Train Accident Lawyer in Lafayette
Louisiana has an extensive railroad network that transports goods and people, but if a train accident occurs, it can be catastrophic for passengers, pedestrians, and other vehicles.
If you have suffered an injury in a train accident in Lafayette, you may be eligible for compensation by filing a lawsuit with the help of an experienced Lafayette train accident lawyer at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys. With over $1 billion in damages for clients, the firm has represented numerous clients injured in various types of train accidents.
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How Common are Train Accidents?
As with most vehicle accidents, train accidents usually result from human error. As a matter of fact, it’s considered the primary cause of 38 percent of train accidents.
Human errors that can result in a train accident can include
- Improper braking due to lack of training, inexperience, and distraction.
- 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.
- 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.
- Improper maintenance of the train, tracks, crossing signs, or station.
- Mechanical or electrical failures. Seventeen percent of train accidents are the result of equipment failures.
Equally important, 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.
Types of Louisiana Train Accidents
While trains are considered a safe mode of transportation, they are not completely immune to accidents. Unfortunately, the majority of train accidents are a result of negligence, and they can come in various forms.
Some examples include derailments that can cause harm to passengers, collisions between trains and other vehicles such as cars or trucks, accidents involving pedestrians or bicyclists, premises liability incidents like slips and falls at train stations, and injuries sustained by workers due to dangerous working conditions or exposure to hazardous substances.
What Happens if You Get Hit By a Train
As you can more than likely see, train accidents can result in catastrophic injuries due to the size and speed of trains. Catastrophic injuries sustained in train accidents can include
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe burns
- Traumatic brain injuries
- And even wrongful death
These injuries can happen to passengers on the train or to people who are involved in an accident with a train, such as pedestrians, motorists, or bicyclists. The impact of a train accident on victims and their families can be heartbreaking and may require intense medical treatment, long-term care, and rehabilitation.
Wrongful Death Claim: Everything You Need to Know
Losing a loved one in a train accident can cause a lot of anxiety and stress. Although it won’t bring the person back, filing a wrongful death claim with a knowledgeable train accident lawyer can help you learn your rights and pursue compensation for the loss of your loved one.
5 steps you need to take to file a wrongful death claim in Louisiana after a Train Accident:
1. Get in touch with a train accident lawyer at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys because they can help you protect your rights and answer any questions you may have.
2. Collect evidence: Once you meet with a train accident lawyer at our firm to go over your case, the next step will be to gather evidence like accident reports, witness statements, and medical records to help build your case as much as possible.
3. Decide who can file: Surviving spouses, children, and parents can file the claim, as well as siblings or other close relatives (this includes adoption as well). FYI: the claim must be filed within one year of the fatal car accident according to Louisiana Civil Code 2315.2.
4. Prove liability: You need to prove the train was responsible for the accident and the death. This can possibly require expert testimony and accident reconstruction.
5. Obtain compensation: If you win your wrongful death claim, you may be entitled to compensation for a variety of damages, such as medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages, and loss of companionship.
Determining Liability in a Louisiana Train Accident
Determining liability in a train accident is crucial, as it determines the legal responsibility for the incident. To establish liability, certain elements need to be proven.
- First, it must be shown that the party at fault owed a duty of care to the injured party. The extent of this duty varies depending on the circumstances, but it generally refers to the reasonable actions expected of a person in a similar situation.
- Then, it must be demonstrated that there was a breach of this duty of care, meaning that the actions of the at-fault party fell short of the expected standard.
- Last but not least, it must be established that this breach directly resulted in the accident, which in turn caused the injury and subsequent expenses and impacts.
Who Is Liable in a Louisiana 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—they offer their transport services available to the public at large. This is opposed to 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.
No matter what, the Lafayette train accident lawyers with Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys can help you figure out who is liable for your accident and ensure you have the resources you need to recover the compensation you deserve.
Lafayette Train Accident Case? Get Gordon!
Train accidents are complex issues that often entail government or carrier liability. To navigate the complex legal system after being hurt by a train, you need an experienced train accident lawyer at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys. In addition to representing you in court, we can assist you in gathering evidence, submitting your claim, and also negotiating with insurance, the train company, and the railroad.
Helping you understand the train accident claims procedure is our goal. Get in touch with us online or by dialing 337.999.9999 for a free case evaluation!
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