Who you can sue if you are injured in a railroad accident 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 file your claim against.
Possible At-Fault Parties in a Railroad Accident
In any accident, multiple factors may have combined to cause the accident. For railroad accidents, this means that more than one party may be at fault, and more than one party could be liable.
Liable parties are the entities you may file a claim against and who will be responsible for paying you damages (compensation).
Though your individual situation may differ from that of the next person, the liable party or parties in your claim could include:
Just as with drivers in car accidents, railway accidents may occur due to a train operator’s error.
Mistakes may be made due to lack of training, carelessness, or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In any of these situations, the train operator may be found at fault. An at-fault party may be held liable if they were also negligent, meaning they acted in a way that was careless toward others.
Railroad Company Owner
Companies that own railway lines are expected to keep lines safe to operate.
If the railroad accident occurred due to operator error, a defect in the rail lines, or a lack of maintenance on the train, the railroad company owner may be held liable for your injuries.
Railroad operators are often employees of the railroad companies, not general contractors, so 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.
When these products are defective, the consequences can be devastating. Manufacturers may be held liable if their product defect leads to a railway accident that results in your injuries.
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 liable.
What to Know About Filing a Railroad Accident Injury Claim
If you are wondering who you can sue, you may also benefit from understanding your legal options after the claim.
Here is what you need to know about railroad accident injury claims:
If You Are an Injured Passenger
Passengers injured in railroad accidents will file personal injury claims against the liable party for medical costs, time missed from work while in recovery, or other damages.
Injured passengers are rarely at fault in railway accidents since they are being transported. The railway company may be responsible for the passengers’ safety while passengers are aboard the train.
By federal law, railroad companies and operators are required to abide by certain standards. If they fail to meet these standards, they will 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 are generally not able to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Instead, you can file a claim with the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA).
Through this avenue, you could recover compensation for your damages. A lawyer from our firm can explain more about the nuances of this process when you connect with our legal team.
Laws That May Apply to Your Claim
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.
Get Help Seeking Compensation After a Railroad Accident Today
If you have experienced serious injuries after a railway accident, you may have the option of filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Find out who you may be able to sue when you contact Morelli Law Firm today by dialing (212) 751-9800.