A railroad accident can be a very complex situation, both in the scope of the damages involved, as well liability assessment. There may be several parties involved in these types of incidents, including the train’s manufacturer, persons performing maintenance on the safety equipment, and even the track itself. Much like a typical roadway incident, parties are quick to point the blame at others, which is why it’s essential in consider consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney.
WHAT SHOULD VICTIMS DO AFTER SUFFERING INJURIES IN AN AMTRAK RAILROAD ACCIDENT?
Because of the complexity of these types of incidents, consulting with an attorney who specializes in personal injury will ensure that every necessary avenue is explored throughout the case. This is especially useful since the severity of damages involved in these incidents is typically much higher than a typical vehicle incident. After speaking to an attorney and learning the possibility of a case, they will begin to investigate a number of key areas regarding the incident in order to build the best case possible.
- Establish liability – this is the most important facet in each incident. Liability can extend well beyond the direct mechanical or personal failure that caused the locomotive to crash. Most often, the manufacturer of the train has culpability to some degree, mostly because they oversee a variety of factors that can lead to an incident, such as the hours worked by the engineer, and the upkeep of an entire fleet of properly inspected locomotives.
- Look beyond the locomotive – sometimes the train involved in a railroad accident and the engineer adhered to the rules in every fashion, and no fault can be found. In these scenarios, there may be passenger vehicles involved. These are unfortunate, partly because trains are often unable to yield to a vehicle on the tracks, even with advanced notice. When passenger vehicles attempt to speed through a crossing or fail to follow the necessary safety standards, they can be culpable for any damages.
- Inspect the area – the majority of all train incidents are caused by factors outside the control of all present individuals involved. Rail defects remain the most common reason for derailments since even the smallest of defects can cause the train’s wheel to jump the tracks. Poor track geometry is another leading cause for derailments and is usually due to right curves and steep inclines that don’t properly account for speeding locomotives. In extreme cases, even the weather can be blamed for these incidents, especially in very cold areas where tracks can buckle and possibly even crack.
Injuries and damages in a railroad accident can often be severe. This is an unfortunate consequence of the sheer speed and volume involved in these types of incidents, and while permanent or severe injuries are a typical outcome of an accident, the help of a personal injury attorney can help the victim recover damages for their injuries.