Los Angeles Train Accidents Lawyer
Any accident has the potential to cause serious injuries, but this is especially true with train accidents. Trains are extremely large and heavy, and they move at very fast speeds. All of these factors mean that when a train collides with another vehicle or object, passengers on the train as well as any innocent bystanders can become severely injured. The severity of injuries can make it even more challenging for accident victims to claim the compensation they deserve. Additionally, it is not always easy to determine who is at fault for a train accident.
If you have been involved in a train accident, you need sound legal advice. At Personal Injury Legal Group, our knowledgeable attorneys can provide it. We will always make sure your rights are protected when filing a claim and can assist with the process so you have the best chance of success.
What Compensation is Available After a Train Accident?
There are many different types of compensation you can claim after a train accident. The majority of these fall into one of two categories: economic or non-economic damages. Economic damages have a concrete dollar value, and they are typically easier to calculate. The most common types of economic damages after a train accident include:
- Medical expenses
- The cost of prescription medication
- Reconstructive surgery
- Nursing care
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity, if you cannot return to the same line of work in the future
Non-economic damages constitute the losses you suffered due to the accident that do not have a financial cost associated with them. Due to this, non-economic damages are much harder to quantify. The most common non-economic damages in train accident claims include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
It is important to work with an attorney who understands how to accurately value your claim so your losses are fully covered, and you do not end up paying out of your own pocket.
The Statute of Limitations in Train Accident Claims
After a train accident, you do have the right to file a claim against any liable party who caused the crash. Still, you only have a limited amount of time to do so. In most cases, you will have two years from the date of the accident to file your claim. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations, and if you do not file before that time expires, you will likely lose any legal right to claim any compensation at all.
While the statute of limitations law is quite straightforward and quite strict, there are exceptions to it. For example, if you sustained an injury but you did not discover it right away, you have two years from the date you discovered the injury to file a claim. Concussions and whiplash are just two types of injury that often remain hidden and do not show any symptoms until many days or weeks later. Additionally, if a child is injured in a train accident, the statute of limitations is tolled, or delayed, until their 20th birthday if the parents do not file a claim on the child’s behalf.
There are other instances that can affect the statute of limitations in certain cases. For example, the subway in Los Angeles is considered a train, and while the public transportation system in the city is strong, accidents still happen. If you are injured on the subway, you will have to file a claim against the government. These claims are far more complex, and you have a much more limited time to file a claim. In these cases, you must file your claim within six months of the accident or the discovery of the injury. If your claim is denied by the government, you then have six months to file a lawsuit in court.
What Causes Train Accidents in Los Angeles?
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there are six main causes of train accidents throughout the country. These causes are as follows:
- Defective or faulty equipment: Loose wheels, defective brakes, faulty or missing springs, and fuel and oil fires are just a few types of equipment that can cause a major train accident. In these instances, manufacturers of defective equipment can be held liable for paying damages.
- Human error: Human error causes many catastrophic train accidents. Some examples of human error include failing to brake properly, switching tracks improperly, operating trains at excessive speeds, operating a train while impaired, and falling asleep on the job.
- Issues with signals: There are many signals on a train, and they are all very important. A few issues with signals that are common on trains include communication equipment failure, malfunctioning warning signals, computer system design errors, and power switch failures.
- Railroad tracks: The tracks a train travels on are essential to make sure the train is secure and travels in the right direction. Unfortunately, railroad tracks can also experience many issues that make them unsafe. A few of the most common of these include damaged tracks, settled roadbeds, worn rails, loose or broken guardrails, and defective welding.
- Motorists and pedestrians: Other vehicles and pedestrians can also sometimes cause a train accident. Negligent drivers may drive while impaired or distracted, or pedestrians may misjudge the length of time it will take an approaching train to reach their location.
- Other causes: The Federal Railroad Administration also outlines many miscellaneous causes of train accidents that do not fit into any of the above classifications. These causes include wind, bad weather conditions, shifting loads on a train during transport, poor visibility, objects in the path of a train, and vandalism.
At Personal Injury Legal Group, our skilled attorneys can determine what caused your accident so you can recover the full and fair damages you need to make a full recovery.
Common Injuries Sustained During Train Accidents
Fortunately, train derailments and collisions are much less frequent than accidents that involve other vehicles. Still, the injuries sustained during these crashes are far more severe than those suffered in other types of accidents. Some of the most common types of injuries sustained during train accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Fractured and broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Wrongful death
Determining Liability After a Train Accident
There are many potentially liable parties after a train accident, and determining who is at fault is rarely easy. Some of the most common liable parties in train accidents are as follows:
- Train conductors and operators: Again, many train accidents are caused by human error. As the person responsible for operating the train, conductors have a number of responsibilities. When they fail to fulfill these responsibilities and act negligently, such as operating a train while impaired, conductors and train operators can be held liable.
