Were You Injured By A Train In Fort Pierce
Trains are a convenient way to travel. You get to enjoy a hot meal, read a book, nap, or play games if you are traveling with friends and family. Basically, you can do anything you like because you aren’t in charge of driving.
It’s all good until you encounter a train accident. Not to sound too morbid, but statistics show that it’s a possibility and a very real one at that. Railroad accidents can get really bad, and it’s often hard to establish cause for a personal injury claim with the help of a Fort Pierce train accident lawyer. If you are a frequent traveler by train or even live in an area with a rail track, do you really need to worry about this?
Yes. Florida alone had 462 reported railroad accidents between 2014 and 2018 and every 3 hours, a pedestrian or vehicle in the U.S. is struck by a train. The point to note here is that when we suggest you might need a Fort Pierce train accident attorney, we don’t just mean it for those who are on the train. Bystanders and vehicles face an alarmingly high risk of being hit by trains in the state!
To give you further insight, let’s shed some light on the statistical evidence of railroad accidents in the U.S. and Fort Pierce, Florida.
Fort Pierce Train Accident Statistics
Let’s review the number of rail accidents in the U.S. in the past 5 years.
- In 2015, there were 11,851 rail accidents with 9130 injuries and 749 fatalities.
- In 2016, the rail accidents were still high at 11,481 with a drop in injuries at 8702 and fatalities at 760.
- In 2017, the number of rail incidents increased to 11,985 but the injuries and fatalities dropped.
- In 2018, there were 11,840 train accidents, with 8303 injuries and 813 fatalities reported.
- 2019 saw 11,714 rail accidents with 7958 injuries and 878 fatalities, an increase from the preceding years.
- In 2020, there was a considerable drop in the number of rail accidents, which stands at 8,558, but the number of injuries suffered in comparison still remained relatively high at 5402 and the number of fatalities was still alarming at 783.
While you may find some reprieve thinking these statistics talk about the whole nation, it really doesn’t help that Florida ranked among the top 6 states by frequency of railroad crossing deaths and we’re no stranger to news about fatal train crashes in Fort Pierce.
This mandates the need for a Fort Pierce train accident lawyer, and we at Shiner Law Group are here to help you. We strongly believe that if you have been in an accident, the person responsible should be held accountable for their actions, especially if you or a loved one suffered severe injuries.
With a longstanding career in helping clients file personal injury claims, we also know how difficult it can be to get compensation for a train accident, that too when you’re already under immense stress. But with the help of our competent train accident lawyers in Fort Pierce, it is possible! So let’s discuss the type of train accidents that you may encounter.
Common Types of Fort Pierce Train Accidents
The data above shows a plausible risk of sustaining injuries when traveling by train or while on the platform. In order to file a claim, you should first know the types of train accidents you’re at risk of. Also, if you have already been a victim of a railroad accident, recognize which category you fall under.
Train derailment occurs when a train comes off its rails, perhaps due to a collision or faulty rail tracks. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, most train accident assignments fall under collisions and derailments.
A collision can also cause a derailment, but it is a serious concern on its own as well. There are three types of collisions, and any of these might result in serious injury.
- Train-Train collision
- Train-Vehicle collision
- Train-Person collision
Railroad Crossing Accidents
You can file a claim if you have been hit by a train that can result in severe injury.
Accidents on the Train or Platform
You may sustain injury by falling on the platform or due to negligence on the part of the conductor or management while on the train. For example, a sharp object on the train hurts a passenger or improperly secured luggage falls on the passenger.
Common Causes of Fort Pierce Train Accidents
Making a case for personal injury can be quite hard when it comes to railroad accidents because you need to determine the precise cause of the accident with the help of a train accident attorney in Fort Pierce.
The most common causes of the train accidents mentioned above include:
When we talk of negligence, which is the most common cause of train accidents, bear in mind that the burden of responsibility may fall on any of the following parties:
- Train driver (checking phone, under the influence of drugs/alcohol, not paying attention, ignoring a red light).
- Railway company (crossing arm not operated correctly, failure to complete regular train checks, operator failed to turn on signal light for adequate warning)
- Government Agency (Poor maintenance of track that resulted in derailment, defective tracks)
Human error is also a common cause of railroad accidents. Since trains run 24/7, railroad workers may be required to work on nights, weekends and holidays. Some railroad workers work more than 40 hours a week. If workers are overworked, fatigue and exhaustion may result in accidents.
Accidents are also likely if the train conductor is inexperienced. Human error would encompass poor judgment, compromised vision, and an impaired reaction that may contribute to a railroad accident.
The railway staff, operator, and company may follow all safety precautions, but train accidents can still happen. This is because trains are large, complex machines that need to work perfectly to provide locomotive power. A deadly accident may occur if any part of the system, like the rail switch or rail signals, fails.
