Train accidents can have devastating consequences for victims. Oftentimes injuries are disabling or fatal. There can be numerous complicated issues that factor into this type of claim and that are of importance to victims and their families, including who was at fault and liability for the accident.
Causes of Train Accidents
Collisions can happen between a train and a motor vehicle, or even with a pedestrian. The causes can vary but one of the more common is when it derails. This could be the result of mechanical failure or human error.
With mechanical problems, the issue could be with the train itself or the tracks. In regard to human error this can be the result of excessive speeds, fatigue or failure to pay attention. For instance, distracted driving isn’t just an issue with those who operate motor vehicles, it could be the reason for a train accident.
Communication problems are another cause for train accidents. One example is miscommunication between the conductor and the train station. Additionally, signals at a railroad crossing may not be working correctly.
Structural defects in the track or roadbed are another cause for an accident. Trains that aren’t regularly inspected and/or properly maintained could lead to one being put in operation that isn’t safe.
Types of Train Accident Injuries
Victims may be onboard the train, or may be in other vehicles like cars or motorcycles. Many injuries that occur in train accidents are very serious. For instance, an individual might sustain a traumatic amputation. Internal injuries could be life-threatening. A spinal cord injury could result in paralysis or a severe head injury in brain damage.
In serious crashes, trains can end up catching fire. Victims may suffer burn injuries. This could lead to significant scarring. Besides the physical suffering, there are oftentimes psychological injuries that occur as well.
Liability for a Train Accident
Liability will obviously depend on the cause of the accident. Many times it is the conductor and/or railroad company. At fault could also be the manufacturer of parts or equipment. But these cases could become more complicated when a railroad is owned by the government.
Keep in mind that safety regulations might have been violated. These are set in place by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), which also oversees investigations into accidents. Because of this, there can be a lot more work that goes into determining the cause of a train crash.
Seeking Legal Advice after a Train Accident
With so many complex issues that can be involved, it is generally a good idea to talk with an attorney when there has been a serious train accident. Whether it is the injured person or the family whose loved one has sustained catastrophic or fatal injuries, compensation may be recoverable if it can be determined that someone else was at fault for the crash.
To learn more about one’s rights and options, don’t delay seeking legal help. Contact D.J. Banovitz in the Denver area at 303-300-5060 to schedule your consultation.