When you are hurt in a train accident, you can experience severe injuries that impact your health, finances, and independence. You can sustain injuries while working for a railroad, which can entitle you to compensation if your employer did not implement proper safety measures.
When you are a passenger on a train and are involved in a railroad accident, it can lead to physical injuries and emotional distress, which, in civil cases, is defined as “suffering in response to an experience caused by the negligence or intentional acts of another (Legal Information Institute (LII)).”
Unfortunately, train accidents can hurt bystanders, such as pedestrians and motorists. Railroad crossings are a common site of train accidents, as faulty railroad crossing signs or gates can expose motorists and pedestrians to injuries. While train accidents are unintentional, most causes involve defective equipment or conductor mistakes.
Train owners have a legal obligation to perform regular safety inspections and conduct regular maintenance, as common causes of train accidents include:
- Defective parts
- Brake failures
- Broken safety equipment
- Unsafe railroads
- Conductors failing to see obstructions on the train tracks
When you suffer injuries because of a train accident, a Newark railroad accident lawyer can advocate for you and file a personal injury claim to recover damages. New Jersey allows a Newark railroad accident lawyer to pursue damages for:
- Hospitalization and ambulatory bills
- Medical costs associated with your injuries
- Lost wages
- Destroyed and damaged property
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
When you sustain severe injuries from a train accident, your recovery may limit your ability to pursue damages or collect evidence. New Jersey requires personal injury claims to be filed within two years to collect damages, according to New Jersey Statute 2A: 14-2.
When claims are filed after the statute of limitations expires, you are unable to recover financial compensation through a personal injury claim, even if your injuries are severe. Contact us soon after your accident, as the statute of limitations begins to toll the date of the train accident.
If you were injured in a train accident, call Morelli Law Firm today at (212) 751-9800 for a free case evaluation.
Causes of Train Accidents
The cause of the train accident matters during civil litigation, as it determines who the liable parties are. Train accidents can involve multiple liable parties. After a train accident, law enforcement and other agencies will investigate the cause of the accident. A Newark railroad accident lawyer can obtain a copy of the accident report, which can outline who the liable parties are.
If the train accident was caused because the locomotive owner failed to maintain the train, it can lead to liability. If the train accident was the result of a failing or defective part, it may allow a Newark railroad accident lawyer to recover damages from the company who manufactured the part.
When a train accident is caused by errors made by the conductor, the conductor’s employer can be liable. Conductors who have a history of safety or operation violations can place passengers and the public at risk, meaning the employer is liable for negligent hiring. The conductor may be at fault for the accident if:
- They failed to stop quickly enough to prevent the accident
- They were intoxicated
- Had vision issues that impacted their ability to safely operate the train
- They were distracted or not supervising the train when the accident occurred
- Failed to use safety equipment, such as lights or a horn
Train accidents can also be caused by defective rails, which can make an accident unavoidable even when the conductor operates the locomotive properly. If defective tracks cause a train accident, the entity responsible for their maintenance is liable.
A Newark railroad accident lawyer can prove liability by:
- Reviewing available video footage of the accident
- Interviewing employees who were working when the accident occurred
- Investigating whether the train owner has previous safety violations
- Reviewing whether the train was involved in prior accidents
An attorney is empowered to use methods such as depositions and subpoenas to acquire evidence related to your train accident, which can strengthen your claims. For example, your Newark railroad accident lawyer can request service records involving maintenance done on the train involved in your accident. These records are more difficult to obtain without assistance from an attorney.
Call Morelli Law Firm today at (212) 751-9800 for a free consultation to discuss your legal options following a train accident.
New Jersey allows you to request and recover economic and non-economic damages. Civil damages are meant to place victims of negligent conduct in the same position in life as if the negligent conduct never occurred. New Jersey does not cap economic and non-economic damages in train accident claims.
A Newark railroad accident lawyer can recover economic damages to compensate you for the financial costs you had to pay as a result of the accident. Economic losses can be proven by submitting bank statements, receipts, and invoices. You can recover economic damages for medical bills associated with your treatment. To receive economic damages, your Newark railroad accident lawyer must prove that the expenses are a direct result of the accident.
Injuries can result in you taking time off from work to recover, which allows you to claim lost wages. Lost wages are proved by providing copies of your pay stubs. If your injuries occurred while you were operating a vehicle, the damage to your car is considered an economic loss.
Non-economic losses compensate you for damages such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental distress
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished quality of life
- Compromised earning capacity
- Loss of guidance
Injuries can cause chronic medical and psychological problems, which can limit your ability to engage in the same activities you participated in before the injuries. Chronic conditions can impact your ability to work. Some injuries may prevent you from continuing to work in your current field. If you have to change careers or can no longer work full-time, non-economic damages can be awarded. You can also receive non-economic damages for the emotional pain your injuries cause.
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Call Morelli Law Firm Today
When you sustain injuries in a train accident, it can lead to medical debt, lost income, and trauma. A Newark railroad accident lawyer can file a personal injury claim to pursue economic and non-economic damages, which can compensate you for your injuries and losses.
If you were injured in a train accident, call Morelli Law Firm today at (212) 751-9800 for a free consultation to review whether you are entitled to financial compensation.