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Railroad accidents are an infrequent occurrence; however, when they do occur, they can be devastating. When a railroad accident occurs, the victims of the accident should be aware of what caused the accident so they can consider filing a lawsuit against the responsible parties. If you or a family member was injured in a railroad accident, consult with an experienced Maryland railroad accident lawyer today.

At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, we will work tirelessly to provide you with the legal representation that you deserve to pursue compensation for your injuries in Maryland. Our firm recognizes the impact a serious railroad accident could have on a victim’s life, and we are here for you. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact us at (410) 694-7291, or contact us online.

4 Common Causes of Railroad Accidents

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.

Derailment

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

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

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.

When to File a Railroad 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.

Our Experienced Maryland Railroad Accident Lawyers are Here for You

If you or a family member was a victim of a railroad accident, contact an experienced Maryland railroad accident attorney today. Injury lawyer Randolph Rice has years of legal experience litigating many personal injury lawsuits, and he would be pleased to work with you. To schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your legal situation, contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291.

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