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What Should You Do After Being Injured in a Train Accident?

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What Should You Do After Being Injured in a Train Accident?

What Should You Do After Being Injured in a Train Accident?

By Jan Hoen

Virginia is home to over 4,700 miles of railroad tracks. In a recent year, 215,184 train passengers passed through Virginia, many boarding and detraining outside of the state. Although it is considered a very safe method of transportation, train accidents do happen, often resulting in catastrophe. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, in 2021, there were 131 train accidents and 83 derailments in the United States.

If you were hit by a train while in the course of your employment or if you were injured as a passenger in a train crash, you need to discuss your legal options with a well-informed Hampton train accident attorney. Please reach out to Hampton Injury Law PLC today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

What Causes a Train Accident?

There are many factors that can cause a rail accident, including but not limited to:

  • Human error, such as when an engineer fails to slow down while approaching a curve
  • Mechanical failure or rail defects
  • Landslides
  • Objects obstructing the rails
  • Defective traffic signals
  • Vehicles or people on the tracks

21st-century technology has incorporated advancements to mitigate injuries due to mechanical failures. One notable development is a defect detector, which senses axle and signal problems in passing trains. Unfortunately, the detectors can experience integrity failure. A common reason for integrity failure is that the passing train may have been moving too slowly, which is a major pitfall in this type of equipment.

Can Injured Railroad Employees in Hampton Recover Damages?

If you were an employee injured in a train accident, you will not qualify for workers’ compensation. Instead, you will need to file a claim through the Federal Employers Liability Act (45 U.S.C § 51). If the employee was hurt or killed in the course of their service, the worker or their family are entitled to compensation under FELA when certain criteria are met.

Differing from a workers’ compensation claim, in which no fault has to be proven, an employee that files a claim under FELA is required to prove that their employer acted negligently, resulting in their injuries. While a claim filed under workers’ compensation can only be reimbursed up to a certain amount, a FELA claim has no caps on compensation.

An experienced train accident attorney will be able to guide you if you were a railroad employee who was wounded during the course of your work. Hampton Injury Law has successfully represented numerous clients in train accident cases.  

Who is Held Responsible for a Train Accident?

Depending on the circumstances, any number of parties could be held liable for a train accident.  

A train, like any type of machinery, may have a mechanical defect that causes a collision. In this scenario, the train manufacturer would be held liable for any resulting injuries. 

In another situation, the accident could be the result of poor decision-making on the part of an engineer or conductor. If an injured passenger can prove negligence, they could have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against either party.   

Recovering Damages for Your Losses

If you were injured in a train accident in Hampton, you may be entitled to receive compensation for the following indemnities:

  • Past and future lost wages
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering

Contact an Experienced Hampton Train Accident Attorney

Although train companies have railway insurance that gives them specialized coverage, they will never readily admit fault. You deserve an attorney who understands the turmoil of being involved in a Hampton train accident.  Contact us to begin your road to recovery.

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