Personal injury settlements are often complex. If the case involves a railroad, it becomes even more so.
You may think of railroad accidents and injuries as uncommon, but, like any other form of transportation, railroad accidents can and do occur – and people get hurt. In fact, a recent railroad accident on Long Island highlights just how terribly trainwrecks can go.
A vehicle that bypassed crossing gates was hit by a train, killing three people. The driver, reported to flee the scene, was then struck by two Long Island Railroad trains traveling in opposite directions.
In addition to fatalities in the car, several train passengers suffered injuries, and the train crews felt traumatized by the event. As you can see, a number of personal injury cases could arise from this tragedy.
Here’s what you need to know about railroad or subway train accidents in New York and what you should do if you’re injured.
What Causes Railroad Accidents?
The Long Island train-car collision represents the biggest cause of railroad accidents: human error.
Mistakes originate in automobile drivers who aren’t on the train, but they can also manifest in the train operator. No matter the root of the misjudgment, if you’re injured on a train because of human error, you have legal options.
Equipment failure comprises another prominent reason for railroad accidents. Failures could include:
- Malfunction or failure of the breaks
- Improper track maintenance or defective rails
- Broken handrails
- Misfiring warning lights, gates, or sounds at railroad crossings
- Inoperative hand breaks
- Faulty communication equipment
When You Need a Lawyer in NY
Anyone injured in a railroad accident should consult with a personal injury attorney. Even if you were merely a bystander whose property sustained damage, you may have a case.
If you’ve suffered injuries like broken bones, burns, neck strains, or back injuries, you may have a case as well. Compensation in response to these accidents and injuries can take many forms. It may cover:
- Medical bills
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Permanent or temporary disability
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Loss of consortium
It’s important to note that, as common carriers, railroads are burdened with responsibility to deliver you safely to your destination. This is known as a duty of care.
Injuries caused by neglect define a breach of that duty of care. You may be eligible for compensation for damages suffered.
Who Can NY Hold Liable?
When a railroad accident occurs in New York, any negligent entity can be held responsible for the injuries caused. Possibly liable parties include:
- Train operators
- The train company and its employees
- Manufacturers or sellers of defective train equipment
- Transit corporations
- Government agencies tasked with oversight
- Any other negligent third party, e.g. pedestrians, cyclists, or motorists
A personal injury claim can be a complicated undertaking, which is why you need an experienced attorney to guide you through the process. At the end of the day, anyone injured in a railroad accident deserves compensation to cover even a small percentage of the suffering experienced.