In New York, trains are a very popular mode of transport. Commuters use trains to move around town and avoid traffic, especially on major highways in rush hour. However, at some points, these trains intersect with normal roads. Therefore, with both vehicles and trains passing through these intersections, there are bound to be accidents. People who use trains to travel in New York have a higher risk of being involved in different types of accidents that might lead to death.
Trains are very hazardous and as such, it’s very easy for someone to get injured due to negligence. Well, if this happens to you or your loved one, you need to get legal representation as soon as possible. You should have an experienced Brooklyn train accident lawyer at Cellino Law helping you claim your rightful compensation. Some types of injuries have lifelong implications for your health and lifestyle. It’s not fair for you to be left with the huge burden of adjusting your life when the accident was not your fault in the first place. At Cellino Law, we have a skilled and experienced team of personal injury attorneys in Brooklyn who understand how to handle train accident cases.
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New York Train Accident Statistics
Over the past few years, we have handled different types of train accidents in New York. The most common types of train accidents are train collisions with vehicles at intersections. We have also come across cases of people being hit by trains as they walk very close to the rails.
The Federal Railroad Administration in 2019 recorded about 5,000 train accidents in the U.S and about 500 of those cases happened in New York. At least 10% of those cases led to fatalities while in the rest of the cases the victims were injured significantly. Most of these train accidents were caused by derailments of the railroad and the others happened because of human factors, yard accidents, and collisions.
Causes Of Train Accidents In New York
All train accidents can be attributed to three main causes which are:
- Mechanical failure
- Human error
- Railroad malfunctions
The leading cause of train accidents is human error. It involves excessive speeds, engineer distractions, and failure to put the machine under control. People who manage trains and railroads are always supposed to be alert and set the right controls. That way, it’s easy to avoid the derailment of the trains because of excessive speeds.
Through the years, the government has put up a lot of money to improve railroads. However, broken rails and track defects are still a leading cause of train derailment. The least common causes of train accidents are mechanical failures since trains are serviced regularly. There are cases where engineers fail to mention an obvious issue and clear the train to be good to go but later end up in an accident.
Types Of Train Accidents Our Lawyers Handle
At Cellino Law, we are an experienced team of attorneys who can handle any cases involving train accidents. Over the years we have handled cases such as the following:
- Derailments especially when the train goes off track entirely causing extensive property damage and injuries to people
- Train collisions with pedestrians and cars due to the failure of barrier lights. Also, there are cases where the trains start moving while the passenger is still offboarding
- Collisions that happen between two trains as a result of faulty railroad switches
- Accidents that happen inside the train due to sharp turns and over-speeding
Our law firm handles all types of train accidents including those happening on the Subway System, Long Island Railroad, CSX, Metropolitan Transport Authority, Conrail, Amtrak, and many more.
What Should I Do After A Train Accident?
After being involved in a train accident, it’s easy to feel anxious, confused, and unable to make the right decision. The steps you take after a train accident will determine your compensation claim. That’s why you need to stay calm and follow the steps outlined here after a train accident.
Call The Police Immediately
The police need to record a statement about the accident. It will be used during the claim process to prove negligence. The police should arrive on the site of the accident a few minutes after being called.
Be Mindful Of Other Victims Involved In The Accident
Check to see that the other victims involved in the accident are in a stable condition. After train accidents, injuries might vary. Some of the victims might need first aid to stay alive as you wait for paramedics. Also, your health should be a top priority. Therefore, don’t struggle to move around the scene if you are not in a position to do so. Don’t leave the site unless there is a risk of explosion or fire. The police should get an accurate picture of the site of the accident to help them determine liability.
Get Information From Witnesses
Are there other people on-site who have witnessed the train accident? Well, you should get information from them too. They might be useful witnesses in your compensation claim. Get their contacts and make sure that your lawyer contacts them to provide more information about the accident.
Record The Scene Of The Accident
In this digital era, almost everyone has a device with a camera in it. Use it to record the scene of the accident. You should capture the essential scenes such as the damages to the train, the status of the accident scene, the point of collision, and any marks left on the railroad after the accident.
Don’t Admit Fault
Even if you are at fault for the accident, don’t admit it. You should let a Brooklyn train accident lawyer handle the case. Don’t be lured to admit fault by other parties since your claim for compensation will be voided. It’s always tough to determine liability and saying the wrong thing at the scene of the accident will nullify your claim.
Seek Medical Attention
After leaving the scene of the accident, you need to seek medical help even if you are unscathed. Some of these accidents might cause internal injuries that might turn fatal if not treated immediately. Visit your doctor and let them perform an extensive diagnosis of your whole body to check for any injuries. If you are hurt, let the doctors treat you and keep the receipts and records of the visit since they will come in handy later.
Contact A Brooklyn Train Accident Lawyer
Once everything is in order, you need to contact a train accident lawyer near Brooklyn and let them handle the case on your behalf. Cellino Law should be your first choice and we can use the information collected in the steps above to handle your case.
What Are Some Of The Injuries Suffered In A Train Accident?
Trains are huge and impact with another vehicle or a train makes it highly likely for the accident victims to suffer severe injuries. Passengers inside the train might also suffer from various injuries depending on the nature of the accident. Some of the common injuries from train accidents include:
- Skull fractures
- Head trauma
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of limbs
What Are Some Of The Damages You Can Receive In A Train Accident Claim?
Have you or your loved one been involved in a train accident caused by another individual? Well, you are entitled to compensation for any damages sustained. The settlement will reinstate you to the original state before the accident.
First, you will receive damages for the injuries you have suffered because of the accident. Note that, some of the injuries sustained might be life-changing and it will be tough for victims to recover from them. Therefore, the liable party is mandated to cater to the present and future medical costs, as well as pain and suffering because of the accident.
If you were working but are unable to proceed because of the injuries suffered, you are also entitled to compensation for the loss of income. Some additional things likely to come into your claim include transport costs for visits to medical facilities, caregiver costs, child care costs, and what else you need for the rest of your life.
Other damages you can receive as compensation include the following.
- Wrongful death
- Loss of companionship
- Punitive damages
When assessing damages, it’s prudent to identify economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are measurable, real, and objectively provable losses. Non-economic losses are subjective and harder to quantify since they are non-monetary. In New York, there are caps on non-economic damages to ensure they are not excessively large in a lawsuit. The total amount of damages you can receive in a train accident lawsuit are a total of economic, punitive and non-economic damages.
Who Can Be Held Liable For A Train Accident In New York?
There are various entities in charge of keeping trains safe for motorists and passengers. As such, any train accidents happening as a result of negligence will force the responsible parties and their insurance companies to be held liable for the damages caused.
For instance, if an engineer is distracted, he will not reduce the speed of the train in time when going over a railway crossing or coming to a sharp bend. As a result, they will end up causing a collision. Also, a driver in the car will be liable for a train accident if they ignored the crossing signals and tried to cross the trail at the wrong time.
Other entities who might be held liable in the event of a train accident include:
- Railroad companies who fail to train employees, check the rails to ensure that they are fit enough for the trains to pass through or fail to store sufficient safety equipment in the train
- Railroad employees who don’t load cargo properly in the train
- Construction companies and their employment authorities if they don’t use proper materials when constructing railway tracks
- Railroad employees who failed to inspect the railroads when tasked to do so
- Train operating companies if they fail to train their staff on how to run trains properly
One of the most integral processes of the claim process is determining liability. None of these entities would admit to liability openly since they will be mandated to compensate anyone affected by the accident. Well, an experienced Brooklyn train accident lawyer will gather the evidence and try to prove liability before filing a claim for compensation.
How Much Does A Train Accident Lawyer Cost?
We don’t have a specific hourly rate that you pay for our services. Rather, we work on a contingency payment plan. Therefore, we will represent you and collect our fee once you have won your case. You will not pay us if you don’t win the case.
However, with some contingency payments, there are some details in the fine prints. For instance, you might be forced to pay some amount even if you lose the case. You will be charged with some miscellaneous costs such as expert witness fees, filing fees, transport costs, and many more. A contingency payment plan applies to the plaintiff or the only one filing for compensation. If you are the one accused of the accident, your insurance company will pay the legal fees.
The usual contingency fee for a train accident in New York is 33% of the total amount of compensation awarded. However, there are several variations to this amount depending on the case. For instance, if the case is settled before the train accident lawsuit is filed, you might be charged only 25%. If the lawsuit proceeds to be filed but the attorney settles it before trial, you will pay 33%. If the case ends up in trial, you might be required to pay more, about 40%.
The Brooklyn train accident lawyers at Cellino Law use sliding scales to determine the amount to pay for consulting us for your train accident case.
How Long Do I Have To File A Claim In New York?
The statute of limitations in New York classifies train accident cases as negligent cases. There’s an umbrella law stating that a claim should be filed within 3 years but there are some exceptions, especially those regarding train accidents.
For cases involving a municipality such as city trains and buses, you have 90 days to file a notice of claim and a year and 90 days from the date when the accident happened to file a lawsuit.
If you don’t know the statute of limitation clauses applicable to your case, you should contact our attorneys and we will file the claim in time.
Why Do I Need A Lawyer?
In New York, the law regarding train accidents is quite complicated. If you don’t know it well enough, you have a lower chance of getting compensated. You need to follow the procedures in place otherwise your claim becomes null and void.
The total amount of compensation is hefty and the accused (especially insurance companies), have legal representation for the case. Their lawyers have come across so many similar cases so they know and understand the right tactics to reduce the compensation amount as much as possible.
That’s why you need the services of the Brooklyn train accident lawyers at Cellino Law. We will represent you through the case and make sure you get the right amount of compensation. Once you contact us, we will start preparing you and organize the information about the case to be used as evidence. Next, we will assess the facts of the case and give you an exact determination on whether or not your case is good enough. We will also advise you on how much to expect as compensation. Once you agree to everything, we will file the lawsuit and start the negotiations with the other party.
Not all cases have to end in a trial. The other lawyers will convince you to take the least compensation amount and let the issue rest. However, we are ready to negotiate the case on your behalf and make sure you receive your rightful compensation. We will hold out as long as possible and go to litigation if necessary. We will also advise you on the best way forward regarding the amount offered in the first settlement talks.
If we can’t agree to a good amount with the other side, the case will go to trial. Here, we will prepare the necessary evidence required for the case. We will represent you in court and bring the valid arguments for the claim forward until the jury deems your compensation amount fair.
Yes, we know the process is very hectic and it’s tough to do it yourself especially when you are still recovering from injuries. However, working with Cellino Law is a surefire way to get the right compensation for your injuries.
Contact Cellino Law Today
There’s a lot that needs to be done for you to get compensated for injuries sustained in a train accident. You are injured, stressed, and affected emotionally in this period. Cellino Law has experienced lawyers who will represent you and ensure you get the full compensation amount for your case. We are here to help you during this trying time. Call our Brooklyn injury law firm at 800-555-5555 and get a free case review today!