- Other train employees: There are a number of employees who work on trains, and when they act negligently, these individuals can also be held liable. For example, many freight trains use brakemen who are responsible for checking the train brakes and other systems while the train is en route. If these individuals act negligently and do not take the proper care, they can be held liable if their actions cause an accident.
- Owners of the train company: There are many ways in which the owners of a train company can be held liable for an accident. They may not train their operators properly, or they may engage in negligent hiring practices, such as failing to ensure they only employ qualified and experienced workers. Additionally, when an employee is found to have acted negligently, their employer is usually considered to be vicariously liable for an accident.
- Manufacturers of train or train parts: All manufacturers have a legal duty to make sure the products they create are safe and free of flaws or defects. When manufacturers fail to meet this duty, and someone becomes hurt in an accident as a result, they can hold the manufacturer liable. In Los Angeles, as throughout the rest of California, manufacturers can be held strictly liable for creating a defective product. This means accident victims do not have to prove negligence. They must only prove a part was defective and that they were injured as a result.
- Government entities: When a train accident is caused by defective or faulty maintenance of railroad tracks or the trains themselves, the government entity responsible for operating the train can be held liable.
Other parties: When a pedestrian or motorist causes a train accident, they can also be held liable for paying damages.
Why Trust Kosnett Personal Injury with Your Accident Claim?
- Our legal team is deeply committed to securing maximum compensation for every injured train accident victim, and we are committed to the furtherance of laws governing train accident cases.
- We take our legal obligations seriously and work diligently to uphold the high standards of client care, providing you with the best possible counsel.
- Our practice has grown to include dozens of qualified and experienced attorneys, who practice at our 10 convenient office locations throughout Southern California.
- When we accept Los Angeles train accident claims, we do so on a contingency fee basis, which means YOU ONLY PAY IF WE WIN YOUR CASE.
How Can a California Personal Injury Attorney Help with Your Accident?
Choosing to hire a California personal injury lawyer who is specifically experienced in train accident cases ensures your best chance of securing a favorable outcome for your case. At Personal Injury Legal Group, you only pay legal fees if we win your case, and you pay from the compensatory award that we win on your behalf. You do not pay any out-of-pocket expenses to retain our services and you receive experienced expert legal guidance through every phase of your case.
Our attorneys are typically more successful in negotiating higher settlements from insurance companies and government agencies than attempting negotiations on your own. Even after deducting our legal fees, the remaining compensatory award is often higher than the sum you would have received without our representation. Over the years we have found that insurance companies are far more likely to settle claims at higher rates once a claimant has retained an attorney.
At Personal Injury Legal Group, our Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys Also Focus on the Following Practice Areas:
- Car Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents
- Construction Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Slip & Falls
- Product Liability
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Uber & Lyft
- Wrongful Death
- Trucking Accidents
- Sports Injury
- Cruise Ship Accidents
Personal Injury Legal Group headquarters are located in Los Angeles with additional offices throughout California. Since 1999, we have been serving clients nationwide, with a concentration in Southern California counties including Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Orange, San Diego, Kern, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Imperial. We also serve Northern California counties of San Francisco, Alameda, Marin, Sacramento, San Mateo, Solano, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Napa, Yolo, and Sonoma.
Our Train Accident Lawyers in Los Angeles Can Determine Liability
If you have been hurt in a train accident, it is critical that you have sound legal representation. At Personal Injury Legal Group, our Los Angeles train accident lawyers can determine who is liable for your crash and will hold them fully accountable for paying the fair compensation you deserve. Call us now at 310-388-4306 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions for Los Angeles Train Accidents
Who can be held liable for a train accident?
The parties that can be held liable for a train accident include the train company, the conductor, the engineer, the manufacturer of faulty equipment, and the owner or operator of the track.
What should I do if I am involved in a train accident?
If you are involved in a train accident in Los Angeles, seek medical attention immediately, document the scene of the accident, and report the incident to the authorities.
What types of damages can I recover in a train accident case in Los Angeles?
You may be able to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs.
Should I speak to an attorney after a train accident?
Yes, it is advisable to consult with an experienced train accident attorney who can evaluate your case and guide you through the legal process.
How much does it cost to hire a train accident attorney?
Many train accident attorneys in Los Angeles work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they do not charge upfront fees and only receive payment if they win your case.
How long does it take to resolve a train accident case?
The length of time it takes to resolve a train accident case can vary, depending on the complexity of the case and whether a settlement can be reached.
What is the role of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in a train accident investigation?
The NTSB investigates train accidents in Los Angeles and other parts of the country to determine the cause of the accident and make recommendations to prevent similar accidents from happening in the future.
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