Baltimore Train Accident Lawyer
Serious train wrecks are extremely rare. These events can cause widespread death and injury which might entitle you to substantial compensation. However, minor accidents and derailments are far more common and can still cause serious injuries and death that deserves equal compensation in many cases.
If you or a loved one was injured while riding a train in Baltimore or the surrounding areas, contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras today. Our Baltimore train accident lawyers are prepared to handle train accident lawsuits on behalf of injured victims and the families of deceased train accident victims. For help understanding your right to sue and filing your claim, contact our law offices today to schedule a free legal consultation. Our number is (410) 694-7291.
Who is Liable in a Train Accident in Baltimore?
Victims of train accidents and other injuries onboard trains or at train platforms may have the right to file a lawsuit against the railroad or transportation company that injured them to seek compensation for the injuries they suffered. Many train accidents could be prevented through better worker training, better upkeep of the trains and tracks, and proper upkeep and safety on train platforms. Our Baltimore train injury lawyers discuss how you can sue to seek justice for these kinds of train accidents.
The transportation company that owns and operates the train is typically the target of a lawsuit for a train accident. In Baltimore, this could mean suing AMTRAK, or it could mean suing the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) for the MARC Train, Light RailLink, the Metro SubwayLink, or another local train or trolley service.
The companies that operate these trains are typically responsible for maintaining their rails and vehicles and ensuring that their drivers are properly trained and equipped to perform their jobs. If a train operator makes an error on the job, falls asleep at the controls after a long shift, uses drugs or alcohol on the job, or is too distracted by their phone to keep you safe on your journey, their employer should be held responsible for their actions.
When suing big transportation companies like these, you may need to be prepared to fight against powerful legal teams and insurance companies. the train accident attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras are prepared to handle cases even against the biggest train operators in the region to help you get the compensation you need. When suing one of these companies, you need to prove that they were responsible for the accident. Our attorneys can depose witnesses and train operators to get the information you need to flesh out your case. Typically, interviewing the train workers can help root out potential negligence, such as operator error, hiring unqualified operators, engineering issues with the tracks or vehicles, or other safety issues that could have caused the accident.
Types of Train Accidents and Injuries
As mentioned, catastrophic train wrecks are incredibly rare. While they do occur, modern technology and safety precautions have eliminated many of these issues.
Railroad workers are at some of the highest levels of risk for injuries. Workers for local and regional railroads and shipping yards are often at risk for serious injuries if they work with moving trains, mechanical parts, and other railway and freight systems. Workers responsible for loading and offloading cargo can also be seriously injured in crane accidents or simple lifting and carrying accidents. Workers on passenger trains could also be injured by unruly passengers or safety issues with the equipment.
Railroads like Amtrak and other passenger railways are responsible for transporting hundreds of thousands of passengers each year. These passengers are also at risk for injury if there are equipment failures, positive train control (PTC) problems, or damage to the tracks. These passengers could also be injured in train stations and on platforms from slip and falls, falls onto the tracks, and other injuries from dangerous conditions on train or rail property.
Drivers and passengers in vehicles could also face serious injuries or death if they are hit by a train. Equipment failure or problems with warning systems could result in an accident between a train and a car, especially if the car gets stuck on the tracks. Railroad tracks that are not maintained properly at railroad crossings could also contribute to car accidents – and accidents that happen on the tracks might put people and train operators/passengers at risk of hitting debris or cars left on the tracks.
If you or a loved one suffered any injuries involving railways, trains, or rail travel, contact an attorney right away. You may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party, and your attorney can help you determine whom to sue and how much to claim in your lawsuit. Other accidents are more common and typically occur in one of the following ways:
Running a train off its tracks and causing it to crash qualifies as a derailment, but most derailments are far more minor. In these cases, the train my jump its tracks, whether because of high speeds or a problem with the tracks or vehicle.
