Train accidents may seem like a relatively rare occurrence in the grand scheme of things, but train accident injuries occur more often than you might think, especially when you factor in the various ways in which these injuries can occur. Major collisions and train derailments are the incidents that typically make headlines in Arizona and across the country, but countless injuries also occur at railroad crossings, on train platforms and even within metro and subway cars. If you or someone you know has suffered injuries or been killed in a Phoenix train accident, do not hesitate to hire an experienced train accident attorney to handle your case. At Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC, our legal team understands how important it is to have compassionate and knowledgeable legal representation when pursuing compensation for train accident injuries, and we will help you hold the negligent person or party accountable for your losses.
Qualified Train Accident Attorneys
Train accidents can occur for many different reasons, including faulty equipment, poor railroad design or negligence on the part of the train operator or another motorist, and there are often multiple parties at fault in Phoenix railroad accidents. Unfortunately, it can be incredibly difficult for train accident victims to successfully obtain compensation from the negligent party or parties, especially while they are recovering from the injuries they sustained in the accident. If you were involved in a train accident in Phoenix and you plan to pursue financial compensation for your injuries, you will likely face significant challenges on the road ahead. Finding out what caused the train accident and who is liable for your injuries can be complicated, especially if you aren’t familiar with Arizona personal injury law. Our lawyers at Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC have extensive experience working with victims of all types of accidents in Phoenix and the surrounding area, and we know how difficult the road to recovery can be for train accident victims and their loved ones. We will do everything we can to hold those responsible for your injuries fully accountable and maximize your financial recovery, so you can concentrate on recuperating and moving on with your life.
Causes of Phoenix Train Accidents
- Collisions with other trains
- Malfunctioning equipment
- Signal failure
- Explosion or fire
- Driver intoxication
- Train track problems
- Failure to maintain equipment
- Poor operator training
- Railroad negligence
- Vehicles or other obstructions on railroad tracks
- Poorly designed or constructed railroad crossings
- Failure to warn of an approaching train
- Conductor negligence
Injuries Resulting from Train Accidents
Although train accidents occur less frequently than car accidents, the consequences of a train accident tend to be far more devastating, due to the sheer size and weight of trains compared to passenger cars, and the fact that passenger trains can carry dozens if not hundreds of passengers at once. Regardless of the circumstances of a train accident, the consequences can be catastrophic, and more often than not, when trains collide with pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicles, fatalities occur. In fact, statistics show that a motorist is 20 times more likely to die in a collision with a train than in a collision with another motor vehicle. Some of the most common injuries resulting from train accidents in Phoenix include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Amputation and loss of limbs
- Back injuries
- Crush injuries
- Permanent scarring
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Permanent disability
- Wrongful death
Pursuing Compensation for Train Accident Injuries
- Negligence – A negligence lawsuit against the train operator for failing to properly operate the train (i.e. a drowsy or intoxicated train operator whose recklessness or carelessness caused the accident);
Workers’ Compensation vs. Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA)
Of the thousands of people who are injured and killed every year in railroad accidents, many are railroad employees, and when a railroad employee is involved in a Phoenix train accident, the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) may come into play. FELA covers injured railroad workers in a way that is similar to the state workers’ compensation system, but there are important differences between the two programs. For instance, unlike state workers’ comp laws, FELA is a fault-based system and it also allows victims to pursue compensation for pain and suffering, while workers’ compensation does not. FELA awards also tend to be higher than workers’ comp benefits in Phoenix. If you are a railroad employee and you believe you may be entitled to financial compensation for your train injuries under FELA, it is important to understand how FELA differs from workers’ compensation and whether or not you qualify for FELA funds.
Comparative Negligence in Phoenix Train Accidents
Under Arizona’s law of pure comparative negligence, even if you share part of the blame for a train accident in Phoenix, that does not preclude you from recovering compensation for your injuries and any other losses resulting from the accident. Instead, you can still file a claim for compensation against the other person or party found at fault in the accident, and the total amount of the damages you receive will be reduced by a percentage equal to your share of fault in the accident. For instance, if you speed through a railroad crossing in an attempt to beat a train and a train accident occurs, you may think you are entirely at fault for the accident. However, if the train operator was distracted or drowsy at the time of the accident, or if a defective train part malfunctioned and prevented the train from stopping in time, the train operator or train part manufacturer may be partly at fault for the accident. If you suffered $100,000 in damages from a Phoenix train accident and the court finds that you are 60% responsible for the accident, you can still recover damages from the other person or party, but your total damages award will be reduced by 60% to $40,000.
Statute of Limitations for Train Accident Lawsuits
If you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person or party found at fault in the train accident, it is imperative that you are aware of the statute of limitations that applies to your claim. Statutes of limitations are laws that establish the maximum amount of time an injured victim has to initiate a lawsuit after an injury-causing event, like a train accident. In Arizona, the standard statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years. That means if you are injured in a train accident in Phoenix, you will have two years from the date the injury occurred to pursue compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. However, the filing deadline in Arizona is significantly shorter for claims against government entities, and if you suffered injuries in an Amtrak or Metro Light Rail accident in Phoenix, you will only have 180 days from the date of the accident to file a Notice of Claim, and only one year to file a lawsuit. After this deadline has passed, you will likely lose your right to pursue compensation.
Holding the appropriate person or party liable for your train accident injuries can be complicated and frustrating, especially if the company that owns or operates the railroad is to blame, which is why we always recommend having a legal representative on your side when filing a train accident claim. Our Phoenix train accident attorneys know the law in Arizona and our legal team is capable of handling even the most complex cases. When you hire our firm, we will handle every aspect of your train accident claim, including investigating the scene of the accident, reviewing accident reports, analyzing witness statements, and consulting accident reconstruction experts to determine who is at fault for the accident. When it comes to pursuing adequate compensation for your train accident injuries, we will negotiate with the insurance company to maximize your settlement. If we are unable to reach a fair settlement agreement, we will take your case to trial and fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.