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It may surprise you to hear that in today’s age of modern transportation, many people need an experienced train accidents lawyer. While rail travel remains a generally safe form of transportation – especially compared with automobiles – a significant number of people are still injured in train accidents each year. According to the National Transportation Safety Bureau, a person or vehicle is hit by a train every two hours. These accidents cause nearly 1,000 deaths and far more injuries in the U.S. each year. If you or someone you love has been in an accident involving a train, you may benefit from talking to a train accidents lawyer in Washington DC.
In many ways, riding in a train feels much safer than riding in an automobile: A train is larger and heavier, and its routes are simpler than those available to passenger vehicles. However, because trains are larger and heavier than passenger cars, they are much harder to decelerate, accelerate, and maneuver than a car. Cars often avoid accidents by slowing down or speeding up in a short amount of time, whereas trains cannot do this. Furthermore, even though trains operate on tracks, broken tracks, objects on the tracks, and derailment can cause massive accidents. For these reasons, many people still need a train accidents lawyer.
Liability and Train Accidents
Many accidents involving trains occur because of rail line operator negligence. Texting while driving and driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol are two examples of operator negligence.
Operators of commuter and longer distance rail lines owe a high degree of care and diligence to passenger safety because they are considered “common carriers.” This means that they transport goods or passengers for a fixed fee. Because of their status as common carriers, they are subject to safety regulations put forth by the federal Railroad Administration.
When an accident happens because of non-compliance with safety standards and regulations, liability is often appointed to the operator and their company. Trying to get these entities to take responsibility for their negligence can be difficult.
Complexities of Train Accident Cases
Train accident cases can be very complex. When an accident occurs, there could be several different entities with different jurisdictions that are responsible in some way. Getting these entities to agree on their liability and to cooperate with each other can be difficult.
Most long-distance passenger rail travel in the United States is through the National Railroad Passenger Corp., commonly known as Amtrak. In the Washington DC area, we have the MARC Metro System. The Metro trains are owned and operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). While Amtrak or Metro may operate the train, a separate business may own the tracks or may be in charge of the equipment. In some cases, determining just which entity is at fault for an injury requires substantial investigation. Additionally, trains, rail lines, and the machinery involved are highly complex. Expert testimony is almost always required to show just how the responsible party was negligent.
Furthermore, it’s not just passengers who are injured in rail accidents. Many of the injuries that occur in railroad accident are to railroad employees. When a railroad employee is injured they may recover for their injuries under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). Under that law, in order to recover from their employer for an injury sustained on the job, a railroad employee must prove that the employer railroad was negligent. This differs from typical workers’ compensation claims, which only require a showing that the employee was injured in the course of their employment.
If you are in the unfortunate situation of being in an accident involving a train, protect yourself by teaming up with an experienced train accidents lawyer who can fight for you.
Contact Cohen and Cohen, P.C. Today
The massive weight and size of locomotives pose a high risk of catastrophic injuries and wrongful deaths when an accident occurs. If you or someone you love has been in a train accident, don’t hesitate to contact a train accidents lawyer with experience and compassion for legal counsel. For an experienced Washington DC train accidents lawyer, call Cohen and Cohen, P.C. today at (202) 759-2523 for a free case evaluation.
Whether you were a passenger on a train, a bystander who got hurt by a train, or a railroad employee who is dedicated to their job, start protecting yourself today by calling a knowledgeable train accidents lawyer who cares.