With scenic landscapes throughout the state, it’s no surprise why train travel to and within Colorado is so popular. For commuters in some cities, trains provide a necessary transportation option that is cheaper, more reliable, and safer than driving a vehicle.
Even though trains are safer than driving, there’s always the threat of an accident. Unfortunately, train accidents often involve numerous injuries, some fatal.
While train accidents occur far less frequently than auto accidents, any railroad accident injury is almost sure to be serious or catastrophic. Trains are built to transport large amounts of cargo and carry many passengers. That all leads to an increased risk of severe injuries. If you are injured, you’ll want to present a claim to the responsible party to reimburse your medical expenses.
Unfortunately, railroad accident claims are notoriously challenging to resolve. It would be best to consider hiring skilled railroad accident attorneys who have the necessary experience to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Common Types of Railroad Accidents in Colorado Springs
A wide variety of events can lead up to a railroad accident. Some of the more common types of train accidents include:
- Trains colliding with a pedestrian, bicycle, or another vehicle;
- Train cars derailing;
- Train cars crashing into each other;
- A train colliding with another train;
- Collisions at railroad crossings;
- Trains colliding with an object on the tracks; and
- Someone falling on the tracks or the platform.
Unfortunately, even a minor railroad accident can result in fatalities. A train weighs significantly more than a regular passenger vehicle. Trains are also typically traveling at a high rate of speed in many collisions, which is why injuries are so severe.
Causes of a Colorado Springs Railroad Accident
Most train accidents result from one or more parties’ negligence. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will conduct an independent investigation following any train accident. The agency’s investigators will look through every document and evidence to find something that points to the cause of the accident. Some of the most common causes of train accidents include:
- Train operator negligence,
- An object on the tracks,
- Defective part or mechanical issue,
- Pedestrian or motorist negligence,
- Poorly maintained train station or tracks, or
- Intentionally jumping on the tracks.
In some accidents, it’s not uncommon to have multiple factors involved. Human error is typically the primary cause of most railroad accident injuries. Mistakes can happen, but they can cost countless people their lives when a train is involved. If a negligent party is responsible for your railroad accident injury, you have the right to hold them accountable.
Who Is Liable in a Colorado Springs Railroad Accident Injury Claim?
Figuring out who the legally responsible party is in a railroad accident injury claim is not necessarily as straightforward as you might assume. That is why the NTSB investigation can take months to finalize. Railroad accident attorneys and insurance companies know that, so they also conduct independent investigations. Liable parties could include but are not limited to the following:
- Train operator. The train operator could make a mistake or become distracted, causing the train to collide with an object, vehicle, person, etc.
- Another motorist. Someone who ignores the railroad crossing signals or intentionally tries to beat a train by driving on the tracks could be liable to all injured parties in a collision.
- Train company. A train company has significant responsibilities, including ensuring that the trains are well-maintained and functioning correctly. These companies are also responsible for hiring skilled employees and ensuring everyone receives proper training.
Understandably, you just want to get reimbursed for your injuries and expenses. Hiring experienced Colorado Springs railroad accident lawyers can help. Defendants will be looking to point fingers at anyone else other than themselves, including you. Don’t assume that the insurance company won’t try to place a percentage of blame on you, which is why you need a legal advocate on your side.
Colorado follows comparative negligence law, which means you could receive less compensation. If you are not primarily at fault for your injuries, you could still collect some compensation.
However, the defendant would deduct money for your percentage of fault. For example, if you are 20% at fault, you could collect only 80% of your damages. If you are 50% or more at fault, the law says you cannot collect anything.
Potential Injuries in a Colorado Springs Train Accident
Common train accident injuries vary depending on the accident that occurred. Some of the most common injuries we see include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries,
- Spinal cord injuries,
- Crushed limbs,
- Partial or complete paralysis,
- Neck or back injuries,
- Puncture wounds,
- Severe lacerations,
- Broken or fractured bones,
- Organ damage,
- Internal bleeding, and
- Burn injuries.
Many of these injuries may be permanent or result in lifelong residual pain. You may need years of rehabilitation, future medical treatment, additional surgeries, etc. Should someone pass away from a railroad accident injury, surviving family members might be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendants.
Compensation in a Colorado Springs Railroad Accident
Many prospective clients want to know the average settlement for a railroad accident injury claim. However, there is no accurate number we can give you. No two railroad accidents are alike, which is why it’s impossible to provide an average. Factors that impact your potential settlement include the severity of injuries, your total amount of damages, and liability. Potential damages you could receive compensation for include:
- Medical expenses to date,
- Future medical costs,
- Lost wages,
- Future loss of earning capacity,
- Out-of-pocket expenses,
- Pain and suffering,
- Disfigurement, and
- Loss of consortium.
Disputes over damages and liability often lead to the need to file a railroad accident lawsuit. It’s crucial to have a skilled lawyer representing you should your case proceed in litigation. You want a legal advocate who has experience with railroad accident cases and the courtroom expertise to take your case to trial.
Contact Our Colorado Springs Railroad Accident Attorneys
Railroad accident injury claims are complicated. Don’t attempt to handle your claim independently. It would help if you were concentrating on your medical recovery, not arguing with an insurance adjuster about what they owe you.
The Colorado Springs railroad accident lawyers at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. understand what a traumatic experience this is for you. Our law firm has over 75 years of litigation experience. We know how to build a solid case and fight for the maximum compensation possible.
Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. Let us review your railroad accident injury claim and let you know how we can assist.
Our experienced legal team handles other types of cases as well, including: