If you’re a victim of a Florida train accident and you sustained injuries, then you might have a claim.
Train accidents have been on the rise lately, particularly in Florida. So here is what to know if you intend to file your train accident lawsuit.
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, in 2016, 344 railroad accidents occurred, 45 of which resulted in fatalities and 266 of which resulted in non-fatal injuries. Almost all train-related accidents lead to injuries or deaths. The Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Office of Safety Analysis also posits that over the last decade, more than 3,100 train accidents or incidents have occurred in Florida alone.
Why you should file your train accident lawsuit
Train accidents can occur due to many reasons. The popular ones are; poor maintenance of trains and their equipment, defective safety protection devices and equipment at railway crossings, errors made on the part of train employees and operators, etc. All these factors may play a claim, settlement, or lawsuit after such an accident.
Sadly, Florida ranks as one of the states most affected by train accidents or incidents. In addition, the state has seen an increase in fatalities in the past few years, resulting in more injuries.
Personal injury or wrongful death cases are already generally complicated because of the kinds of claims. However, train accident injuries are more complicated because determining issues such as the cause, who is legally responsible, and if the train was operating under specific laws and statutes of limitations are essential to a train accident lawsuit can be quite a hassle.
Other responsibilities include conducting investigations, gathering evidence, documenting the injuries, and making financial projections of how such injuries can affect the victim or their family. These require legal skills and oversight of a personal injury attorney, which is why filing your train accident injury lawsuit is essential.
Some of the evidence to support those mentioned above include;
- Photographs of the scene of the accident
- Statements from witnesses and other passengers aboard at the time of the accident.
- Railroad accident reports from the National Transportation Safety Board
- Inspection records
- Equipment maintenance records, etc.
The import of gathering this evidence is that it helps the victim or his attorney identify the parties at fault in the accident. To get befitting compensation for train accident injuries, you should prove four things;
- Duty of care
- Breach of that duty of care
1. Duty of Care
Railway companies, train conductors and operators, mechanics, and others who maintain, repair, operate, and own trains owe the public a duty of care. Duty of care involves:
- Regular and efficient maintenance of trains and support equipment.
- The diligence of engineers.
- Stopping the use of faulty equipment.
It also involves ensuring that all employees receive the proper training necessary to perform their jobs effectively and safely, as this duty is also owed to the employees of such railway corporations.
2. Breach of Duty
If a party breaches their duty of care, they may be liable for any following incidents. So, if a railway operator fails to maintain and test a train’s brakes, and the brakes fail, the railway company has likely breached its duty of care to passengers and the general public.
The injured party should show that the breach in the duty of care owed him caused the injury they sustained. Such a breach can be caused by
- Human error:
- Defects in the track:
- Signal/switch malfunction:
- Equipment defects
- Rail crossing malfunction:
Finally, your attorney should show that you sustained actual damages due to the incident. They should provide copies of your medical bills, wage statements, and other documents to the insurance company (or the court, if applicable).
Any compensation for my injury?
If an injury hurt you as a passenger in a railway accident, you might be able to recover all of your losses through a personal injury claim – as long as someone’s negligence caused the event. Your injuries can prevent you from working, you might be able to include lost pay, as well as any lost benefits or opportunities, in your injury claim. If you need additional or ongoing treatment or care, a doctor or medical expert can estimate the cost of future consideration to include it in your claim. You can also forecast future lost wages and, if necessary, lost earning ability. A train accident attorney could establish the financial value of your loss if you sustained a long-term or permanent injury or handicap. Finally, you might include emotional and psychological damages, such as pain and suffering and lost enjoyment of life, in your claim.
What Your Trained Accident Attorney can do for you.
Many disputes involving railroad accidents are handled outside of court. Train companies and state transit agencies frequently wish to avoid the exposure and negative publicity that a lawsuit can bring. The agreement also saves everyone concerned money and time by avoiding the costs and risks of a suit.
Settlement negotiations may take place before, during, and even after a train accident litigation is completed. In most cases, settlements entail an exchange of bids in which the parties suggest an amount that they believe can satisfy the losses. Your trained accident lawyer can help you with the following:
- Adequate Representation: Your attorney is your legal representative. You should expect proper representation from your attorney with insurance companies and in court, if your car accident injury snowballs into a lawsuit.
- Handle Negotiations: You should expect that your car accident attorney will handle negotiations on your behalf. You should not do so yourself, and you should trust your attorney’s judgment in negotiating on your behalf to get you the best financial compensation you deserve.
- Gather evidence to establish your case: Your car accident attorney should require you to produce any records in your care that can enable them to show your point. Your attorney should gather evidence, facts, and documents and analyze them to present a strong case on your behalf.
- Conduct Investigation: Expect that your car accident attorney may conduct an independent investigation to ascertain the different sides of the story to avoid surprises and to arm himself with possible defenses.
Florida law entitles you to seek compensation for losses related to your injuries in civil court if you have sustained injuries or lost a loved one in a train accident.
- Past or future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional suffering
- Disability or disfigurement (catastrophic injury)
- Wrongful death
Time Limit to File Your Train Accident Claim.
Every state has a statute of limitations, which is the legal restriction on how long you have to file a lawsuit in civil court. For example, personal injury claims in Florida have a four-year statute of limitations from the date of the accident. This deadline is strict, and it’s vital to remember that if you don’t file your claim within this four-year term, the court will almost always refuse to consider your case.
Contact Us Today
At Coleman Law Group, we have a team of experienced attorneys. We have helped lots of accident victims in the past receive their entitled financial injury compensation. You can get in touch with our team now for a free evaluation of your case.
We are here for you!
2901 1st Ave. N. Suite 303 St. Petersburg, FL 33713