Florida Train Accident Attorneys
Railroad accidents typically fall under the purview of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), but often state laws come into play as well. The FRA reports about 3,000 train accidents every year, involving roughly 1,000 fatalities. Compared to the statistics for car accidents, these are relatively small figures. However, despite the rarity of these events, it is still crucial for anyone involved in railroad work or who regularly rides trains or travels near busy railroads, to understand their legal options after a train accident.
Common Causes of Train Accidents
The most common causes of train accidents include human error, railway obstructions, electrical malfunctions, equipment failures, poor maintenance, and problems with a track or roadbed. Train accidents can cause devastating damage to the surrounding area and vehicles, drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and structures near the track. When these accidents happen, determining liability is essential.
Since so much of America’s railroad activity falls under the supervision of the FRA and other government agencies, various types of law may come into play. Contract law, negligence law, and common carrier law are common factors. A “common carrier” is any business providing transportation to passengers or cargo for a profit. Since these organizations offer transportation as a paid service, they must adhere to a proper duty of care to ensure the safety of their passengers and cargo.
Damages in a Train Accident Lawsuit
Anyone injured in a train accident should seek a reliable and experienced attorney as soon as possible. While it may take time for the FRA and other parties to determine liability, an attorney will help an injured train accident victim navigate the legal issues and seek acceptable compensation for his or her losses. If a train accident causes a fatality, the victim’s family may pursue a wrongful death claim against the responsible party or parties with the help of an attorney.
Damages in a wrongful death or personal injury claim typically include:
- Medical expenses. The plaintiff can file claims for all medical expenses resulting from the defendant’s actions, including hospital bills, prescription costs, medical device costs, fees for surgeries or ongoing treatments, and any other costs for necessary continuing care.
- Pain and suffering. A train accident can cause catastrophic personal injuries, and it is a terrifying experience. Plaintiffs can seek damages for physical pain and mental trauma following a train accident, and their damages are often much more than their medical bills.
- Lost income. If a plaintiff’s injuries prevent him or her from returning to work for an extended time, he or she may seek damages for the wages lost in that time. Additionally, if the plaintiff’s injuries prevent him or her from working ever again, the plaintiff may pursue action for the wages he or she would have reasonably expected to earn in the future.
- Property damage. If the defendant’s behavior caused damage to the plaintiff’s personal property, such as a vehicle, the defendant can seek damages for the cost of repairing or replacing the damaged property.
- Punitive damages. In some cases, a jury finds a defendant’s behavior so extreme as to award the plaintiff punitive damages. As the name implies, punitive damages exist to punish defendants by awarding financially significant damages.
If you have experienced injuries or other damages from a train accident in Florida, get in touch with the attorneys at Freedland Harwin Valori, PL. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation. We can review the details of your case and let you know what to expect from a lawsuit.