Trains are an integral part of our supply chain system, distributing goods and fuel across the nation and providing transportation for millions of people each year. While trains provide the benefits of convenience for commuters and the utility of efficient distribution, railroads can too often be the site of devastating train accidents.
In the aftermath of a Tampa train accident, the requests for payment from debt collectors and the stress of physical recovery can feel overwhelming. The prospect of facing an insurance company by yourself or taking a case to trial may have deterred you from seeking compensation to recover those costs.
KMW Legal Can Help With Your Train Accident Lawsuit
The lawyers of Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh have spent the last decade protecting our clients from unknowingly accepting inadequate settlement offers that barely begin to cover the costs of their damages.
Our capable attorneys have experience settling a variety of train accident claims, ranging from train derailment lawsuits resulting from faulty tracks to catastrophic collisions caused by negligent conductors.
KMW Legal knows that a train accident can leave you incapacitated by your injuries and unable to work. We’ll pursue a fair settlement that compensates you properly for medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress associated with the accident and your recovery. If you have suffered an injury in a train accident case then contact us anytime to request a free strategy session to hear more about our services and receive preliminary guidance for your train accident lawsuit.
Causes of Tampa Train Accidents
The Florida Department of Transportation currently has contracts with several major railroad companies like CSX and Amtrak that service the Tampa area. These companies are entrusted with the mission of safely transporting goods and people between destinations by providing and hiring well-trained conductors as well as maintaining the integrity of their tracks and signage.
However, when railroad companies and their employees are negligent in their duty, the results can be disastrous.
Damaged or Old Tracks Can Lead to a Train Accident
When train tracks have fallen into disrepair, they can cause a train to run off its course and crash into anyone in its path. Damaged tracks may also prohibit cars from crossing the track safely, leaving motorists stranded and conductors unable to stop in time to avoid a collision. Regular inspections and maintenance are supposed to mitigate this risk, but negligent supervisors or maintenance crews may fail to repair or replace damaged and worn-out tracks.
Negligent Conductors Can Cause Serious Train Accidents
Train conductors can work long hours in relative solitude, potentially making them susceptible to becoming drowsy on the job. Just like drowsy driving, operating a train while struggling to stay awake can result in significant damage if the operator fails to notice changing speed limits, debris or obstacles on the track, or an upcoming intersection.
Conductors may become distracted by passing scenery, personal technology, or eating a meal, leading them to take a curve too quickly or run over debris on the track.
Lack of Signage or Malfunctioning Warning Equipment Can Prove Deadly
Railroad crossing signs, train whistles, bells, and painted bars are meant to alert nearby pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists to an upcoming crossing and an incoming train, giving them time to stop at a safe distance from the tracks. When these warning signs are absent or inadequate, pedestrians and drivers alike may think they can chance crossing the tracks without looking, or underestimate how close the train is to the crossing.
Mechanical Issues Can Lead to Train Derailment or Collisions
Failure to conduct routine upkeep on train cars and engines can lead to a car becoming detached from the rest of the train and plowing into a driver who thought the tracks were clear, or prevent a conductor from breaking in time to avoid a collision with a pedestrian on the tracks.
Routine maintenance of the braking and steering systems is the bare minimum, yet every year stories of injured drivers or pedestrians surface after they have been struck by a runaway car or a derailed train unable to stop.
Train Accidents Can Leave Victims Severely Injured
Last year, there were 24 fatalities and 45 injuries as a result of train track collisions. Recent tragedies, like the Hillsborough driver who died in a collision with an Amtrak passenger train underline the importance of the responsibility drivers and railroad employees have in promoting safety.
Once a train has gained momentum, it can be difficult for it to avoid an accident with anyone in its predetermined path, especially if the tracks are compromised or the conductor makes an error in judgment. Even when someone is fortunate enough to survive the impact of a train, they are typically left with severe injuries that can keep them from work, school, and compromise their quality of life.
Common Train Accident Injuries:
- Severe lacerations
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Fractured bones
- Crush injuries
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Severe burns
- Electrocution injuries
After a train accident, you may be facing months of physical therapy to regain the use of your dominant hand, struggling to pay for an expensive anti-rejection medication after an organ transplant, or learning to navigate everyday life without your sight. If you have been injured in a train accident due to the negligence of another party, it is in your best interest to retain qualified legal representation to ensure a fair settlement outcome in a train accident lawsuit.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Train Accident Lawsuit?
If you were injured on the job at a railyard, your case will look a little different than a typical workers’ compensation claim. If a railroad worker is injured on the job, they can file a claim for compensation under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA).
This requires an injured worker to provide evidence of negligence that resulted in harm. Unlike a workers’ compensation settlement, the payout from a successful FELA train accident claim can include reimbursements for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.
Motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists who have been injured in a train accident as the result of another party’s negligence also have the right to pursue compensation for the costs associated with their injuries.
Common Examples of Train Accident Damages:
- Medical bills
- Lab Tests
- Ambulance Rides
- Transportation to Appointments
- Hospital Stays
- Mobility Aids
- Home Healthcare Services
- Home Modifications
- Physical or Occupational Therapy
- Lost Wages
- Lost Earning Potential
- Costs of Job Retraining
- Missed Promotions
- Inability to Continue Career
- Pain and Suffering
- Wrongful Death
- Funeral Costs
- Loss of Consortium
- Lost Income Contribution
The attorneys of Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh have years of experience negotiating for damages that cover a variety of expenses, including those that our clients were prepared to write off as out-of-pocket costs when in reality they were eligible to be compensated for. We urge you to seek the counsel of a qualified personal injury lawyer before accepting any settlement offers.
Why Do I Need a Train Accident Lawyer?
If you were injured while driving, walking, or cycling across train tracks, or as a passenger on a train, you may be eligible to reclaim compensation for your damages in a train accident lawsuit filed against a negligent railway owner or operator, the local government, the crew in charge of repairing the tracks, or the companies responsible for maintaining and posting signage and warning signals.
While the National Transportation Safety Board typically investigates train accidents, their findings are not eligible to be entered as evidence in a train accident lawsuit, making the role of a personal injury attorney even more paramount to the pursuit of a fair settlement.
Train accident cases can often involve complicated liability issues affecting multiple parties, which is why you need a seasoned train accident lawyer to conduct a thorough review of the evidence and investigate all sources of contributing negligence.
KMW Legal Provides Comprehensive Legal Services
At KMW Legal, we offer the full range of services and have the resources to support you throughout the process of filing a train accident lawsuit. We won’t balk at taking your case to trial if that’s what is necessary to secure you a full settlement that compensates the medical bills, lost wages, and mental stress you have incurred as a result of your injury.
The lawyers of Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh can refer you to trusted healthcare professionals for treatment and evidence recording purposes. We’ll attend to the task of reviewing surveillance footage of the accident, interviewing witnesses like the conductors and passengers, and coordinating the inquiries from bill collectors as well as insurance adjusters pitching settlements.
KMW is Proud to Represent Injured Train Accident Victims in Tampa Florida
Tampa is the largest city of Hillsborough County in Florida and home to a population of 387,916 people. KMW Legal has been serving the people of Tampa for over ten years and accumulated skills, experience, and resources that can mean the difference between your case’s success or failure.
KMW Legal has successfully leveraged our wealth of legal knowledge and compassionate approach to secure our clients settlements that properly compensate them for their expenses and suffering. Our clients know they can trust us to prioritize their needs and accommodate their unique situations- and they’re happy to share their experiences.
Contact a Tampa Train Accident Lawyer Today
Florida has 2,782 miles of railroads, which unfortunately means there are many opportunities for people to be injured by a train that has run off a damaged track, a conductor who ignored a speed limit sign, or an unmarked crossing that failed to warn passersby of an oncoming train.
Railroad companies and their insurance carriers will undoubtedly have a team of skilled lawyers who specialize in protecting their profits from train accident claims. You should, too. KMW Legal consistently delivers results that have grown our word-of-mouth reputation exponentially.
The lawyers of Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh have handled cases where an injury as seemingly minor as a broken bone has required surgery, forcing the injured party to miss out on multiple paychecks to receive treatment and physical therapy. We won’t let railroad companies or their insurance carriers minimize the true scope of the costs you have incurred, even if that means we have to take your train accident case to trial.
The lawyers of Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh await your call to initiate a free, no-commitment strategy session at our Tampa office, where we’ll listen to your story and provide advice on pursuing the damages you are entitled to in a train accident lawsuit.