Train accidents can cause devastating injuries, as many accidents involve collisions with passenger vehicles. From the National Safety Council on train accidents, of the 8,136 injury-related accidents, 730 incidents occurred at railroad crossings. When you are involved in a train accident, injuries can impact your physical, financial, and emotional well-being.
A Philadelphia railroad accident lawyer can file a personal injury claim and recover damages for:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost income
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- And possibly more
Railroad accidents are usually the result of fault or negligence by the train’s owner, who has an obligation to ensure parts and safety equipment are functional. Because trains are far heavier than passenger vehicles, when a train collides with a passenger car at a railroad crossing, vehicle occupants are more likely to sustain serious injuries than if they were involved in an accident with another passenger car.
Per the Statutes of Pennsylvania, Title 42, §5524, the law requires you to file personal injury lawsuits within two years of the date of the accident. Contacting a Philadelphia railroad accident lawyer after you sustain injuries will allow your attorney the time to build your case while not missing any important deadlines. Failing to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires can prevent you from recovering damages through the courts.
A Philadelphia railroad accident lawyer can assist you with establishing that the railroad operator is liable for your injuries. They can:
- Subpoena documents and evidence
- Interview witnesses
- Discuss your claims with involved insurance companies and parties
- Negotiate a settlement
- Argue your case at trial
A Philadelphia railroad accident lawyer can identify liable parties, which can include the company that owns the train and their insurance company. If defective parts caused the accident, the manufacturer of the defective parts is another potentially liable party.
Call Morelli Law Firm today at (212) 751-9800 for a free consultation to discuss whether you are entitled to compensation following a train accident.
Personal Injury Claims in Railroad Accidents
To have a legal right to pursue a personal injury claim, a Philadelphia railroad accident lawyer must establish:
- The other party committed a tortious act.
- The tortious behavior caused you to be injured.
- The injuries caused economic losses.
- The other party is primarily at-fault for your injuries.
While the intent of the other actor matters, most personal injury claims involving train accidents are unintentional torts. The reason why a Philadelphia railroad accident lawyer can recover damages for unintentional torts is that negligent behavior is tortious.
Negligence claims, as presented by the Legal Information Institute, involve the tortfeasor violating a duty to care. Railroad companies who fail to maintain their trains or rail system can be liable for negligence, as they have a legal requirement to protect passengers, employees, and bystanders from being injured by their property.
Other ways a railroad company can engage in negligent behavior that can result in an accident include:
- Hiring a conductor with a history of safety violations or accidents
- Failing to maintain safety equipment
- Understaffing trains
Under the Statutes of Pennsylvania, Title 42 §7102, the state practices a comparative negligence rule that allows you to recover damages as long as you are not more than 50% responsible for your injuries. That means, if a train struck your car while you were driving, and you failed to wear a seat belt, you can recover damages as long as the courts do not find you more than 50% responsible. However, the percentage of your responsibility for your injuries is deducted from your judgment.
If you were hurt in a train accident, call Morelli Law Firm today at (212) 751-9800 for a free consultation. A Philadelphia railroad accident lawyer is ready to assist you.
Working With an Attorney Is Important
Civil litigation in Pennsylvania is complex, making it difficult for pro se litigants to successfully recover damages in a personal injury case. Pennsylvania has strict requirements when filing a personal injury case. Civil cases can take years to settle or resolve, as the pre-trial process allows both parties to file motions and request relief from the court.
You must request damages in a specific method to collect them, which can make it difficult to submit a valid complaint without help from a Philadelphia railroad accident lawyer. Once you file the complaint, the plaintiff is responsible for serving the defendants with the complaint. If you fail to service the defendants in accordance with the rules of court, your claim can be dismissed.
During the pre-trial process, a Philadelphia railroad accident lawyer can request summary judgment, which can allow you to win the case before going to trial. Another important aspect of pre-trial litigation is reviewing and collecting evidence.
A Philadelphia railroad accident lawyer can request a subpoena, which can be utilized to collect evidence. An attorney can request witnesses to be deposed, which is an official interview that is recorded, and statements made during depositions can be admitted during the trial.
Since personal injury claims can involve multiple parties, a Philadelphia railroad accident lawyer can investigate the cause of the accident and review crash reports to determine liability. Parties can be added or removed to a personal injury case during litigation, which ensures the responsible actors are held liable.
If your case goes to trial, a Philadelphia railroad accident lawyer can object to the inclusion of certain jurors, which is an important way to ensure the jury is impartial. During your trial, your attorney can cross-examine witnesses and submit evidence. Unlike criminal trials, verdicts in civil trials do not require unanimity. Pennsylvania requires five-sixths of jury members to agree for a verdict to be rendered per the Statutes of Pennsylvania Title 42 §5104(b). Juries are also responsible for awarding damages. While the jury may award damages at the same time as the verdict, most civil cases in Pennsylvania hold a separate hearing to award damages.
Pennsylvania juries can award economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are awarded to compensate you for the actual financial costs you incurred as a result of the tortious conduct. Non-economic damages can compensate you for injuries such as loss of enjoyment, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium. The defendant has the right to appeal the verdict. If the defendant does not appeal, your attorney can proceed with collecting the judgment.
Philadelphia Railroad Accident Lawyer Near Me 877-751-9800
Call Morelli Law Firm Today
When you are hurt in a train accident, injuries can prevent you from working and lower your quality of life. A Philadelphia railroad accident lawyer can recover financial compensation from the liable parties.
Call Morelli Law Firm today at (212) 751-9800 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options if you are the victim of a personal injury sustained in a train accident.