With safety and technological advancements, better employee training, and newer equipment, railroad safety is better than ever. However, it doesn’t mean deadly accidents don’t still occur in Colorado. If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a railroad accident, you have legal rights.
Pursuing a railroad accident injury claim is complicated. It’s best to have a legal advocate on your side. Contact the Lakewood railroad accident lawyers at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., to learn how we can help.
Railroad accidents occur less frequently than standard auto accidents, but even minor accidents can have catastrophic results. The sheer size of trains leads to an increased risk of fatalities. Because there are complicated legal issues to resolve following a railroad accident, you need a lawyer who has experience representing clients for train accident injuries.
Our attorneys have decades of experience assisting injured Colorado victims just like you. We will work tirelessly to protect your rights and help you fight to hold the responsible parties accountable.
Common Types of Lakewood Railroad Accidents
Numerous events can lead to a railroad accident in Lakewood, CO. However, some incidents are more common than others. Some of the most common types of train-related accidents we represent Lakewood clients for include:
- Train derailments;
- Railroad crossing collisions;
- Train collision with a pedestrian, another train, or vehicle;
- Someone falling on the platform or the tracks; and
- Collision with an object on the tracks.
Even a seemingly minor train collision can result in one or more fatalities. Trains are much larger and weigh significantly more than a car. Depending on the accident circumstances, the train could be traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the collision.
Common Causes of Railroad Accidents
Most train accidents result from human error and negligence. Following a railroad accident, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the precise cause of the accident. The NTSB investigators will comb through all the documentation and evidence, finding information that determines the exact cause of the railroad accident. Common causes of a train accident include:
- Operator negligence,
- Mechanical issue,
- Defective part,
- Poorly maintained tracks or train station, and
- Hazard or fallen object on the track.
Train collisions can have multiple causes. For example, a train operator could be distracted and make a mistake while trying to react to a fallen object on the tracks. Errors occur, but the consequences can be deadly when the error involves a train. You need to contact our Lakewood railroad accident attorneys right away when you suffer a railroad accident injury.
Who Is Responsible for Paying Your Railroad Accident Injury Claim?
Determining who is legally responsible for your injuries can be one of the most challenging aspects of a railroad accident injury claim. That is one reason why the NTSB investigation can take months. Your attorney and the defendants’ insurance companies will also conduct their own independent investigations. Potentially responsible parties include:
- Train operator—Train operators have a significant amount of responsibility. Being distracted for even a split second can cause a collision with another train, object, vehicle, etc.
- Train company—The train company is almost always legally responsible for a train accident, even if the tracks and stations are functioning properly and well-maintained. Train companies also have the duty to hire qualified employees and ensure everyone has appropriate training.
- Vehicle driver—A motorist who tries to beat a train or ignores a railroad crossing signal could cause a deadly collision.
We understand you don’t necessarily care who pays for your damages, just as long as you get reimbursed. Attempting to handle your railroad accident injury claim without a lawyer could jeopardize your case. Colorado is a comparative negligence state, which means any potential compensation you recover in a railroad accident claim will be reduced by your own percentage of fault.
Your attorney may need to file a railroad accident lawsuit to protect your rights. Insurance companies will do their best to place as much liability on you because doing so reduces or may even eliminate their exposure. If the defendant’s insurance company denies liability or disputes your damages, filing a lawsuit is your next step. That is one reason why hiring Lakewood railroad accident lawyers with experience is crucial.
What Types of Injuries Are Common in a Lakewood Railroad Accident?
Injuries in a railroad accident vary depending on the circumstances of the collision. Some of the most common injuries we represent clients for are:
- Spinal cord injuries,
- Traumatic brain injuries,
- Broken and fractured bones,
- Partial or complete paralysis;
- Internal bleeding,
- Organ damage,
- Crushed limbs,
- Puncture wounds,
- Neck and back injuries, and
- Burn injuries.
Many of these injuries result in lifelong residual pain, or they may be permanent. Victims often need future medical treatment, surgeries, rehabilitation, and more. If a victim dies from their injuries, surviving family members might be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
Types of Compensation in a Lakewood Railroad Accident Injury
Understandably, prospective clients want to know the average settlement for these types of personal injury claims. Unfortunately, there is no average dollar amount for a railroad accident injury claim settlement. Every train accident is different, and therefore, the injuries will also differ. That’s why we are unable to tell you the average settlement amount without knowing the details of your accident.
Recoverable damages in a railroad accident injury claim include:
- Medical expenses, including future costs;
- Lost wages and future loss of earning capacity;
- Out-of-pocket expenses;
- Pain and suffering;
- Disfigurement and disability; and
- Loss of consortium.
Different factors impact how much money you could receive, including the severity of your injuries, how long it took you to heal, how old you are, what you do for work, etc. Your attorney will explain how these factors impact your potential recoverable compensation.
Contact Our Lakewood Railroad Accident Attorneys
Resolving a railroad accident injury claim requires a skilled negotiator and experienced litigator. The railroad accident lawyers at Gerash Steiner Blanton are here to help. We understand the importance of devoting all your energy to healing rather than arguing with an insurance adjuster to get fair compensation for your injuries. Gerah Steiner Blanton has nearly 80 years of litigation experience in Colorado. Let us put our knowledge and experience to work for you.
Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. We will review your railroad accident injury and let you know how we can assist. Our goal is to help you recover the maximum compensation possible.
Our experienced legal team handles other types of cases as well, including: