Railroad companies are a staple in Texas, delivering goods and food and transporting people to various locations throughout Texas. Unfortunately, railroad workers and train passengers are at risk of suffering serious injuries, especially when train companies or their employees are negligent or reckless.
If you or your loved one have been injured in a train accident, working with an experienced attorney will level the playing field in your favor. The Fort Worth train accident attorneys at Rochelle McCullough will carefully analyze the details of your case. We will identify which party or parties are liable for your damages. We will develop an effective legal strategy to pursue the most compensation possible for your case.
Common Examples of Train Accidents
When train companies and their employees act negligently or recklessly, everyone near the accident scene is at risk of becoming seriously injured. Train accidents can seriously injure and kill train passengers, motor vehicle drivers, railroad workers, bicyclists, and pedestrians in the surrounding area. The attorneys at Rochelle McCullough have a proven track record of effectively pursuing the best case results in the following types of train accident cases:
- Train collisions
- Train derailments
- Train car detachments
- Hazardous waste spills
- Lost train cargo loads
- Train fires or explosions
- Slip, trip, or fall accidents on a train
- Injuries caused when a train strikes another object
- Train worker injuries
- Electrical injuries
- Malfunctioning equipment
- Burn injuries
- Negligent security cases involving criminal acts on trains
The Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Attorney
Hiring a personal injury attorney is crucial if you’ve been injured in a train accident. Train companies generally have in-house attorneys, as do commercial insurance companies. They may send investigators to the scene immediately to gather evidence to avoid paying victims the full and fair compensation they need and deserve.
The attorneys at Rochelle McCullough have experience holding train companies and their negligent employees accountable. When you work with us, we will quickly investigate your case and gather important evidence, which may include the following:
- A copy of the accident report
- A black box
- Expert testimony
- Eyewitness statements
- Photographs and video footage
- Medical records
Our attorneys understand how to navigate the legal complexities, negotiate with insurance adjusters and defendants, advocate for your rights, and increase the likelihood that you’ll obtain a fair settlement covering your current and future damages.
Proving Negligence in a Train Accident Case
Most train accidents are preventable and caused by one or more parties’ negligence or recklessness. Negligence occurs when someone fails to use reasonable care under the circumstances to prevent injuries to others. To have a successful personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim, victims usually need to prove the defendant did something that a reasonable and prudent party wouldn’t have done in similar circumstances, causing the train accident. For example, a train conductor operating a train while fatigued or intoxicated and causing a train accident would be an example of negligence.
Determining Who Is Liable for Your Injury After a Train Accident
Multiple parties could be liable for victims’ injuries in train accident cases. Operating a train safely requires multiple individuals and companies to fulfill their legal duties. Train companies have a legal duty to use reasonable care when hiring train operators. Suppose a train company hires an operator with a history of driving under the influence and speeding without conducting a background check. If the train operator causes an accident while intoxicated, the train company can be held liable for injuries caused by a train accident.
The train maintenance staff is responsible for ensuring the train itself and the tracks meet minimum safety standards before they become operational. When negligent maintenance results in a train accident, victims may have a valid legal claim against the maintenance company. Additionally, most train tracks in Texas cross streets and intersections with pedestrians and vehicles. Local public agencies are legally responsible for the upkeep of railroad crossings. If defective or poorly maintained warning signs and lights fail to keep people safe from being injured by a train, they can be held liable.
Train drivers are responsible for exercising care when operating the train and crossing train tracks, even if there aren’t any signs or lights. Drivers of passenger vehicles must follow traffic safety laws to prevent accidents at railroad crossings. Drivers trying to “beat the train” are liable for property damage and liabilities resulting from the train accident. Victims can sometimes pursue a claim against government entities for negligently overseeing railway operations.
Damages Available for Train Accident Victims
When train accidents involve passengers, victims can suffer a range of injuries, from minor to fatal. Train passengers generally do not use safety belts and may suffer devastating injuries from being thrown into a hard surface. When trains derail, they can cause fires and electrical wiring that can cause catastrophic burns.
Additionally, occupants frequently suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries when trains collide with motor vehicles. Those injured in train accidents may spend weeks, or even months, in the hospital recovering from serious injuries. Unfortunately, many train accidents lead to fatal injuries. If someone you love has been killed in a Texas train accident, you may have the right to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party or parties.
Plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits involving train accidents can pursue economic damages, such as medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages. They can also pursue non-economic damages for pain and suffering. Victims can pursue additional punitive damages when the at-fault party acted willfully or wantonly.
Speak to a Train Accident Attorney in Fort Worth
When train companies, operators, or other parties’ negligence causes train accidents, victims can suffer devastating and fatal injuries. If you or your loved one have suffered an injury in a train accident, the attorneys at Rochelle McCullough are prepared to advocate for you. We will carefully investigate the circumstances leading up to the accident and develop a strategy to pursue the most compensation possible while holding the negligent party accountable. Don’t hesitate to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with Rochelle McCullough.