Texas Railroad Lawyers
The term vehicular accidents probably brings to mind accidents involving cars and trucks. However, railway and train accidents happen frequently as well and they often strike the employees of the railroad. These accidents can cause substantially more damage than car accidents. Injured railroad employees often struggle to find justice or appropriate financial compensation for their hardships.
Railroad worker accidents open a litany of complicated questions. Who should face responsibility? Am I entitled to compensation? If so, for what? Should I hire an attorney? Where will I find a good one? Dealing with all of these questions can present huge difficulties for a person in peak health, let alone for anyone struggling to overcome physical and emotional trauma from an accident.
Understanding What Defines a Railroad Accident
Railway accidents do not merely involve trains striking other trains. Passenger trains, freight trains, subways, or any railroad specific equipment can also collide with railroad equipment and other vehicles, injuring pedestrians, motorists, and railroad workers.
The two main types of railroad accidents are operational and external.
Operational railroad accidents are those in which the railroad is at fault, meaning something the railroad company did caused an accident. These accidents usually take place because of negligence—someone failed to follow safety protocols. Operational accidents make up a large portion of railroad accidents. They are usually the type for which injured railroad workers are entitled to compensation.
External train accidents happen through no fault of the railway company. These accidents can result from wildlife on the tracks or motorists who cross in defiance of warning signs, for example. These accidents can cause injuries just as serious as operational accidents. The law may entitle some external train accident victims, including railroad workers, to compensation for damages.
Should an Accident Victim Hire a Railroad Injury Attorney?
Railroad accidents are much more complicated than other accidents. While any accident can cause major injury, railroad accidents involve a large number of players and interested parties. Many people hold responsibility for a train’s day-to-day operations. Any of them could face liability for the accident.
Furthermore, trains often cause significant amounts of damage. These enormous vehicles can operate at high speeds, and accidents involving them naturally cause substantial emotional and physical damage. Property damages are often greater in railroad accidents than other types of vehicle accidents as well.
Railroads carry large commercial insurance policies, but these companies are notorious for playing hardball—they do not want to pay out, even to the employees who sustained serious injuries while serving them. This means the aftermath of a railroad accident quickly becomes both complicated and contentious for injured train workers.
The best way to combat train company tactics and protect your personal best interests is to hire your own train accident injury attorney.
Time is of the essence. The Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) entitles injured railroad workers to compensation if they can prove legal negligence on their employer’s part. FELA claims, however, come with a statute of limitations. In most cases, injured parties must file a case within three years of the date of the accident, or they lose their right to sue.
Three years seems like a long time, but railroad injury victims should not delay in hiring an attorney. An experienced lawyer needs time to investigate the case, collect evidence, and file all the proper paperwork before the statute of limitations runs out.
What Kind of Damages Can Victims Recover?
Any negligent party can face liability for a railroad accident. This liability could apply to a variety of different companies or individuals, equipment manufacturer, the local/county/state government, maintenance staff, and the railroad company itself. When lawyers prove negligence to the court, these people or entities may face liability for the damages they caused.
Estimating the amount of damages to which the law may entitle a client is a staggering task. Experienced railroad accident attorneys are familiar with all types of damages, including:
Medical expenses: Victims may recover expenses related to medical care as the result of an accident if another person or entity is at fault. These expenses include current costs, as well as potential future costs of medical care. Many accidents result in injuries that will need medical care for years to come.
Lost wages: An accident may prevent many people from working. Recovering from an injury should be your priority. The law may entitle you to compensation in the amount of lost wages while you heal from the accident or treatments related to it.
Intangible harms: Any non-economic damage is considered an intangible harm. These include things such as pain and suffering caused by the accident or lost quality of life. For example, a victim who enjoys playing guitar, but loses the ability to do so due to injuries caused by the accident, may be entitled to compensation.
Wrongful death: Unfortunately, many railroad accidents in Texas are fatal. If a loved one suffered an accident resulting in the loss of life, an experienced attorney may help provide financial security for the family, including through courtroom representation if litigation becomes necessary.
Injured railroad workers should consult a railroad accident attorney as quickly as possible—but never underestimate the true amount of your damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can calculate current and potential future costs, and argue for intangible harms where they exist. Furthermore, most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations and work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you pay no up-front fees to secure representation.
What to Look for in a Railroad Accident Attorney
An experienced railroad accident attorney can be a rare breed. Make sure that any lawyer that you consider understands the many regulations and operational procedures relevant to your case.
Rome, Arata, Baxley & Stelly, LLC, takes pride in our extensive knowledge in these areas. We have a proven track record in the Texas legal community. We also fight for what injured railroad employees deserve. For more information about whether we are a good fit to represent you, or for a free consultation, please contact us at (800) 249-1306. Hiring the right attorney is crucial to the success of your case. With millions of dollars won for our clients, we feel confident that our track record speaks for itself.
To schedule a free initial consultation with our Texas Railroad Lawyers, please call Today for FREE Consultation 504-521-7946, 800-249-1306 or contact us online.