When trains derail or collide, passengers can suffer catastrophic injuries, such as brain damage and life-threatening burns. Some railroad accidents involve collisions with a car, bus, or truck stopped on the tracks. Others may be caused by a slip or trip on a station platform while getting on or off the train. Regardless of how the accident occurred, injured victims and their families need compensation to pay for expensive medical care and replace lost wages.When is the Railroad Legally Responsible for my Injury?
All motor vehicle operators owe other people a duty to drive carefully, but common carriers like trains owe an even higher duty. Common carriers provide mass transportation to the general public and include trains, airlines, subways, and cruise ships. Legally, they must provide “extraordinary care,” which is much higher than reasonable care, and includes the following:
- Following state and federal safety regulations
- Using properly trained and qualified operators
- Using well-maintained equipment
- Issuing necessary safety warnings
Trains are not required to have perfect safety records, and they don’t need to guarantee that passengers will never be injured. Instead, they must be extremely careful to prevent injuries to anyone who uses the train to travel.How Railroad’s Cause Injuries
Train accidents are not common, but when they occur you might be able to sue the railroad if you can point to some error they made. For example, you might be able to sue for the following:
Maintenance Failure. A railroad should perform routine maintenance and regularly inspect the train to find defects in the equipment. If necessary, the railroad must fix the track, train, or other equipment so that it is safe before operating it.
Operator Error. Operators can cause accidents when they drive too fast or when they become distracted. Operators can also be under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they drive, thus causing an accident because of delayed reaction times.
Safety lapse. If the train violates one of the many state or federal safety regulations, you may be able to sue for your injuries.A Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer can Help
Before you can sue, you’ll need to thoroughly investigate the accident to identify who is to blame. Immediate investigation and preservation of evidence are often critical to proving a personal injury case arising from a train crash. Investigation usually involves an examination of the scene while evidence, such as skid marks, is still fresh. It is also vital to establish contact with the investigating authorities, who typically perform an accident reconstruction.
Train accident victims often suffer from broken bones, whiplash, and concussions, so they need to focus on their recovery. At Slappey & Sadd, we have experience investigating train accidents to uncover whether the railroad didn’t live up to its duty as a common carrier to provide extraordinary care, and we track down the evidence needed to make a persuasive case to the jury.Talk to a Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer Now
Train accidents cause catastrophic injuries to passengers, and you’ll need an experienced personal injury lawyer to fight for you. At Slappey & Sadd, we fight to get our clients the compensation they deserve. Contact us for a free consultation and case review at 404-255-6677. Serving the entire state of Georgia, including Columbus, Fort Benning, and Augusta.