Significant improvements to railroad safety have taken place in recent years. However, deadly train accidents still occur in Colorado despite new safety technology and equipment, better infrastructure, and increased employee training.
Train accidents are less common than auto accidents, but a railroad accident injury is almost sure to be severe. A train’s capacity to carry many passengers and cargo leads to an increased risk of catastrophic injuries.
Unfortunately, railroad accident claims can be very complex to resolve. It is best to have a skilled legal advocate on your side who has the experience necessary to successfully fight for your rights.
Our legal team understands the necessity of building a solid case. We have decades of litigation experience in Colorado and will work tirelessly to protect your rights following a railroad accident.
Common Types of Railroad Accidents in Boulder, CO
Any number of emergencies can develop and lead to a train accident. Some of the most common types of railroad accidents we represent clients for include:
- Train derailments;
- Someone falling on the platform or tracks;
- Trains colliding with a pedestrian;
- Trains colliding with another train;
- Trains colliding with an object on the track;
- Railroad crossing collisions; and
- Trains colliding with passenger vehicles.
Even a minor collision can have deadly results. Trains are significantly larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, for example. They also travel at a high rate of speed, increasing the risk of fatal injuries.
Common Causes of a Railroad Accident
The causes of a railroad accident vary, but most accidents result from negligence. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will open an investigation following an accident. They will have their own experts comb through every piece of evidence to determine the exact cause of a train accident. Some of the most common causes of a train accident include:
- Train operator negligence;
- Defective equipment;
- A hazard or fallen object on the tracks;
- Motorist or pedestrian negligence;
- Intentional act (i.e., someone jumping on the tracks);
- Signal or switch malfunction; and
- Poorly maintained tracks or train stations.
Mistakes happen. Unfortunately, when an employee working on a railroad makes an error, many people can lose their lives. Regardless of all the training people receive, human error is unavoidable.
That is why it’s crucial to hold train operators and other responsible parties accountable for their actions. Hiring the best Boulder railroad accident lawyers is vital if you want a chance at the maximum compensation possible.
Who Is Responsible for Paying Your Railroad Accident Injury Claim?
Determining who is at fault for your railroad accident injury is more complicated than you might think. Understandably, you are likely frustrated and just want to get your medical expenses and other damages reimbursed. Unfortunately, resolving a railroad accident injury claim could take a considerable amount of time.
Parties who could be responsible for your injuries include, but are not limited to:
- The train operator: An operator can become distracted or make an error that results in a collision.
- Another driver: Someone driving a vehicle who fails to stop at the railroad crossing or drives their car or truck into the train might be responsible for your injuries.
- The train company: The company that owns the train is responsible for verifying the train is well-maintained. They must also hire qualified people and properly train employees.
A proper investigation following a railroad accident can take the NTSB months to complete. That is why you want railroad accident attorneys representing you who can conduct a separate investigation.
The insurance company will likely perform its own research as well. The insurance adjuster’s goal is to reduce or eliminate any exposure for their insured client. Your attorney can help stop them from wrongly lessening their own responsibility.
Typical Injuries in a Boulder Railroad Accident
Injuries in a train accident will vary depending on the circumstances of the collision. Some of the most common injuries our Boulder railroad accident lawyers represent victims for include:
- Crushed limbs;
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis;
- Fractured or broken bones;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Severe lacerations or puncture wounds;
- Internal bleeding and organ damage;
- Burn injuries; and
- Neck and back injuries.
Some of these injuries may require extensive treatment and years of rehabilitation. In some cases, injuries may be permanent. If an accident victim dies from their train-related injuries, certain surviving family members could have the right to bring a wrongful death claim against the defendants.
What Types of Compensation Can You Recover in a Train Accident?
Understandably, prospective clients want to know the average settlement for a railroad accident lawsuit. Unfortunately, there is no average number we can share. Various factors—such as the severity of your injuries and your total amount of damages—directly impact how much your case is worth.
In general, you could be eligible to recover compensation for your economic damages. These damages include direct financial losses such as medical expenses, time off work, future medical costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses. A train accident is a traumatic experience. So you could also be entitled to compensation for your non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, permanent impairment, disfigurement, disability, loss of consortium, etc.
If you contributed to your injuries in some way, you might still be able to recover damages, but the court will reduce your compensation in proportion to your percentage of fault. Colorado is a comparative negligence state. Under the state’s comparative fault law, you cannot collect 100% of your compensation for an injury if you are partially to blame for the accident that caused it. If your percentage of fault exceeds 50%, the law bars you from recovering any money at all.
Contact Our Boulder Railroad Accident Attorneys
If you or someone in your family sustained injuries in a Colorado railroad accident, you have legal rights. Our firm has over 75 years of experience protecting injured victims’ rights in Colorado. Let us help protect yours. Contact Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., today to schedule an initial consultation. We offer free, no-obligation consultations, so you have nothing to lose by meeting with us.
You should be concentrating on your health after a traumatic train accident, not fighting for compensation for your medical expenses. We will handle all the complex legal aspects of a railroad injury accident claim, so you don’t have to. Let us put our expertise to work for you and help you fight to hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries.
Our experienced legal team handles other types of cases as well, including: