Train Accident Lawyer in Baton Rouge
Railroad tracks criss-cross Baton Rouge, transporting goods and passengers. While trains provide vital services to the economy and the well-being of the state and its residents, they can also endanger passengers, pedestrians, and other vehicles’ occupants.
If a Baton Rouge train accident injured you, you could pursue compensation through a train accident injury lawsuit. An experienced Baton Rouge train accident lawyer from Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys can help you with this process.
Gordon McKernan has fought for the injured in Baton Rouge for many years, obtaining over $1 billion in damages for our clients in all types of accidents, including those that involve trains. Contact the Baton Rouge personal injury lawyers today for your consultation.
Types of Baton Rouge Train Accidents
Trains can cause many accidents, including:
- An accident in which the train has derailed, injuring passengers.
- Accidents in which a train collides with a passenger vehicle or a commercial truck.
- Accidents in which a train strikes a pedestrian or bicyclist.
- Premises liability accidents, such as slips and falls, occurring at the train station.
- Injuries to workers due to dangerous working conditions, derailments, and exposure to hazardous substances.
Common Causes of Baton Rouge Train Accidents
As with most vehicle accidents, train accidents most generally result from human error. Human factors are considered the primary cause of 38 percent of train accidents.
Human errors that can result in a train accident can include:
- Fatigue. As with motor vehicle accidents, fatigue is a major cause of train accidents. Railroad employees often work long hours and fluctuating schedules that can disrupt the body’s instinct to sleep during the nighttime hours. Fatigue causes hazards to railroad employees as it draws away from their ability to focus on the task before them.
- Improper braking due to lack of training, inexperience, and distraction.
- Traveling at an unsafe speed. All moving vehicles take time and distance to come to a safe stop after the operator has depressed the brakes. The larger and heavier the vehicle is, and the faster it moves, the more time and distance it needs to stop.
- Failing to keep the property in and around the station free from hazards injure passengers.
- Negligent drivers of motor vehicles or pedestrians who attempt to beat the train at crossings or fail to observe warning lights.
- Defects to the train or tracks. Issues with tracks account for 28 percent of train accidents, making it the second-most frequent cause of train accidents.
- Mechanical or electrical failures. Seventeen percent of train accidents are the result of equipment failures.
- Improper maintenance of the train, tracks, crossing signs, or station.
Determining Liability in a Baton Rouge Train Accident
Liability is one of the most important issues to resolve after a train accident. Liability is a legal responsibility for an action.
In train accident injury cases, you prove liability by showing:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care. The duty of care depends on the at-fault party’s role in the accident, but the term generally refers to how a reasonable person would act in similar circumstances.
- There was a breach in the duty of care. The breach refers to the actions that the at-fault party took that violated the duty of care.
- The breach in the duty of care resulted in the accident, which caused your injury and subsequent expenses and impacts.
Who Is Liable in a Baton Rouge Train Accident?
As previously mentioned, train accidents are most commonly the result of human error. Just as there are many causes of train accidents, there are many potential liability sources.
Trains are considered common carriers. This means they transport people or goods for a fee and make their services available to the public at large instead of private carriers that transport people or products for a single, contracted client. The common carrier status also means that the company or government-operated agency that runs the train has an increased duty of care to ensure that passengers arrive safely at their destination.
If a factor that the company or agency could have mitigated through greater care caused the train accident, the company and the train’s conductor could bear liability.
Some of those factors include:
- Failing to comply with background checks ensures that railroad staff has not been previously convicted of a violent felony or fails to provide staff with adequate training to do their jobs safely.
- Failing to take measures to prevent operator fatigue and appropriately maintain the train’s structural parts and tracks.
- Failing to ensure that the train station and platform are free from hazards that could injure passengers and that the facility’s location contains adequate security to prevent crime at the station.
In addition to the operator of the train and the company or agency that operates the common carrier, liable parties in train accidents can also include:
- The state agency tasked with maintaining the tracks if a track defect resulted in an injury.
- The manufacturer or distributor of defective train parts.
- The drivers of other vehicles or pedestrians.
- The carrier’s worker’s compensation policy, if a railroad worker was injured while on the job. A federal worker’s compensation program covers most rail workers. It provides wage loss and medical benefits if the employee can prove that the railroad company failed to provide a safe workplace.
One of the many services your experienced Baton Rouge train accident lawyer will provide for you will be determining all liable parties in your accident and all insurance resources that you can access to provide you with compensation.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Baton Rouge Train Accidents
While far less of a contributor to fatal accidents than other types of vehicles, train accidents result in more than 800 deaths a year and more than 7,800 injuries. The occupants of cars are the most common fatalities in accidents involving trains.
If you were injured or have lost a family member because of a train accident, you may have many questions about how to obtain compensation for the extraordinary expenses and quality-of-life impacts your injury caused. Here are some of the questions our Baton Rouge clients most frequently ask about train accidents.
What kind of compensation is available to me after a Baton Rouge train accident?
Individuals injured in a train accident in Baton Rouge can pursue the recovery of both economic and non-economic damages through a train accident injury lawsuit. A train accident injury lawsuit is a legal claim filed in civil court within one year after the date of the accident. The lawsuit tries to prove who was liable for the accident that caused your injury, as well as the cost of the injury to you.
The term “damage” in a train accident injury claim refers to a payment to compensate for harm. Economic damages compensate you for the expenses you incurred from your injury.
Commonly included in economic damage claims are expenses such as:
- The cost of medical treatment.
- Lost wages due to being too injured to work.
- Loss of future earning capacity if your injury causes a physical disability renders you unable to earn as much as you did before the accident.
- The cost of repairing and replacing property damaged in the accident, such as your car.
Non-economic damages are a payment made in compensation for the quality-of-life impacts you incurred from your injury.
Commonly included in non-economic damage claims are impacts such as:
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
- Loss of the enjoyment of life.
How much is the average Baton Rouge train accident settlement?
Because the circumstances surrounding train accidents can vary so widely from case to case, there is no “average” settlement.
The following factors can affect the value of your train accident case:
- The clarity of liability.
- How easy is it to prove the other party caused the accident?
- The number of people injured.
- The severity of your injury. More severe injuries often result not only in higher expenses but more impacts.
- Your patience in waiting for a fair settlement offer. The insurance companies who provide policies for common carriers often employ corporate attorneys who will use every excuse possible to delay or reduce the amount of an accident payout. Usually, the fairest offer does not come until shortly before litigation or even after the trial has already begun.
I was injured in a Baton Rouge slip and fall accident at the train station. Who is liable?
Slip and fall accidents are an example of premises liability. In this type of accident, the property owner or the agency tasked with maintaining it can be liable for your injury if they knew or had reason to know that an unsafe condition existed and did not take action to mitigate this risk.
A Baton Rouge train accident killed my spouse. Is there compensation available for me?
Yes. A wrongful death lawsuit, like a personal injury lawsuit, seeks to show who was liable for the death and what expenses and impacts the loved one’s family has incurred because of it. Those who may file a wrongful death lawsuit include the deceased’s family members, such as his or her spouse, parents, or children.
The damages this claim can recover include:
- The cost of a funeral and burial or cremation.
- The cost of medically treating the deceased’s final injuries.
- Wages and other benefits that the deceased would have reasonably been expected to earn if he or she had lived.
- The cost of household services that were formerly performed by the deceased.
- The loss of companionship, guidance, and nurturing that was provided to family members by the deceased.
Can I file a lawsuit if I was injured in a Baton Rouge train accident as a railroad employee?
Generally, a state or federal worker’s compensation program covers injured railroad employees. FELA (Federal Employers Liability Act) is the program that most commonly provides coverage to injured railroad workers.
How can an attorney at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys help with my Baton Rouge train accident case?
Train accidents are complex affairs that often involve government or carrier liability. An experienced Baton Rouge train accident lawyer not only knows the evidence needed to prove this type of case, and how quickly to preserve that evidence, but also the requirement-heavy process of filing a train accident injury claim.
Let our Baton Rouge train accident attorneys at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys help you make sense of the train accident claims process. For a free case evaluation, contact us online or by calling (225) 888-8888.