When you are injured in a train accident, you can sustain severe physical, emotional, and financial harm. Although trains are among the safest forms of travel, between 2007 and 2018 nearly 1,000 people were killed, and nearly 9,000 injured in train accidents according to the National Safety Council (NSC). An unfortunate consequence of train accidents is that most fatalities and injuries involve bystanders, such as motorists and pedestrians.
Train accidents can involve collisions and derailment. When a train is derailed, it can lead to significant damages to surrounding infrastructure and individuals. Since trains are commonly used for commercial purposes, such as hauling products, collisions with passenger vehicles can be devastating.
Train Accident Causes and Hiring a Lawyer
Train accidents can have a variety of causes, such as defective and malfunctioning equipment. The cause of the train accident that causes your injuries is relevant, as it helps expose who the liable parties are. Discussing your injuries with a Paterson railroad accident lawyer is essential because an attorney can identify the responsible parties and file a personal injury suit to recover damages for:
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Under N.J. State Statute 2A: 14-2, you generally have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you file a claim after the statute of limitations expires, you will likely be barred from collecting damages. Consulting with a Paterson railroad accident lawyer immediately after your accident is the best way to preserve and protect your legal rights.
Call Morelli Law Firm today at (212) 751-9800 for a free consultation to discuss the details of your case.
Overview of Personal Injury Claims
When an individual commits a tortious offense against you and you sustain injuries, you have the right to file a personal injury claim. Tortious conduct can be intentional or unintentional. Many intentional torts are also crimes, such as:
- Assault and battery
- Wrongful imprisonment
- Fraud and theft
If you are the victim of an intentional tort, you can recover damages even if the offender is arrested and faces criminal sanctions.
Unintentional torts involve claims related to negligence. Most train accidents involve negligent behavior. A claim for negligence exists when:
- The tortfeasor has a legal duty to care
- The tortfeasor intentionally or recklessly violates the duty to care
- The violation results in injuries
- Injuries cause economic losses
Negligence can involve things like failing to maintain property or failing to exercise caution. A train accident can give rise to a negligence claim if the owner of the train failed to perform safety inspections or neglected maintenance.
The individual responsible for tortious conduct is liable as long as the victim was not 50% or more responsible for the injuries. Train accidents can involve multiple parties. The owner of the train can be liable if the accident was caused by poor maintenance while the employer of the conductor can be liable if the accident was caused by a mistake made by the train operator.
Insurance companies can also have liability, as the owner of the train likely carries an insurance policy. Insurance policies only compensate for actual losses.
The cause of the accident is the most important way a Paterson railroad accident lawyer can identify liable parties. If the rails were defective, the party responsible for the upkeep can become liable. Regulatory agencies require railroads to perform regular safety checks. If the owner of the train failed to comply with these regulations, a Paterson railroad accident lawyer can pursue damages against them.
A Paterson railroad accident lawyer can prove liability by:
- Acquiring copies of the crash report
- Reviewing video footage of the accident, if available
- Interviewing witnesses
- Investigating whether the railroad company had a history of accidents
- Requesting copies of maintenance records for the train involved
- Hiring expert witnesses to testify
If you were injured in a train accident, call Morelli Law Firm today at (212) 751-9800 for a free consultation.
Paterson Railroad Accident Lawyer Near Me 877-751-9800
New Jersey does not cap economic or non-economic damages in personal injury claims involving train accidents. Working with a Paterson railroad accident lawyer is the best way to ensure your claim is filed properly and requests all damages you are entitled to. Failing to request damages properly can prevent you from recovering the financial compensation you are entitled to. The civil litigation process can take time, especially if you take your case to trial.
A Paterson railroad accident lawyer can pursue damages for actual and non-actualized damages.
The actual financial costs you have to pay because of your injuries can be recovered by pursuing economic damages. Economic losses can be proven by providing copies of the bills and receipts. Economic losses must be caused by tortious conduct.
Following a train accident, you may require emergency medical treatment. Medical costs associated with your injuries are economic losses. If you had to take an ambulance to the hospital following your train accident, those costs are considered economic losses.
Serious injuries may result in extended hospitalization, which can lead to excessive medical bills. Hospitalization can result in lost income, as you may be unable to work while you recover from your injuries. Lost income can be considered an economic loss because if you were not injured, you would have been able to work.
Injuries sustained in a train accident can allow you to recover non-economic damages. Non-economic losses can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of affection
- Emotional distress
Non-economic losses consider how your injuries impact your quality of life. If injuries cause mental anguish, it can limit your ability to enjoy life. Chronic injuries may result in lifelong pain, which juries are allowed to consider when calculating non-economic damages.
Severe injuries that lead to mobility issues or the loss of a bodily function can prevent you from maintaining your accustomed standard of living. If injuries prevent you from working, it can cause emotional distress because you lost the ability to remain financially independent.
Call Morelli Law Firm Today for Your Free Case Evaluation
When you are injured in a train accident, a Paterson railroad accident lawyer can file a personal injury claim and pursue compensation. Injuries can cause medical debt, trauma, and pain, which allows you to pursue economic and non-economic damages from the responsible parties.
Call Morelli Law Firm today at (212) 751-9800 for a free consultation to discuss your entitlement to financial recovery following a train accident.