Railroad accidents are especially devastating as they often result in catastrophic damage, serious injury, and death to those involved. It is important that you seek legal counsel if you or someone you love has been involved in a train accident.
The rail system in the United States is extensive, and railway companies have the resources necessary to defend their interests in court in the event of an injury accident. Hiring an experienced and determined attorney can provide you with the leverage you need.
Victims of train accidents may be entitled to compensation that will help with medical costs and recovery, loss of income, and pain and suffering. At our office, our experienced railroad accident attorneys can review your case and advise an effective course of action to help ensure you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 305-371-8000 for a free case evaluation. We proudly provide representation to those who live in and near the Miami, Florida area.
Common Causes of Railroad Accidents
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, grade crossing railroad accidents are the greatest cause of fatalities and injuries in the railroad industry. It is the railroad’s responsibility to ensure there are appropriate signals and gates at railroad crossings to avoid serious accidents and injuries. If the railroad fails to provide adequate warnings, they can be held liable for any injury or death that occurs as a result.
Other common causes of railroad accidents include:
- Collisions with passenger vehicles or other trains
- Accidents due to mechanical failure
Pedestrian accidents have been on the rise across Florida as well, including those involved with passenger trains and railroads. In 2018, data from Smart Growth America showed that pedestrian accidents on a whole were at a 10-year high in Florida. Recently, the Brightline Rail Line, a high-speed private rail line that operates from Fort Lauderdale-to-West Palm Beach route and will be expanding to include Miami-Dade County, has already had six pedestrian accident deaths since its creation in 2017.
Some of the most common injuries associated with train and railroad accidents include:
Railroad Workers and FELA
The Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) was passed by Congress in 1908 and still applies to railroad workers today. Employees who work in the railroad industry can seek compensation for injuries sustained on the job through FELA. Traditional workers’ compensation benefits typically do not apply and are not available to rail employees, and as such, FELA is usually the sole means of obtaining compensation for on-the-job injuries for those in the rail industry.
While workers’ compensation insurance is designed to provide compensation for injured workers without the need for legal action, all FELA claims are presented before a court, and the plaintiff must prove negligence on the part of the defendant (i.e., the railroad company) to obtain compensation for his or her injuries. If you are seeking a Miami injury lawyer who handles train accident cases, attorney John H. (Jack) Hickey has the experience, knowledge, and drive you are looking for. We urge you to utilize the services of an attorney if you are looking to file a FELA claim.
What Kind of Evidence Is Needed in a Railroad Accident Case?
Evidence that may be useful in a railroad accident case includes:
- Accident and police reports
- Attorney investigations
- Witness testimony
- Medical records
- And more
We may also utilize expert testimony along with evidence gathered through official investigations and any other information that may prove useful in building your case.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Railroad Accident Cases in Florida?
In Florida, the statute of limitations for railroad accidents that result in personal injury is four years. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of passing.
If you are a railroad employee with a FELA claim, you will have three years from the date of your injury to take legal action in the state of Florida.
Who Is at Fault During a Railroad Accident
There can be several parties held accountable for a railroad accident. The engineer may be held liable under some circumstances. So too might maintenance workers, mechanics, and anyone else involved in the safe travel of trains. During the investigative process, we take every care to identify all liable parties and hold each to account for the damages they have caused.
How Can I Prepare for My Case for Court?
It is unadvisable to prepare your own FELA or personal injury claim against a railroad company. This is a task best left to an experienced attorney. When you choose Hickey Law Firm, we will work directly with you every step of the way to make sure you are prepared for any eventuality.
Remember, most of these claims settle long before they go to court. While we will prepare your case for a trial, it is more likely to resolve during mediation.
How Long Railroad Accident Cases Usually Take
Most personal injury claims take six months to one year to settle. FELA cases may settle within 12 to 15 months. Claims that go to trial can take two or more years to reach a verdict.
How long your case takes is dependent on its complexities. We can help you understand the process and make appropriate plans during your initial consultation.
What Kind of Compensation/Outcome Should I Expect?
Compensation is never guaranteed, but in a personal injury claim, we will seek damages for medical expenses, lost wages, personal pain and suffering, and more. With a FELA claim, we can seek compensation for past and future wage loss, all related medical treatments, and physical and emotional suffering.
The best way to learn what you may be able to collect through legal action is by talking to one of our lawyers about your options. We are here to listen to your concerns and help you determine the best course forward.
Contact Our Experienced Train Accident Lawyers Today
Railroad accident cases and FELA cases involving a railroad worker can be difficult to take to court without the proper representation. Our attorney, John H. (Jack) Hickey can provide you with sound legal counsel and diligent representation as he represented railroad companies for the first five years of his legal career. He has the inside experience and knowledge that you need for a positive outcome to your case.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a train or for help with a railroad wrongful death case, please contact our experienced attorneys online today or call us at 305-371-8000 for a free case evaluation. We serve the greater Miami area of Florida.