Trains are a popular mode of transport in The Bronx. They help commuters to get around town and avoid the traffic buildup seen on major highways during rush hour. However, there are points where these trains intersect with normal roads, and as long as both vehicles and trains pass through there, accidents are bound to happen. Besides, people who commute using trains in New York are at risk of getting involved in different kinds of accidents that could lead to death.
With all these potential hazards surrounding trains, it is easy to be injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. In such a scenario, you should get legal representation as soon as possible and have an experienced Bronx train accident lawyer claim the compensation you deserve. Some of these injuries can have lifelong implications on your health and lifestyle, and it is not fair if you are left with the burden of adjusting with all these while the accident was not your fault.
Here at Cellino law, we have a highly skilled and experienced team of personal injury lawyers in the Bronx who are well versed in handling train accident lawsuits. Contact us today for professional legal representation in New York.
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New York Train Accident Statistics
In the past few years, we have witnessed different types of train accidents in New York. The most common ones are train collisions with cars at the points of intersections and cases of people being hit by the trains while walking close to the rails.
In 2019, the Federal Railroad Administration recorded close to 5,000 train accidents in the United States, with over 500 being in New York. 10% of these accidents led to fatalities, with the rest injuring their victims significantly. Most of these accidents were caused by derailments of the railroad with others happening as a result of human factors, collisions, and yard accidents.
Causes of Train Accidents in New York
These three factors cause the majority of train accidents:
- Human error
- Mechanical failure
- Railroad malfunctions
Human error is the leading cause of train accidents, and it entails excessive train speed, failing to put the machine under control and engineer distractions. The people who manage the train and railroad are expected to be always alert and set the right controls in place, to avoid cases of derailment due to excessive train speeds.
Over the years, the government has invested a lot of money to improve railroads, but broken rails and track defects remain a leading cause of train derailment. Mechanical failures are the least common cause of accidents as trains are regularly serviced, but, in some cases, engineers can fail to point out an obvious issue, and clear the train fit to go, only for it to cause an accident.
Types of Train Accidents Our Lawyers Handle
We are an experienced team of attorneys in the Bronx who can handle just about any crash involving a train. Some of them include;
- Derailments where the train goes off track and causes extensive damage to property and people.
- The collision of trains with cars and pedestrians due to failure of barrier lights and cases where the train starts moving while a passenger is offboarding
- The collision between two trains caused by faulty railroad switches
- Accidents that happen inside a train caused by sharp turns and over speeding
Note that we handle all train accident cases, including those that occur on the Long Island Railroad, Subway system, Metropolitan Transport Authority, Amtrak, Conrail, and CSX, among others.
What Should I Do After A Train Accident?
Once you are involved in a train accident, you might get confused, anxious, and probably unable to make the right decision on what to do next. However, the steps you take after the accident will go a long way to determine how your claim for compensation goes. This way, it is prudent to stay calm and try to follow the steps mentioned below;
Call the Police Immediately
They need to record a statement about the accident, and this will be used in the latter stages of your claim process to prove negligence. They should be on site within a few minutes of calling them.
If Able, Check Others For Injuries And Remain On The Scene
Be mindful of the other victims involved in the accident and check to see that they are in a stable condition. Injuries vary in such accidents, and some people might require first aid to keep them alive while you wait for the paramedics. Note that your health should also be a priority and do not struggle to move around the scene when you are in no position to do so. Do not be tempted to leave the site unless there is a risk of fire or explosion. It is paramount that the police get an accurate picture of the accident site for them to help determine liability.
Get Witness Contact Information
If there are people on site who might have witnessed the accident, ensure that you get their information. Some of them might be useful witnesses in your claim, and getting their contacts will help your lawyer consult them in case they need any information regarding the accident.
Document The Accident
We live in a digital era, and if you have a smartphone, record the accident scene. Be sure to capture the essential points such as damages to the train, point of collision, the status of the accident scene, and any marks on the railroad.
Do Not Accept Fault
Even if you were responsible for the accident, do not admit fault. Let an experienced Bronx train accident lawyer handle this as you might be lured to do so by the other parties and find that your claim has no basis. There is always a struggle when determining liability and saying the wrong thing can ruin a claim.
Get Medical Attention
Once you leave the scene, seek medical attention even if you seem unscathed. Some of these accidents lead to internal injuries that can prove to be fatal if not treated in good time. Go to your doctor and have them conduct an extensive diagnosis of your body to ensure that you did not sustain any injury. If you are hurt, have them treat you and keep all the receipts and records of your visit safely.
Contact an Attorney
Now that everything is in order, contact a Bronx train accident lawyer and allow them to proceed from here. They will be significantly guided by the information collected in the steps above and will review the case to determine whether it is strong enough to file for a compensation claim.
What Are Some of the Injuries Suffered in a Train Accident?
The sheer size of trains, impact with another vehicle, or another train makes it likely for the victims of these accidents to suffer from severe injuries. Passengers inside the train might also suffer from these injuries depending on the nature of the accident. Some common injuries include:
- Head trauma
- Skull fractures
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of limbs
What Are Some of the Damages you Can Receive in a Train Accident Claim?
If you are involved in a train accident that was caused by another entity, you are entitled to compensation for the damages sustained. The settlement is meant to reinstate you to the original state you were in before the accident happened.
