Speak to a Train Accident Attorney to Protect Your Rights
As many widely publicized events have shown, train accidents often result in mass injuries and fatalities. Human error and track defects are common causes, and the railroad is often held liable. To ensure you are treated fairly for injuries and losses, it is best to speak to a qualified train accident attorney as soon as possible. Our San Diego, CA, law firm has a reputation for recovering substantial compensation for severely injured clients. Kerry Steigerwalt provides a free consultation for accident victims, and we charge no up-front fees for our legal work.
Railroads and Accidents
Train travel has been a staple in the U.S. since the 1800s, and is more popular today than ever. According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), ridership on Amtrak has increased 50% since 2000. More than 300 trains run each day in 46 states on this national railroad, which is partially government-funded. State-run commuter trains are also increasingly popular, including San Diego’s Sprinter and Coaster lines.
Devastating train accidents happen frequently across the nation. Recently reported in June 2016, a Colorado accident involved a van that was struck as it crossed the tracks, killing five family members and gravely injuring a young girl. The incident took place at a crossing that had previously been identified as a problem, lacking warning lights and a gate.
The FRA reports that two-thirds of railway accidents are related to human error and defects in train tracks, and another 17 percent are caused by defective equipment or signals. These accidents include train-to-train collisions, derailments, and trains striking cars or pedestrians.
Understanding Train Accident Liability
Train accidents are very different from motor vehicle accidents, and much more complex. In most cases, the claim will involve the federal government, state government, or both. Railroads are federally regulated and also governed by state law, with strict requirements pertaining to maintenance and personnel. Violations mean the railroad may be strictly liable for injuries or wrongful death resulting from an accident.
Train accidents are much more complex than other types of motor vehicle accidents. In most cases, the claim will involve the federal government, state government, or both.
For this reason, the entities are well protected by insurance carriers and defense lawyers. Plaintiffs in an accident are advised to retain their own counsel to ensure their interests are fully protected.
Train Accidents in San Diego
Train accidents in the San Diego area are, unfortunately, very common. From March through May of 2016, several pedestrians were struck by trains, resulting in death or serious or catastrophic injury.
San Diego railway service includes Amtrak and the downtown San Diego Trolley, operated by the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. The North County Transit District operates the Coaster, which runs from downtown to Oceanside, and Sprinter, running east-west between Oceanside and Escondido. California is also a key part of the country’s national railroad freight lines, and accidents can (and do) involve freight train companies.
Liability and Legal Representation
California is a comparative negligence state, so even if a victim is partially responsible for the accident, he or she may be entitled to significant compensation. If you or a loved one has been injured, or you have lost a family member to a train accident, it is recommended to seek legal representation immediately.
Our attorneys have years of experience with train accident tort law in California. We have assisted many victims and families, and are dedicated to maximizing compensation for injuries and losses caused by negligence. We understand how to navigate the system to ensure you are treated fairly.
Reach Out to Our Firm
Our team offers effective, compassionate legal help for victims of train accidents and their families. Please contact our firm today for a free consultation.