Although these derailments are more minor than full-fledged “train wrecks,” they can still cause sudden stops and shock throughout the car, potentially throwing riders from their seats and causing serious injuries.
Riders are commonly thrown to the floor or into walls and other passengers during these accidents and may suffer injuries including brain injuries, back injuries, neck injuries, and broken bones.
Collisions with Objects
At the end of their tracks, trains typically have bumpers in case the train comes into the station too fast. When drivers lose concentration at the controls or make mistakes operating a train, they could crash into these bumpers, causing serious injuries to passengers on board.
Other objects may also find their way onto the tracks, such as rubble or debris from near the track area, which could also cause the train to suffer a serious collision. Again, it is common for riders to fall from their seat and suffer serious blunt force trauma in these kinds of crashes.
Collisions with Other Trains
Train signals and other safety precautions usually help trains avoid driving on the same track. Problems with these signals could cause trains to collide, but these accidents are extremely rare.
It is more common that a train might crash into another train going the same direction, especially if two trains are close together or if train cars become uncoupled and crash into each other afterward.
People Hit by Trains
Falls into the track area or accidents involving people walking across train tracks can be catastrophic. These accidents are almost always deadly unless the train was moving at very low speeds when the accident occurred.
If a loved one was struck by a train, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit for their wrongful death to seek compensation for funeral and burial expenses, the effects of the loss on your family, and the financial losses from losing the deceased’s income and support.
Suing for Injuries and Accidents in Baltimore
If you suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one in an accident involving a train, you may be entitled to sue the rail for compensation. Train companies and railroads are often large, multimillion-dollar companies, and they often carry liability insurance to cover a wide range of damages and problems their operation might cause. This generally means that railroads can afford to pay for damages if someone is injured using their services, working for them, or simply being near the train or railroad. However, to get compensation from the train company, you must prove they were responsible for the harm you suffered.
To hold a train company liable for injuries, you must show that they were “negligent” and that that negligence caused your injuries. Negligence is commonly defined as a lack of care or skill. In a legal sense, it means that someone failed to uphold a duty that they owed someone else. Many of these duties are put in place by statute or by other legal rulings and standards. Typically, these legal duties require the rail companies to ensure that their equipment and operations are reasonably safe to help avoid injuries.
In the case of workers, there may be more specific safety requirements put in place by OSHA and other organizations, including the duty to train workers and provide them with safety equipment. Passengers may also be owed certain duties on the train or on platforms and in stations, such as the duty to clean up or warn of hidden dangers on railroad property to prevent injury.
If the train company breached this duty by failing to act reasonably or violating state, local, or federal safety standards, you may be able to sue them for the injuries this breach of duty caused. If the injuries can be tied to the rail company’s breach of duty, the victims should be able to claim compensation for any medical bills, lost wages, or other damages related to the accident.
Damages in a Baltimore Train Accident Injury Lawsuit
If you sue a railroad for injuries their negligence caused you, you can typically claim damages for any physical or financial harms stemming from the accident. In most cases, this means claiming three main areas of damages: medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. In addition to these damages, you may be able to claim compensation for other harms – and if the accident killed a loved one, you can claim additional damages for their wrongful death.
Medical expenses in a lawsuit can include any medical care costs, including emergency treatment, surgeries, and ongoing care. Lost wages from an accident can involve damages from your recovery period as well as ongoing future damages for lost earning capacity. Damages for pain and suffering are broad and can include compensation for physical and mental suffering from an injury.
Call Our Baltimore Train Accident Injury Lawyers Today for a Free Legal Consultation
If you or a loved one was injured in a train accident in Baltimore, Rice, Murtha & Psoras might be able to help. Call our Baltimore train accident lawyers for a free consultation on your case and to learn more about what an attorney can do for you in your case. Each case is different, and the specific details of how your injury occurred might change who is liable for the accident and whether or not you can claim compensation. Call our law offices today at (410) 694-7291 to set up a free legal consultation to learn more about your potential train accident injury lawsuit.