The first type of damages you will be eligible for will be for the injuries suffered as a result of the accident. Some of these injuries are life-changing, and victims might never recover from them. In such a scenario, the liable party will be required to cater to the present and future medical costs plus the pain and suffering as a result of the accident.
If you were working and are unable to do so as a result of the injuries suffered, you will be entitled to compensation for the loss of income. Additional things that might come into your claim include transport costs for future medical facility visits, child care costs, and caregiver costs if you will require one for the rest of your life.
Other damages include;
- Loss of companionship
- Wrongful death
- Punitive damages
When assessing damages, it is vital to know the difference between economic and non-economic ones. Economic damages are ones that are measurable, objectively provable, and real losses. Non-economic ones are subjective and hard to quantify as they are non-monetary. The state of New York has put caps on non-economic damages to ensure that they do not rise to abnormal amounts in any lawsuit. The total amount of damages in a train accident lawsuit is the sum of economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Train Accident in New York?
Various entities are held responsible for ensuring trains are safe for passengers and other motorists. This way, train accidents caused by negligence will lead to the responsible parties or their insurance companies being held liable for the damage caused.
For instance, a distracted engineer might not reduce the train speed in good time when going over a railway crossing or approaching a sharp bend and end up causing a collision. On the other hand, the driver in the car might be held liable if they disregarded the crossing signals and tried to get across the rail when they were not supposed to.
Other entities that can be held liable include;
- Railroad companies if they did not train employees, check the rails to ensure that they are fit to hold the trains or did not make sure that sufficient safety equipment was stored in the train
- Railroad employees if they did not load up cargo well
- Construction companies, or their employment authority if they did not use the right material when building railway tracks
- Railroad employees if they were tasked to inspect the railroads but did not do so
- Train operating companies if they did not train their staff on how to run trains properly
One of the crucial steps of the claim process is determining liability. No entity would want to admit liability openly as they will be required to compensate the affected parties. Here, an experienced Bronx train accident lawyer will gather all the evidence and go all in to prove liability, before filing your compensation claim.
How Much Does a Train Accident Lawyer Cost?
At Cellino law, when our lawyers take your case we do not require any payment upfront. We work on a contingency fee agreement, which implies that the attorney agrees to represent you with the understanding that they will collect a fee if the case is ruled in your favor.
The typical contingency fee in a train accident in New York is 33% of the amount awarded. However, you might find several variations to this depending on how the case spans out. If the case is settled before the train accident lawsuit is filed, you might pay as low as 25%. If the lawsuit is filed, but your attorney settles it before it gets to trial, you might pay 33%. If the matter goes to trial, you will be required to pay more, say 40%.
A competent Bronx train accident lawyer at Cellino Law will use a sliding scale to determine the amount you are to pay them for their legal services.
How Long do I Have to File a Claim For a Train Accident in New York?
In New York, the statute of limitations categorizes train accident cases as negligence cases. The umbrella law states that you should file a claim within three years, but there are some exceptions to it, especially ones that touch on train accidents.
For cases that involve a municipality, such as a city train and buses, you have a maximum of 90 days to file a notice of claim, and then one year and 90 days from the date of the accident to start the lawsuit.
If you are not sure about the statute of limitation clauses that apply to your case, contact a diligent attorney at Cellino Law, and they will be sure to file the claim within the right time limits.
Why Do I Need A Lawyer For A Train Accident?
The law surrounding train accident lawsuits in New York is complicated, and if you are not familiar with it, you stand a very low chance of filing for a compensation claim successfully. It stipulates that you need to follow specific procedures, and failing to do so will render your claim null and void.
The amount of compensation at stake here is often hefty, and the accused, often insurance companies, will hire the top legal representation out there. Their lawyers are used to facing such cases, and they know the right tactics to reduce the compensation to a minimal amount.
This is why you need the services of an excellent Bronx train accident lawyer at Cellino law to represent you through the process and get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. They will start preparing once you contact them and will organize all the information you give them into concrete evidence. From here, they will assess the facts and give you a determination on whether the case holds water or not and how much you can expect to get as compensation. Once all is set, they will file the lawsuit and start negotiating with the accused.
Cases do not always have to go to trial, and the other lawyers will try to convince you to take a certain amount and let the matter rest. Your lawyer will negotiate for you and hold up for the proper amount, failure to which the issue will go to litigation. While doing this, they will advise you on the best way forward regarding the amount offered during the negotiation process and if you should take it or not.
If no amount is agreed on, the matter will proceed to trial, and they will prepare all the evidence needed at this stage. They will represent you in court and argue for your claim until the jury awards a favorable compensation amount.
This process is hectic, and you do not want to do it yourself, especially if you are recovering from injuries. Hire an attorney at Cellino Law and be sure to get the right compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Schedule A Free Consultation With A Bronx Train Accident Lawyer With Cellino Law
There is a lot of work to be done if you are to get compensation for the injuries suffered in a train accident. We understand that you might be injured, stressed, and emotionally affected during this time. An attorney at Cellino law will offer you the ideal representation and ensure that you are awarded a fair amount of compensation for the injuries. Contact our Bronx injury law firm today for a free case review at (800) 555-5555.