Maryland Train Accident Lawyer
Though train accidents are uncommon, they can cause numerous injuries and massive loss of life. Serious train crashes can involve regional services, like Maryland’s MARC Train Service to Baltimore, or national railroad companies like Amtrak. If you or one of your family members was injured in a MARC or Amtrak accident, the operator or other parties may be liable. You should speak with a Maryland train crash lawyer about your family’s legal options.
At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, we are committed to giving our clients a level playing field against powerful corporations and their attorneys. We fight to make your voice heard and recover the compensation you deserve. You may be able to get compensated for your medical bills, earnings you have lost, your pain and suffering, and other damages. For a free legal consultation, contact Maryland train injury lawyer Randolph Rice online, or call (410) 694-7291 for 24-hour assistance.
4 Common Causes of Train Accidents in Maryland
In 2018, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recorded about 11,650 railroad accidents. Out of these 11,650 accidents, 8,190 people were reportedly injured while another 835 people suffered fatal injuries. Railroad accidents may occur for a number of reasons.
Just as speeding is dangerous for motor vehicles, it can also be a common cause of train derailments. When a train travels at unreasonably high speeds, it can become difficult for the conductor to make turns or to stop when they need to. As a result, a train could leave the tracks and collide with other vehicles or obstacles. Train derailments are a frequent cause of fatalities.
Obstacles on the Track
Obstacles like vehicles or equipment on a railroad track can also be a cause of a train accident. In some cases, a vehicle could be on a track or may cross a track at the wrong time because of inadequate signaling of an oncoming train. An obstruction on the track is a danger to individuals on a train and in the vicinity of a train, especially if the conductor is unable to spot the obstruction.
Mechanical failure can encompass a number of incidents that can cause a train accident. For example, if the infrastructure of a train track is compromised, this could lead to a derailment. Failure to ensure that a train is operating correctly can also result in liability for a serious accident.
Conductor error can also be a cause of a train accident. For example, a train conductor that elects to operate a train while they are fatigued may fail to operate the train properly. In other cases, a train conductor may lack the experience needed to operate a train, which can lead to poor decisions and a train collision or derailment.
There are many other causes of train accidents that are not listed above. To learn more about when to file a train accident lawsuit, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer.
Like other types of accidents, many train accidents are caused by human errors. These errors can take all types of forms, from operational errors (like speeding through sharp turns) to design and manufacturing errors (like designing or producing faulty parts). Potential causes of train crashes include:
- Debris, abandoned vehicles, bicycles, or other objects on the tracks
- Defective railroad tracks
- Excessive or improperly loaded cargo
- Excessive speeds
- Factors like inattention, intoxication, or fatigue
- Improper inspection and maintenance
- Mechanical failures or train defects
- Poor weather, such as dense fog that reduces visibility
- Reckless or negligent drivers and pedestrians
- Signaling errors
Maryland Train Crash Injury Claims We Handle
Train accidents can cause catastrophic injuries or lead to the wrongful death of passengers. Pedestrians, drivers, railroad workers, and the occupants of other vehicles can also be injured or killed.
Severe injuries may require multiple surgeries, extensive physical therapy, and/or cause permanent impairment. Being represented by a skilled attorney improves your likelihood of recovering the compensation you need for your treatment, especially if you have sustained permanent or disabling injuries. If you suffered any of the following injuries, or another type of injury that is not listed below, Randolph Rice may be able to help you file a claim:
- Back injuries, such as broken vertebrae or herniated discs
- Broken bones
- Bruises or contusions
- Chest or abdominal injuries
- Concussions or other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Cuts and scrapes
- Loss of limbs, fingers, or toes
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Organ damage or internal bleeding
- Paralysis or spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
- Soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash or torn ligaments
When to File a Train Accident Injury Lawsuit in Maryland
If you were injured in a serious train accident, you should consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the parties responsible for your injuries. However, you should also be aware that your lawsuit is subject to the statute of limitations. the statute of limitations determines the amount of time that a plaintiff has to file a certain type of case before their claim expires.
In Maryland, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is three years after the date of the accident. If the plaintiff does not file their claim within the allotted timeframe, the court will bar their claim from being filed. If a plaintiff’s claim is unable to be filed in a court, the plaintiff may not have another valid option to pursue compensation to cover their medical bills and other expenses.
While three years is a substantial amount of time to file a lawsuit, it is wise to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible if you plan to file a claim. Waiting too long can result in valuable evidence being lost or may force your lawyer to rush through your case.
Additionally, if your family member was killed in a train accident, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the parties responsible. Similar to personal injury lawsuits, wrongful death claims have a three-year filing deadline.
Note, however, that only certain parties are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Family members that are not a part of the decedent’s immediate family like a nephew or even a sibling may not be able to bring a claim.
Who is Liable for a Maryland Train Accident Death or Injury?
When careless mistakes or reckless decisions lead to train accident injuries, those at fault may be liable for the victims’ losses, including not only their financial losses, but also pain and suffering. A comprehensive investigation is needed to determine exactly what went wrong – and who should be held liable. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, liable parties may include:
- Companies that design or manufacture train parts
- Drivers or pedestrians
- Railroad managers
- Train companies
- Other individuals employed by railroad companies
What Compensation is Available for a Train Accident in Maryland?
The answer to this question depends on the nature of the accident and your relationship to the railroad company. For example, if you are a railroad worker who suffered a job-related injury, you could have a FELA claim, which refers to the Federal Employers Liability Act. If you were injured while riding the train as a passenger, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. You should discuss your options carefully with an attorney for train crash injuries, like Randolph Rice, who can help you evaluate different strategies and their potential outcomes.
Maryland Train Accident Attorney for Injured Amtrak + MARC Passengers
Train accidents can lead to complex multiparty litigation. Get trusted counsel by hiring an experienced attorney to protect and represent you. At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, we are available 24/7 to help the victims of Maryland train wrecks. Contact us online to set up a free legal consultation, or call (410) 694-7291 today.