Reckless Pedestrian or Driver
Train accidents aren’t always caused due to the fault of the Rail Company or driver. At times, reckless pedestrians or auto drivers can cause a collision by crossing the tracks or standing there at the wrong time. In other cases, auto divers may leave their car parked on a train track that may cause an unwarranted collision.
Unprotected Railroad Crossing
80% of all railroad crossings in the U.S. are not protected by either light or gates, which are a major contributor to train accidents, and the responsibility for this, or lack thereof, falls on the railroad company. Accidents at unprotected railroad crossings are most often caused by:
- Compromised visibility
- Faulty signals
- Obstacles blocking driver’s view
Common Train Accident Injuries in Fort Pierce
When you have been in a train accident, no matter what the cause, there is a broad range of injuries that you may suffer. Fort Pierce train accident attorneys would advise that you should seek medical assistance regardless of whether the injuries are visible or not. This will help you make a case in the future.
Here are some of the common injuries sustained in a train accident:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
You may sustain a brain injury due to collision. Brain injuries may range from concussions to brain hemorrhages and the latter may have a long and tedious recovery process that may incur hefty medical bills.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are common due to train collisions, which can also be very expensive. You can easily expect to pay between $300,000 and $1,000,000 in the first year after sustaining a spinal cord injury, which may also leave you or your loved ones paralyzed.
You may be at risk of internal injury after an accident, and a ruptured spleen or punctured lungs are most common after a train accident.
While bone fractures are not as severe as other injuries you might sustain after a train accident, most likely collision or derailment, slips and falls on the railway station or the train might cause bone fractures. However, these might hamper mobility, keep you away from work and incur expenses for physical therapy that are not fully covered by health insurance.
Train accidents, given their severity, may lead to injuries that require amputation. This could result in lifelong disability and emotional trauma.
Train accidents often cause PTSD and psychological injury to train accident survivors after having experienced death so up close. Victims may require costly psychological treatment that may not be covered by health insurance.
How A Fort Pierce Train Accident Lawyer Near Me Can Help?
Since railroad accidents are complex, you should get in touch with our train accident lawyers in Fort Pierce. With the help of Shiner Law Group, you can expect to get compensation for the following:
- Medical costs
- Property damage
- Physical Pain and suffering
- Psychological pain
- Disfigurement and Disability (in the event of catastrophic injury that results in amputation or lifelong condition)
- Wrongful death
- Lost Wages
Train accident lawsuit claims can be much more complicated than other lawsuits, which means that you are now more in need than ever to hire a competent train accident attorney near you. Train accidents, like all mishaps, take a toll on you physically and emotionally. You not even be in a state of mind to fight tooth and nail, which will fail to hold the perpetrators accountable. You will be left to deal with the expenses and psychological trauma all by yourself.
The railroad companies and other parties will likely be backed by powerful attorneys, so you need a strong case with knowledgeable attorneys who know the federal law inside out. In this case, your lawyer will inform you of everything you need to know, like the limitations on damages the federal government has placed on recovery from train accidents.
We will help you understand your rights and the fact that the law allows victims of rail accidents to get compensation for the things mentioned above. We will walk you through all your options and pursue the course of action that is most likely to work in your favor.
Fort Pierce Train Accident Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few of the most FAQs by victims and families of victims of train accidents in Fort Pierce, Florida.
I have been injured in a train accident, what do I do?
After an accident in the train, on the platform, or the tracks, you should report the accident to the relevant person-train driver or member of staff. Make a note of the date, time of the accident, train number, and route. Gather any witnesses or pictures. You should seek medical attention, no matter how minor your injuries are. Get in touch with train accident attorneys in Fort Pierce to make a solid case.
How much compensation will I receive after a train accident?
The extent and exact compensation you receive after suffering a train accident will depend on the extent of injuries sustained by you. The train company’s lawyers will try their best to limit the victim’s compensation, which is why you’ll need a good and well-versed lawyer.
How long will it take for the claims process to be complete?
You can expect complex claims to take somewhere between 6 months and 2-3 years to settle. However, less severe claims will naturally take less time.
In a train accident, who is my claim against?
While it can be difficult to establish liability in a train accident, the local and national award-winning train accident lawyers in Fort Pierce will help you. You may hold a reckless passenger or auto driver, the government agency, the Rail Company, rail staff member, train driver, or train conductor accountable for the injury.
What claims can I make after a train accident?
If you have suffered injuries after a train accident, you can file a personal injury claim. You can file a wrongful death claim if you lost a loved one due to a train accident. The following people can recover wrongful death damages:
- Surviving spouse
- Minor children
- Adult children (in the absence of a surviving spouse)
- Parent of a deceased minor child