Colorado is renowned for its stunning landscapes, so it’s no surprise why train travel is popular. Colorado is also a primary route for cargo headed to other parts of the country. In some cities, people commute using trains, especially light rail. While train travel is safer, cheaper, and more reliable than driving a car, the risk of an accident is always there. When there is a train accident, injuries can be severe. If you or someone you love sustained injuries in a railroad accident, contact the skilled Fort Collins railroad accident lawyers at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C.
While train collisions are less frequent than regular auto accidents, a railroad accident injury is almost always severe or catastrophic. With trains carrying a significant amount of cargo or many passengers, there’s an increased risk of deadly injuries. When you suffer injuries in a railroad accident due to another party’s negligence, you understandably want to present a claim to the responsible party. However, pursuing a railroad accident injury claim can be very challenging. Consider hiring experienced railroad accident attorneys who have the skills to help you fight the maximum compensation possible.
Common Types of Fort Collins Railroad Accidents
Any number of events can lead to a railroad accident in Colorado. Some of the more common types of railroad accidents include:
- Train cars derailing,
- Train cars colliding with a vehicle, bicycle, or pedestrian,
- Someone falling on the platform or onto the tracks,
- Train cars crashing into another train,
- Railroad crossing collisions, and
- Train cars hitting fallen objects on the tracks.
Sadly, even a seemingly minor railroad accident can cause multiple fatalities. A train is larger and weighs significantly more than a passenger vehicle. Trains travel at high speeds, which also leads to catastrophic injuries.
Common Causes of Railroad Accidents in Fort Collins
Negligence is a leading cause of Colorado railroad accidents. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is responsible for conducting a thorough investigation after any railroad accident. The NTSB investigators will examine every piece of evidence and documentation to determine the cause of the accident. Some of the more common causes of railroad accidents in Colorado include:
- Train operator distracted or negligent,
- A fallen object on the train tracks,
- Pedestrian or motorist negligence,
- Mechanical issue or defective part, or
- Poorly maintained train tracks or train stations.
It’s not uncommon to find multiple factors that lead to an accident. Human error is typically the primary cause. People can make mistakes, but those mistakes can have deadly consequences when there’s a train involved. If a negligent party causes your railroad accident injury, you have the right to hold them responsible for your damages.
Who Is Liable for a Fort Collins Railroad Accident Injury Claim?
Understanding who is responsible for your injuries is not as straightforward as you might hope. Getting someone to pay your railroad accident injury claim requires you to prove liability. The NTSB investigation will likely be ongoing. It may take months before they release their findings. Insurance companies and railroad accident attorneys will open their own investigations in addition to the NTSB. Potentially liable parties include:
- Train operators—The train operator has a significant responsibility. Should they become distracted or make a mistake, it could cause the train to collide with a person, vehicle, object, or another train.
- A motorist—Drivers who try to beat oncoming trains or ignore railroad crossing signals could be liable for all injured parties in the event of a collision.
- The train company—Train companies must maintain their trains, hire skilled workers, and ensure all employees receive property training. Any number of issues could lead to liability against the train company.
We understand that you don’t necessarily care who the at-fault parties are, just as long as they pay your damages. Our skilled Fort Collins railroad accident attorneys can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Defendants in a railroad accident injury claim will be trying to blame anyone else but themselves. The insurance company will also try to put a percentage of the blame on you, even if you don’t believe you are at fault. That is one reason why hiring a lawyer is essential.
Negligence Law in Colorado
Colorado is a comparative negligence state. You can still collect a portion of your damages if you are partially at fault for the accident. However, your overall compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are 20% at fault, you would receive 80% of your damages. Disputes over the degree of fault each party bears often lead to the need to file a railroad accident lawsuit.
Potential Injuries in a Fort Collins Railroad Accident
Injuries in a railroad accident will vary depending on the circumstances. Some of the most common train accident injuries we represent clients for include:
- Crushed limbs,
- Broken or fractured bones,
- Spinal cord injuries,
- Traumatic brain injuries,
- Internal bleeding,
- Organ damage,
- Neck and back injuries,
- Severe lacerations,
- Puncture wounds, and
Many railroad accident injuries result in lifelong residual pain or permanent damage. Victims may need years of rehabilitation, future surgeries, and more. Surviving family members could file a wrongful death lawsuit if someone passes away from a railroad accident injury.
Potential Compensation in a Fort Collins Railroad Accident
Understandably, prospective clients want to know the average settlement amount for a railroad accident injury claim. However, we cannot provide a number that represents the average settlement. No two train accidents are alike. Different factors also impact your potential compensation, such as the severity of your injuries, liability, and overall damages. In general, injured victims can collect compensation for:
- Medical expenses to date and future expected medical treatment,
- Lost wages to date,
- Future loss of earning capacity,
- Pain and suffering,
- Disfigurement and disability,
- Out-of-pocket expenses, and
- Loss of consortium.
It’s crucial to hire an experienced lawyer to represent you in a railroad accident injury claim. Otherwise, you might get less compensation than you’re entitled to receive.
Contact Our Fort Collins Railroad Accident Attorneys
Resolving a railroad accident injury claim is complicated. We recommend that you don’t try to handle your claim independently. You need to concentrate on your medical recovery, not negotiating a settlement with the defendant’s insurance company. At Gerash Steiner Blanton, our Fort Collins railroad accident lawyers understand what a stressful and emotional time this is for you and your family. Our firm has nearly 80 years of personal injury experience. We know how to build a strong case and what you need to fight for the maximum compensation possible. Contact us to schedule an appointment. We will review your railroad accident injury claim and let you know the best course of legal action.
Our experienced legal team handles other types of cases as well, including: