In New York, trains are a popular form of transportation. Trains help people get around, and it allows commuters to avoid getting stuck in traffic jams on the highways, especially during rush hour. Although, there are a number of areas when trains cross regular roads. The truth is if trains and vehicles are allowed to pass through intersections, accidents are inevitable. In some cases, these accidents can lead to a person’s death. On top of that, different kinds of accidents can occur for people who use trains to commute.
There are a number of potential hazards when it comes to trains, and this is why a person can easily become injured due to the negligence of another person. If this ever happens to you, then you’ll want to get legal help right away. In fact, you’ll want the help of an experienced Rochester train accident lawyer to file a claim on your behalf.
Filing a claim is one of the first steps in the process of getting the compensation you deserve. Some injuries can be life-altering, and can drastically impact your lifestyle and health. You shouldn’t be the one left struggling to adjust to everything, especially when you didn’t cause the accident.
At Cellino Law, we have a team of Rochester personal injury attorneys who are highly skilled. Our lawyers have handled many train accident lawsuits. We encourage you to contact us if you want a professional law team on your side.
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Train Accident Statistics in New York
Throughout the last few years, there have been several types of train accidents throughout New York. Trains colliding with cars at intersections is one of the most common accidents we’ve seen. Another one is people walking close to the tracks before they are struck by a train.
The Federal Railroad Administration recorded nearly 5,000 train accidents in America in 2019 alone. Five-hundred of those accidents occurred in New York, and around 10% of them resulted in deaths, and the rest of the accidents left the victims with injuries. Many accidents were caused by things like collisions, human factors, and derailments.
Main Causes of Train Accidents
There are three main factors that cause train accidents. They include human error, railroad malfunctions, and mechanical failure. The leading cause is human error, which typically entails the train going much faster than it should be.
Other human errors include being distracted while operating the train or not getting the machine under control. Those who operate and manage the train have to be alert at all times. Controls must be put in place too, as this can prevent derailment due to operating at excessive speeds.
Throughout the years, railroad improvement has been a major focus of the government, with them investing a lot of money to improve the railway system. However, track defects and rails that are broken are still leading causes of derailments. The least common cause is mechanical failures, and this is because trains are maintained and serviced on a regular basis. Sometimes obvious issues are ignored by engineers, and this can increase the chances of an accident occurring.
Our Lawyers Can Handle These Types of Train Accidents
Our team of lawyers can handle just about any train accident. This includes:
- Derailments in which trains go off the track and causes harm to people or damages property
- Trains that collide with cars and/or pedestrians due to the barrier lights failing and cases that involve passengers off-boarding, but the train started to move
- Trains colliding with each other due to railroad switches not functioning properly
- Trains taking sharp turns or over speeding, which resulted in an accident within the trains
We want to point out that we can handle train accidents of all kinds. This includes accidents that occur on the subway system, Long Island Railroad, Conrail, Amtrak, and so forth.
What Should You Do If You’re Involved in a Train Accident?
People who are involved in train accidents often feel anxious, stressed out, and confused. You might feel like that too, and you might not know what your next step should be. However, it is important to take the right steps because this will have an impact on how your lawsuit goes. Make sure you follow the below steps:
Contact the police right away. The authorities will record your statement, and the statement can be used at certain stages of the lawsuit. As soon as you’re involved in a train accident, call the police to notify them.
Check on Victims
If others were involved in the train accident, then check to see what kind of condition they are in. Sometimes people need first aid in order to keep them alive at the scene until the medical professionals arrive. Your health is a priority, so don’t try to move around too much if you are not physically able to do so. Also, if there is a risk of an explosion or a fire, then you should attempt to leave the site. The police want to gather a clear picture of what happened, so this is why it’s important to stay put.
Get Witnesses’ Contact Details
Get anyone’s info that has witnessed the train accident. Some of these witnesses might be able to help you when the time comes to file your claim. Collect their contact info, and then tell your lawyer that you’ve gotten witnesses’ information. The attorney will decide whether or not to contact them.
In today’s digital world, you should record the scene of the accident. Capture things such as train damages, where the accident exactly occurred, and snap pictures and videos of any marks that are located on the train tracks.
Don’t Admit Fault
Don’t admit fault, ever. Even if you are partially the reason the accident occurred. An experienced lawyer will handle this because you might say something that could cause you to lose your lawsuit. Plus, in many cases, there are struggles involved with determining who is at fault for the accident.
See a Doctor
After leaving the scene of the accident, you’ll want to see a doctor right away, even if you feel fine. Sometimes internal injuries can occur, and these injuries can be fatal if they are not treated. A doctor will speak with you and then they’ll take a look at you to determine whether or not you sustained injuries. They’ll provide you with treatment if you are hurt, but do make sure to keep hold of any bills/receipts you receive.
Contact a Lawyer
Finally, contact an attorney that has worked on train accident cases. An attorney will make things a lot easier on you, especially since they take care of a lot of the legwork. Not only that, but a highly experienced lawyer will determine if you actually have a case or not. If you do, then they’ll let you know what the next steps are.
Injuries Caused by Train Accidents
The chances are very high that you’ll suffer an injury if you’re involved in a train accident. This is because of the size of the trains, as well as the impact of an accident. Not only that, but passengers might also suffer from injuries, but this really depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident. With that said, some of the injuries most commonly sustained are as followed:
- Skull fractures and head trauma
- Brain injuries
- Burns to the body
- Loss of limbs
- Injuries to the spinal cord
Damages You Can Claim for and Potentially Receive Compensation for
Train accidents that were in no way your fault often means you’re entitled to compensation. This is for any damages, such as injuries, that have been sustained. Compensation is awarded to help you return to the state you were previously in before being involved in the train accident.
Injuries that you sustained as a result of the train accident are the first kinds of damages you can claim for. Your entire life can be altered as a result of some of these injuries. Sometimes, people are never able to fully recover, and in this type of scenario, the party responsible will be required to take care of the future and present medical costs.
If the injuries you sustained have caused you to lose work and unable to continue working, then you can claim loss of income. Furthermore, transportation costs associated with getting you to medical facilities might be able to be recovered. Other damages you can claim include caregiver costs and childcare costs.
There are several other types of damages, which include:
- Wrongful death
- Loss of companionship
There are non-economical and economic damages, and you should know what the differences are between them. Economic damages are defined as being real losses, measurable, and can be objectively proven. Non-economic damages are hard to quantify and are subjective because they aren’t monetary. In New York, plaintiffs can only be awarded so much in regards to non-economic damages. In train accident claims, the total amount of damages is the above types of damages.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Train Accidents?
In New York, a number of entities can be held responsible or liable for the safety of other motorists and passengers. Since this is the case, the parties responsible or their insurance companies can be held responsible for any damages that were incurred.
For example, a train might not be slowed down in time when it approaches an intersection, and then the train ends up colliding with another vehicle; This can be a result of a distracted engineer. Alternatively, if a driver of a vehicle ignored crossing signals and tried to beat the train by crossing the rail, then they could be held responsible.
Others who can be held responsible include:
- Railroad employees if the cargo wasn’t loaded up properly
- Train operating companies if their workers weren’t properly trained on how to run the trains
- Railroad companies that didn’t train their workers
- Construction companies if they didn’t build the tracks with the proper materials
Determining liability is one of the most important steps in the claims process. Nobody wants to compensate the parties that were injured, therefore liability is rarely admitted. This is why working with a Rochester train accident lawyer is a must, as they’ll collect evidence and will work hard to prove that the other party was liable.
How Much Does an Attorney Cost for an Injury Claim?
There is no specific or set amount you’ll pay in order to use the services offered by the attorneys at the Cellino law firm. This is because they work on a contingency fee, which means the only way they get paid is if you win. The attorney will represent you, and they’ll work with the understanding that they’ll get paid if you get paid.
If you don’t win your case, then you won’t pay, but in some cases, there are agreements in place that you could be forced to pay some money if the case doesn’t go your way. There are also miscellaneous costs to be aware of, and these can include transport costs, filing fees, and fees in regards to expert witnesses. Bear in mind that contingency fees are for those who are the plaintiff in the case, and not for the ones that are being accused of causing the accident.
With that said, 33% is the average amount for contingency fees in New York, and for train accidents. There are various factors that can affect the amount you’ll pay. For example, you might pay around 25% if the case is settled before the lawyer has the chance to file the claim, or you could end up paying as much as 40% if the case goes to trial. However, the average amount in New York is thirty-three percent.
A sliding scale is used by our attorneys at Cellino Law. This is what will determine how much you’ll pay. Don’t worry, you’ll know around how much you’ll pay before you officially decide to use them and enter into an agreement.
Time Limits for Filing a Claim for a Train Accident in New York
If you are filing a train accident claim you should be aware of the statute of limitations. According to New York law, you have three years to file train accident claims in cases that involve negligence. There are a number of exceptions to this law, but generally speaking, you have to do it within three years.
If it was a city bus or city train involved, then you have to file a notice of the claim within 90 days. After that, you have a year and 90 days to start the lawsuit. Bear in mind this is from the date of the train accident.
Are you confused about whether or not the statute of limitations is relevant to you? Do you have questions about time limits when it comes to filing a claim? If so, then contact an attorney right away.
Why Do You Need an Attorney for a Train Accident Claim?
New York laws are confusing. If you don’t know a lot about laws surrounding train accidents, then you probably won’t be successful with filing a lawsuit and actually winning it. You must follow specific steps, and not doing one step properly or not doing it at all can result in voiding your lawsuit altogether.
Not only that, but the insurance companies will have their own team of lawyers. The compensation amount will be significant, which is why they have attorneys. The lawyers fighting on the side of defendants have handled many cases and know what tactics to use to reduce the chances of plaintiffs receiving full compensation for damages they incurred.
This is exactly why you should use Cellino law firm, the attorneys will guide you through the process of filing the lawsuit. They’ll represent you throughout the duration of your case, and as soon as you decide to use them, they’ll start organizing everything. They’ll take a look at the facts and the circumstances surrounding your situation before they decide whether or not you actually have a case, and how much your case is potentially worth. Once everything is fine, they’ll file your lawsuit and then they’ll enter negotiations with the other side.
In many situations, cases won’t go to trial, but other attorneys will try to convince you to settle for a specific amount. Your attorney will handle negotiations on your behalf and they’ll make sure you get the right and appropriate amount. At the same time, they’ll provide you with sound legal advice on what you should do moving forward, meaning you’ll have a better idea of whether or not you should accept the offer being made to you.
If you don’t agree with the amount, then your case will go to trial. The attorneys will collect and present evidence to use at trial. They’ll also go to court with you, and they’ll fight hard to convince the jury to award you an appropriate amount.
The truth is the entire process can be stressful. The last thing you should do is try to handle it alone. If you want to increase your chances of being successful with your train accident lawsuit, then you should hire an attorney with experience, such as the lawyers at Cellino Law.
Call Cellino Law to Speak to a Rochester Train Accident Lawyer
When it comes to train accident lawsuits, the entire process involves a ton of work. A lot of stress and emotions are brought forth as a result of being injured in a train accident, and we completely understand this. You’ll want to contact our Rochester injury law firm at (800) 555-5555 if you have been injured in a train accident and it wasn’t your fault. We’ll work hard to ensure you have the best chance possible of securing the compensation you deserve. Go ahead and give us a call and feel free to ask us any questions you have or to schedule a free initial consultation.