If you are injured in a railroad accident, who you can sue depends on the details of your accident. Railroad accident injury claims take into account factors such as:
- Whether the train operator made an error
- Whether a mistake was made during routine maintenance
- If a defective product was used to service the train
Determining who is at fault can help you understand who to sue. Our firm can investigate the accident and then file the suit on your behalf.
Possible At-Fault Parties in a Railroad Accident
Liable parties are the entities you may file a lawsuit against and who will be responsible for paying you damages. Though your individual situation may differ from that of the next person, the liable party or parties in your case could include the following.
Some railway accidents occur due to a train operator’s error. Mistakes may be made due to:
- Lack of training
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while distracted or overtired
In any of these situations, the train operator may be found at fault. We can investigate your accident and determine if the train operator’s actions (or inaction) contributed to your railroad accident.
Railroad Company Owner
Companies that own railway lines are expected to keep lines safe to operate. The railroad company owner may be held liable for your injuries if the accident occurred due to:
- Operator error
- A defect in the rail lines
- A lack of maintenance on the train
Railroad operators are often employees of the railroad companies, not general contractors. If the accident was due to operator error, both the railway company owner and the operator may be held liable.
Railway Product Manufacturers and Distributors
The parts and products used in constructing and repairing railroads and trains are important to the safe transportation of passengers. Some of the parts most critical to safe train operation include:
- Steering apparatus
- Railroad tracks
When these products are defective, the consequences can be devastating. Manufacturers may be held liable if their product’s defect leads to a railway accident that results in injuries and/or deaths.
Railway Service Workers
Finally, if a railway service worker performs a faulty repair job to the railroad or the train, they may be considered at fault for the accident, making them (or their employer) liable.
There May Be Multiple Liable Parties
In any accident, multiple factors may have combined to cause the incident. In other words, more than one party may be at fault, and more than one party could be liable.
What does this mean for your case? If there are multiple liable parties, you can receive compensation from more than one source. Your case may also take longer to settle. Our law firm can help you figure out who the at-fault party or parties are in your case.
What to Know About Filing a Railroad Accident Injury Suit
If you were injured in a railroad accident, you may qualify to file a personal injury lawsuit. If your loved one passed away in a railroad accident or due to railroad accident injuries, you may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Either way, our firm is here to help.
Here is what you need to know about railroad accident injury lawsuits.
If You Are an Injured Passenger
Passengers injured in railroad accidents will file personal injury lawsuits against the liable party for:
- Medical costs
- Time missed from work while in recovery
- Inability to work or earn as much as before
- Any other bills incurred due to the accident
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Impaired quality of life
- Scarring or disfigurement
Injured passengers are rarely at fault in railway accidents since they are being transported. The railway company is responsible for the passengers’ safety while passengers are aboard the train. If they fail to meet these standards, they can and should be held liable for any serious injuries that occur.
If You Are an Injured Railroad Worker
If you suffered an on-the-job injury as a railroad worker, you have the right to sue your employer for negligence, as stated in the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). Through this avenue, you could recover compensation for your injuries. This includes many of the damages listed in the previous section.
A lawyer from our firm can explain more about the nuances of this process.
Laws That May Apply to Your Case
Railroads are regulated by both state and federal laws, including the Interstate Commerce Law, according to the U.S. Senate. This law oversees the safety standards of cargo carriers and helps ensure that certain regulations are met.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) oversees the safety of railroad operations, including making sure railroads are safe and reliable for passengers and employees alike. If the railroad operator violated any safety laws, it is the FRA’s job to see that these violations are dealt with.
Finally, you must take the statute of limitations into account. Found at CPLR § 214, this law gives personal injury victims three years to file a lawsuit. This limit is different for wrongful death victims and may also be impacted by the circumstances of your accident. The sooner we can get started, the better we can protect your rights.
We Can Help You Seek Compensation After a Railroad Accident
If you were injured in a railway accident, you can identify the liable party and sue them for compensation. Find out who you may be able to sue when you contact Morelli Law Firm at (212) 751-9800. Personal injury victims can receive a free case evaluation from us at any time, day or night.