew the device was dangerous.
Considering that you will likely not be the only one involved in a crash, it is important to remember that while it is possible to sue a train company following an accident, the cap for a single accident is $200 million. Essentially, this amount must pay for all the damages relating to the accident, including fees, monetary compensation, and emotional damages.
Getting Legal Help
Those injured in any type of accident – including a train derailment – have the right to file a legal claim against the liable parties. Determining liability can be complicated, however, so it’s important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible following an injury accident.
A train crash can have serious consequences. You may suffer from painful injuries for a very long time. You may not be able to work for an extended period of time and, at the same time, be stuck with costly medical bills.
Dealing with the aftermath of an accident is stressful enough. You should not have to deal with financial difficulties as well. That’s why you need the Chicago train accident lawyers from Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. on your side.
We are skilled at uncovering evidence and placing fair values on injury cases. We’ll help you recover the compensation you need to move on with your life. We can help you file a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
Schedule your free consultation by calling (312) 236-2900.