When you think of train and railroad accidents, you might picture a train crash or derailment, but there are multiple types of injuries and deaths involving trains.
The National Safety Council reports that railroad deaths increased to 893 in 2021, with another 5,781 non-fatal injuries. Most of the deaths (617) were “trespassers,” or people on the railroad tracks, either in vehicles or as pedestrians.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advises everyone to follow these train safety tips to avoid trespassing accidents.
Non-fatal train-related injuries were mostly non-trespassers (4,588). About 510 of these injuries occurred in passengers, while another 3,216 happened to employees.
Passenger injuries happen in a wide variety of ways. Some passengers are injured getting on or off the train, and slip-and-fall/trip-and-fall accidents are common.
Many people fall when walking around a train that suddenly brakes or slows down, or the impact of a collision may displace them. Trip and fall hazards also include objects left in the aisles or spilled food or drinks that aren’t promptly cleaned up.
Additionally, some people may be hurt by runaway drink carts or falling objects. In a few cases, passengers are also injured due to violent encounters or altercations with other passengers.
Do You Need a Georgia Train & Railroad Accidents Attorney?
If you’ve been hurt in a train or railroad accident, the best way to learn your options for seeking compensation is to speak with a Georgia train & railroad accident lawyer. We will investigate your injuries to determine what happened and which parties might be at fault.
What Causes Train Accidents and Injuries?
Train accidents may have a wide variety of causes. Often the issue can be traced to a problem at the railroad company or a third-party contractor. Some examples include:
Hiring poorly qualified staff, failing to properly train staff, or both. Many injuries can be prevented when staff members understand and follow safety procedures. Lack of supervision for employees, especially new ones, can also be problematic. In some cases, a railroad employee makes a seemingly small mistake that leads to an accident.
Intoxication. If a conductor or other employee is intoxicated at work, there can be serious consequences for passenger safety.
Understaffing. When employees are overworked, they quickly become exhausted, and exhaustion can lead to mistakes, no matter how qualified or well-trained workers are.
Distraction. In the same way that you don’t want other motorists texting and driving on the road, train employees should not be distracted while working.
Mechanical issues. These might be due to a defective part or an error by someone who performed a repair (who could work for the railroad or a third party). Mechanical problems frequently cause derailments, like the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment that occurred in February of 2023. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) now believes an overheated wheel bearing caused the crash.
Lack of security. If you were injured on a train due to being assaulted by another passenger, the railroad might not have had adequate security or supervision on its trains.
Reckless pedestrians or motorists. Ignoring the signals at a railroad crossing or walking on the tracks are dangerous situations. Never cross a railroad track against the signal, even if you’re sure you don’t see a train coming.
Unintentional trespassing. While “trespassing” implies an intentional act, the situations that lead to cars colliding with trains are sometimes accidental and beyond the car driver’s control. For example, a vehicle could stall on the train tracks, and there may not be a way to move it before the train arrives. If this happens, you should exit the vehicle immediately, move a safe distance from the track, and call for help – there is usually a sign with a phone number for track emergencies.
Speeding trains. We often think about speeding vehicle drivers, but trains also present a higher risk of accidents and injuries when they go too fast.
Track issues. If the train tracks aren’t regularly maintained, they can fail and cause an accident. Several potential parties may be at fault, though – a party that leaves an obstruction on the track is one example. Another would be a conductor who isn’t paying attention and doesn’t notice the obstruction until it’s too late are two possibilities. The party responsible for track maintenance could also be liable if they fail to fix known issues.
Unprotected railroad crossings. In this case, “unprotected” means that safety standards to keep people safe at a railway crossing haven’t been followed, leaving pedestrians and vehicle passengers vulnerable. Examples include a malfunctioning signal or simply not having one, low visibility (often due to obstructions like trees or structures), a conductor error in not sounding an alarm or poor maintenance of signal equipment.
As you might imagine, it’s frequently very difficult for a person injured in a train or railway incident to sort out which of the above might have caused their injuries. Even if you think you know what happened, you may not have all the information about your accident.
Fortunately, your Georgia train and railroad accident attorney has the knowledge and experience to gather evidence and learn what happened.
Common Injuries in Train and Railroad Accidents
Unfortunately, there are many ways to get hurt in a train or railway accident.
Usually, your injuries will depend on how the incident occurred. For instance, people who trip and fall disembarking a train often suffer broken bones.
Here are some other common injuries we see in train accidents:
Traumatic brain injury or TBI. If you hit your head in a train accident, you could suffer permanent damage. Brain injuries can also occur without impact to the head if a train crash produces a high degree of concussive force. Depending on the nature of your brain injury, you could have various symptoms, including issues with speech and language, cognitive difficulties, trouble with walking or movement, mood or personality changes, memory issues, chronic headaches, and more.
Amputations. These are common in people who have been hit by a train. In many cases, the collision with the train causes a high degree of damage to the severed limb, and surgeons are unable to reattach it with surgery.
Spinal cord injuries. People who experience a train collision, either as pedestrians or vehicle passengers, often have spinal cord damage due to the force of the impact. This can lead to quadriplegia or paraplegia. Other types of back injuries can cause chronic pain.
Burns, scarring, or disfigurement. If the collision leads to a fire, burns may cause permanent scarring.
Substantial lacerations. Some people in train accidents have large lacerations and quickly lose a lot of blood.
Internal injuries. A train collision may also cause internal bleeding or bruising, and many patients require surgery.
How Does Your Georgia Train & Railroad Accidents Lawyer Determine Fault in Your Accident?
They also have authority over incidents involving passenger trains. Generally, a preliminary report is released a few weeks after the accident and contains a brief synopsis of facts collected so far.
A final report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation and analysis, often 12-24 months later.
Additionally, we can conduct our own investigation, interviewing witnesses who were present during the accident and requesting documents and other evidence from the railway company.
Understanding Event Recorders and Collisions
One of the most crucial pieces of evidence in any crash or collision with a train is its black box or train event recorder. If you’ve ever heard about the importance of recovering a plane’s flight recorder after a plane crash, the train event recorder is of similar value.
It collects data on the use of the train’s controls, how the train responded to the controls, and how related systems worked. Motor vehicles also have black boxes, and if your vehicle was hit by a train, we could use the data from its recorder, too.
Evidence in Non-Collision Accidents Involving Trains
The NTSB will not usually investigate situations where a person is assaulted on a train, but the appropriate law enforcement agency will investigate and issue a report. After reviewing it, we will look into the perpetrator and their previous criminal history.
In some cases, after talking to witnesses or reviewing any available security videos, we may find evidence of “red flags” the railroad’s security department should have caught.
If you slip and fall or suffer another accidental injury inside the train that isn’t part of a larger event (like a crash), there may not be an official report, but the railway will likely have an internal report about the incident.
We can request these documents in the discovery phase of a lawsuit against the railroad. Again, talking with witnesses who saw you fall or observed the obstruction that caused you to trip will be helpful.
We understand it can be challenging to think clearly when you’ve just been injured, but getting the name and contact info of anyone who witnessed what happened can be very useful to our investigation.
If that isn’t possible, we can look for video footage or even search social media in case someone posted about the incident (this is more common than you might think). If there’s a way to find evidence in your case, we’ll discover it.
What Kind of Damages Are Available in a Train & Railroad Accident Case?
If you were injured as the result of negligence caused by the railroad or another party, you could seek compensation for your damages. These may include the following:
Medical bills. Train crash victims often have multiple serious injuries, including broken bones, internal bleeding, spine or back injuries, and brain injuries. Unfortunately, these can be very expensive to treat, and some people hit the limit of their health insurance policy when they still need extensive further treatment. Others may need continued care for a permanent injury. Your lawyer will consider your current medical bills but also your expected future healthcare costs related to the accident. Additionally, your attorney will ask about related expenses like buying mobility aids or making your home accessible.
Lost wages or income. If you’re seriously injured and can’t go to work for weeks or months while you recover, you’re entitled to your lost income for that time (even if you used PTO).
Lost or reduced earning potential. The type of severe injuries that often occur in train accidents can lead to permanent disability and prevent you from returning to work. Some people have to switch to a less physically demanding career or work fewer hours, which also reduces earnings. Others are unable to work in any capacity. As a result, you can seek compensation for this reduced or lost earning potential.
Permanent disability or disfigurement. Whether or not it affects your work, you can pursue damages for any permanent injury that impacts your life.
Property damage. You may be able to seek reimbursement for damage to your vehicle or other valuables like a phone or laptop.
Pain and suffering. The physical pain alone can be overwhelming after a train accident, and many people also suffer from anxiety, insomnia, or symptoms of PTSD. Both physical and mental pain and suffering are valid damages following an accident.
Wrongful death. If a loved one passed in a train accident, you might be able to file a wrongful death claim for multiple damages, including loss of consortium or companionship, loss of financial support, medical bills before the death, and funeral or burial expenses. Georgia law sets out specific rules for who can file a wrongful death suit depending on surviving relatives, starting with the decedent’s spouse, children, and parents (in that order). Your attorney will let you know who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim in this particular case.
How Can You Find a Georgia Train & Railroad Accidents Lawyer?
The CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm offers free consultations. If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a train or railroad accident, please contact us so we can review your case.
Our experienced attorneys will study the details, answer your questions, and explain your options for pursuing a claim. Your initial consultation is completely free, and if we do take your case, we won’t charge you anything until we win or settle it.
There is no obligation, so please call 888-307-3792 today to find out how we can help you.
Find Out What Your Case Is Worth Here
Tell Us More About Your Injury Below So That We Can Get You The Most Money
All Fields Required *
Frequently Asked Questions
After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!
To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?
The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm
Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.
What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?
During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process.
Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today.
We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.
Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.