Torrance Train Accidents Lawyers
Train accidents are more common than most people think. On average, there are 3,000 train accidents reported every year. Out of these accidents, 1,000 of them result in death. Train accidents tend to be more severe and catastrophic due to the massive size and weight of these locomotives. If you have been involved in a train accident, it is wise to consult with a Torrance train accident lawyer. Personal injury lawsuits arising from train accidents tend to be complicated. This is largely because legal liability may fall on more than one party. In addition to this, the laws applied in train accidents differ from those in vehicle accident lawsuits.
Types Of Train Accidents
Train accident can be caused by a myriad of factors such as:
Railroad Crossing Accidents
Railroad crossing accidents are common and can involve pedestrians or cars. The causes of railroad crossing accidents include:
- Defective horns or a driver failing to sound the horn when approaching a crossing area.
- Faulty train lights that are not visible when the train is approaching a crossing.
- Trains that are packed close to a passenger crossing point.
- Protruding objects from a train
- Crossings obstructions by objects or plants.
Derailments tend to cause a lot of damage. The derailment is often caused by:
- Excess cargo weight
- Faulty equipment
- Obstacles placed on the trucks
- Defective tracks
Pedestrians or bystanders can easily slip and fall under the trains. These accidents do not involve derailments or collisions. This is why they are referred to as no collision accidents. If you have been involved in a no collision accident, it is best for you to speak to train accident lawyers in Torrance. These accidents are often severe and can be fatal.
Train Accident Victims:
Train accidents can be minor or severe. These accidents may involve one person for instance in the case of a slip and fall. Train accidents can also cause damage to an entire community in the event of a toxic spill or a collision that involves several people. This was the case back In September 2008, when a train collision happened in California and injured hundreds of people. The saddest bit was that the driver of the train was texting just before the crash. Train accidents have the potential to cause severe injuries that have far-reaching consequences. This is why victims need to work with a train accident attorney Torrance to secure full compensation.
Liability In A Train Accident:
Several parties may be involved in a train accident. There are cases when responsibility may fall on one party, and in other cases, it may be shared. It is wise to involve a Torrance train accident lawyer to help prove liability and make the liable party pay for the damages. The following parties may be held accountable in a train accident.
The Railroad Company:
The railroad company refers to the company that hires the train engineer and crew. This is also the company that is responsible for maintaining the locomotive. The train operator needs to fulfill specific duties to secure the safety of the passengers.
- Sounding the horn when approaching a crossing area
- Maintaining vigilance when approaching crossings
- Operating the train at safe speeds
- Checking that the train is well maintained
- Reporting any faults in the train
- If the operator fails in any of these duties, then the operating company may be wholly or partly liable for the injuries suffered.
The Locomotive Design Company:
There are instances when the operator may do everything that is expected of him, and the train still fails. This can happen if there are faults in the design of locomotive parts such as the lights, whistle, brakes and communication systems. If it is proven that these elements do not operate as per the expected standards, then the design company is liable for any injuries that occurred as a result of the fault in design.
The Locomotive Maintenance Company:
In some cases, train accidents have nothing to do with the driver or the engineer. Railroad companies hire maintenance companies to handle both the railroad tracks and locomotive maintenance. These companies are tasked with installing proper gates, ensuring the lighting is appropriately done and checking that the sight lines are visible to oncoming motorists and pedestrians. If the maintenance company fails in any of these duties, then legal liability falls on the company.
The Vehicle Driver:
Vehicle drivers have a responsibility when driving along crossings. If the driver still passes the rail crossing after the horn is sounded an accident occurs, then he is liable. The driver will also be responsible if he is over-speeding or has failed to maintain his vehicle properly.
The Need to Consult With Train Accident Lawyers in Torrance:
Personal injury cases are generally complicated, as they become even more complex when it comes to train accidents. One of the toughest things to do is prove liability. As discussed above, several parties can be liable for damages and injuries. This means that thorough investigations need to be done to ascertain liability. A train accident attorney Torrance can carry out a thorough investigation and get the liable party to pay.
Another reason to consult with train accidents lawyers in Torrance is that the injuries suffered can have life-altering consequences. You deserve to be compensated for medical expenses, medication, lost wages and any other treatment needed to help you back on your feet. The injury may also require long-term medical care. Most train accident victims make the mistake of settling for the first offer the insurance company makes. This can be detrimental to you because you may realize later that the amount offered was not enough.
Train accidents lawyers have a wealth of experience in representing accident victims. They know how to negotiate with insurance companies to get you a fair settlement. They can also take the matter to court if the negotiations with the insurance company are not successful. When you have been involved in a train accident, you need a qualified lawyer fighting for you as you recover from the injuries.