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New Jersey Train Accident Lawyers

Train AccidentsThere are more than 224,000 miles of train tracks across the United States. These tracks intersect thousands of different roads and populated areas. This inevitably leads to many collisions every year. According to the National Safety Council, “Railroad deaths totaled 954 in 2022, an 11% increase from the 2021 revised total of 859 and the highest since 2007. Nonfatal injuries totaled 6,252, a 6% increase from the 2021 revised total of 5,882.” The majority of accidents take place at train crossings.

Trains can be deceptively fast and many drivers and pedestrians can be caught off guard. This is why it is so important for train operators to do everything in their power to take reasonable measures to avoid collisions. But far too often, this does not happen. Any person who is injured in a train accident may be able to seek some measure of justice through a civil claim. The New Jersey train accident lawyers at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. are here for you. They can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know if you have a claim that can be pursued. You can reach out to us anytime at (800-529-9997.

Common Causes of Train Accidents

Train accidents are typically very complex events. The factors that may contribute to any train accident can take place hours, days, weeks, or even months beforehand. For example, train accidents are much more likely to occur at unprotected crossings. Drivers may not realize that a train is coming. Or a driver may assume that a train is coming from the opposite direction from where they are looking. What follows are some of the other common causes of train accidents.

  • Track and Infrastructure Issues: A number of problems with train tracks, such as broken rails, faulty switches, or improper maintenance, could lead to derailments or collisions.
  • Mechanical Failure: Trains are complicated pieces of machinery. Any type of mechanical failure with the brakes, engines, or coupler mechanisms can cause accidents.
  • Speeding: Trains have speed limits in much the same way that vehicles do. If a train speeds through a densely populated location, it is more likely to hit pedestrians or vehicles. Trains are also more likely to derail around curves at high rates of speed.
  • Weather Conditions: Severe weather including heavy rain, fog, and ice can reduce visibility and lead to more collisions.
  • Human Error: Trains are operated by people and people can make mistakes. Poor communication by train operators, dispatchers, and maintenance workers can contribute to collisions. Distraction is another major issue.

It is crucial that there be a thorough investigation after any train accident. This should include maintenance records for the train involved as well as maintenance records for the tracks. It should also be determined if there was a history of similar incidents where any train accident took place. A history of similar incidents at a specific location may indicate a larger problem.

Liability For New Jersey Train Accidents

Train accidents can come in many different forms. They may involve one or more vehicles. Depending on the facts of any case, there could be numerous sources of liability for any train collision. This could include train operators. Every train operator has a legal obligation to exercise due care in order to avoid collisions. Train conductors must slow down and use their horn if a vehicle or pedestrian is stationary on a set of tracks. Several other entities could face liability.

  • Train Operating Companies: Train companies could face liability for negligence in hiring, training, and supervising employees.
  • Railroad Track Owners: The company that maintained a set of railroad tracks could be liable for any accident caused by track defects or improper maintenance.
  • Train Manufacturers: Companies that manufacture trains or their component parts have a legal obligation to ensure their products are reasonably safe. Manufactures can be strictly liable for accidents caused by design defects.
  • Government Entities: Government entities could be liable if a train collision was caused by a dangerous condition on public property. This could include instances where a railroad crossing lacked a needed crossing gate.
  • Freight Owners: A freight owner could be liable for a train accident if they improperly loaded cargo. It is also possible that a freight owner created a hazard by leaving equipment or cargo on a set of train tracks.

There are several elements that must be demonstrated in any claim involving negligence. The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. That duty of care was breached. An injured plaintiff must show that the breach caused their injury. Finally, the plaintiff must have suffered harm or injury as a result of the breach. The injuries that people sustain in train accidents can be truly horrific.

Common Injuries From Train Accidents

Due to their massive size, even low-speed collisions can be catastrophic. This is particularly true for pedestrians and those in passenger vehicles. But train passengers are also vulnerable, especially in the event of a derailment. Injuries following a train accident can range from minor to life-threatening. Here are just a few of the common injuries that have been reported following train accidents.

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): Many victims of train accidents suffer concussions, contusions, and severe brain injuries. These injuries can lead to serious physical and cognitive impairment. They also increase the risk of degenerative neurological illnesses such as dementia.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Damage to any part of a person’s spine may result in partial or full paralysis. It is common for victims to experience a loss of motor function and sensation.
  • Broken Bones: The sudden force of being jolted by a train can cause fractures and broken bones. Victims may require surgical intervention and extensive rehabilitation.
  • Amputations: A number of pedestrians hit by trains have suffered amputations. These injuries are nearly always fatal without timely medical intervention.
  • Internal Injuries: The blunt force trauma caused by train collisions can lead to internal bleeding and damage to organs such as the spleen, liver, and lungs. It is crucial to seek medical care as early as possible after an accident to properly assess the presence of internal injuries.

Even if a person is able to heal physically after a train accident, a number of victims are left with long-term psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is common for PTSD to manifest in a variety of different ways, including recurring nightmares, anxiety, and depression. It is crucial to seek the advice of legal counsel after any train collision.

Why You Should Hire A Train Accident Attorney

Train accidents can be extremely difficult for victims and their families. It is common for the victims of these collisions to suffer serious injuries that force them to take long periods of time away from work. Victims may also be saddled with high medical bills that jeopardize their financial well-being. Accident victims should consider hiring an attorney after any train accident. There are several advantages to hiring an attorney.

  • Investigation and Evidence Gathering: A train accident attorney can conduct a comprehensive investigation in order to gather crucial pieces of evidence in order to help build a strong case.
  • Determining Liability: There could be several liable parties after any train accident. This includes the company that operated the train and the entity responsible for maintaining a set of tracks. An attorney can work to find all liable parties in order to maximize your compensation.
  • Expertise In Train Accident Laws: The railroad industry is governed by a mesh of federal, state, and local laws. A train accident attorney can use their expertise to help you get the best possible outcome.
  • Contingency Fee Arrangement: Train accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This has two key advantages. It doesn’t cost anything up front to hire an attorney. They only get paid by the opposing party if they are able to successfully resolve your case.

Dealing with the aftermath of a train accident can be deeply overwhelming. There is tremendous peace of mind that comes with having a skilled attorney fight on your behalf. An attorney can handle all of the complexities of your case so that you can focus on recovering. They will help ensure that your interests are front and center throughout the legal process, including any proposed settlement.

Getting Legal Help After A Train Accident

teamThe New Jersey train accident attorneys at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. understand how difficult it can be to move forward after an injury. Our legal team is committed to ensuring that accident victims get the support and justice that they are entitled to under the law. In fact, we have recovered over $1 billion in settlements and verdicts for our deserving clients.

If you or someone that you care about has been injured in a train accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. We are dedicated to making sure that our clients are taken care of so that they can focus on healing. There is no case too large or too small for us to handle. When you hire our law firm, you can rest assured that your interests will always be put first. Whether you just have legal questions or would like a free consultation regarding your case, we are here to serve your needs. You can always reach out to us at 800-529-9997.

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