Despite statistically being a safer alternative to traveling by car or bus, train accidents happen every year in the State of Florida – some with life-altering or even deadly consequences for victims. In addition, those who become injured in train accidents face high medical costs, which they are often unable to cover by themselves.
Therefore, if you’ve been involved in a train accident, it’s likely you’ll be wondering whether or not you can file a personal injury claim to receive compensation. The answer depends on your exact circumstances, such as who was involved in the case and the extent of your injuries, however in most cases, here at The Law Place, we are able to help our clients file successful train accident claims in order to receive the compensation they deserve.
We also operate on a no-win, no-fee basis, so you can be confident that we’re working around the clock to achieve the best possible result for your case.
Contact us today to receive a free consultation with one of our personal injury solicitors about how to make a claim on (941) 444-4444.
Criteria for Filing a Successful Personal Injury Claim After a Train Accident
In order to have a successful compensation claim following a train accident, it will need to be proved that:
A Duty of Care Was Owed to You
In order for a train accident claim to be successful, it will need to be proved that the injured party was owed a duty of care. If you were a passenger on a train at the time of your accident, the train company, as well as the train operator, owed you a duty of care to act safely and legally in order to avoid accident or injury.
In some cases, it is also possible that other parties such as passengers or equipment manufacturers owe you a duty of care. For example, it is the duty of all passengers to behave safely and in a way that does not cause endangerment to other train passengers.
There Was a Breach of Duty of Care
Next, it will need to be proved that there was a breach in duty of care. So, for example, a train operator owed you a duty of care to operate the train safely, but they were checking their phone or became momentarily distracted, leading to an incident.
As another example, a train company would owe you a duty of care to make sure their equipment is in safe working order and that their employees are qualified to do their job. Therefore, there could also be a breach in duty of care on behalf of an employer or manufacturer if an accident occurs.
This is where things become more complicated because it is possible for multiple parties to have breached their duty of care, leading to a long, drawn-out investigation and legal process.
This Breach Directly Caused You to Become Injured
Ultimately, to have a successful train accident case and to receive personal injury compensation, your lawyer will need to prove that the accident, as well as your injuries, were directly caused by a breach in duty of care.
If you become injured on a train due to your own error or by behaving unsafely, you might not have a real claim. However, if a train operator checking their phone caused an accident through which you became directly injured, you may be entitled to compensation.
You Received a Significant Injury
It’s likely you won’t be able to claim compensation for only minor bumps and bruises. To make a claim and receive a significant amount of monetary damages, you’ll need to be able to prove that you suffered a substantial injury.
Florida Statute 316.027 classes serious bodily injuries as ones that meet the following criteria:
- An injury that caused serious risk of death.
- An injury that led to significant disfigurement.
- An injury that damaged or impeded the function of an organ.
- Significant spine, brain, or head injuries.
For a free legal consultation, call 941-444-4444
What Compensation Could I Receive for My Injuries?
If you are involved in a train accident and claim compensation, you could receive payment for damages, including:
Loss of Wages
If you are unable to work due to your injuries, you may be entitled to receive benefits for any income you lost during this period. In addition, if your working potential is affected in the long-term due to your accident, you could also receive a higher sum to compensate you for this.
Pain and Suffering
Many accidents involving a train or train station can be incredibly distressing – not to mention that an injury could cause life-altering consequences, which could take a toll on your mental and psychological health. Therefore, it is also possible for train accident claims to result in payment for any emotional or mental trauma suffered as a result of your accident in the form of pain and suffering compensation.
Injuries from train accidents can be incredibly expensive to receive treatment for, both in the short-term as well as on a long-term basis, in order to make a full recovery. Therefore, the primary compensation sought after in train accident claims is for medical costs.
This type of compensation could cover:
- Ambulance travel.
- Hospital stays.
According to Florida Statute 627.736, you have 14 days to seek medical assistance in order to claim that an accident caused your injury. So, it’s best to be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible following the event.
If your spouse or partner was killed or injured in an accident involving a train, it’s possible for your emotional or physical relationship to have been negatively impacted. If this is the case for you, you could be entitled to receive compensation for loss of consortium.
Who Could Be Responsible for Causing a Train Accident?
A claim for compensation cannot be made until a negligent party has been identified. You should bear in mind that train accident claims can be extremely complex, with multiple parties being responsible, as well as multiple accident victims. Therefore, something that your lawyer will be trying to do very early on is to establish who was at fault for your accident.
Examples of parties that could be responsible for causing a train accident include:
Whilst train operators rely on an amount of automation when running a train. There are still manual processes that need attention. A train operator could be responsible for causing an accident if they were distracted, for example, by checking a cell phone, if they operated a train whilst intoxicated, or if they fell asleep whilst on the job.
It’s possible for a train company to be wholly or partially responsible for causing accidents. They could be wholly responsible for causing an accident if they failed to maintain or repair equipment which led to someone becoming injured or if they provided unsafe working conditions. Alternatively, they could be partially responsible for an accident if they hired an unqualified driver. In the latter case, the driver would also share some responsibility if they misled their employer or if they behaved illegally.
It could be the case that your accident was actually caused by another passenger on your train. For example, if a passenger was guilty of distracting a driver, if they damaged the train in some way, or if they used emergency equipment inappropriately.
Train accidents can also be caused by other individuals outside of the train. For example, if a motorist behaved unsafely around a train crossing resulting in a collision, they could be required to pay compensation for an accident in which you became injured.
Even if you become injured in a train accident, it is still possible for you to be completely or partially at fault for your injuries. In some cases, you may have contributed to the accident and could be responsible for exacerbating your own injuries.
In this case, Florida’s Comparative Fault rule under Florida Statute 768.81 will be applied to your case. Under this principle, monetary damages will be reduced based on your share of fault. So, if you were ruled to be 20% at fault for your accident, you will only be awarded 80% of any damages.
Filing a Claim or a Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Train Station Accident
If you’ve been injured in a train accident, you have the option of filing an accident claim against the at-fault party. However, you could also choose to file a personal injury lawsuit. Many accident victims do not know which option is best for them. However, there are a few key differences that your personal injury lawyer will explain in order to help you make the right decision.
Filing Train Accident Claims
Your first option is to file a train accident claim against the individual or individuals responsible for causing or contributing to your accident.
With this option, you’ll work with a personal injury lawyer who will make a claim against an at-fault party. Then they will negotiate a settlement amount that will be paid to you in order to compensate you for any damages. This is achieved out of court, so it is a much more private process. It’s also generally much quicker than a lengthy court battle. However, out-of-court settlements tend to be lower in amount than what you might receive via a lawsuit.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit for Your Train Accident
It may be the case that your lawyer recommends filing a personal injury lawsuit instead of claiming compensation out of court. This could be a better option for you if your lawyer feels that you could achieve a higher amount of compensatory damages by bringing your case before a court of law.
There are many advantages to choosing to pursue a lawsuit rather than a claim, such as:
- You’re likely to receive a higher amount of compensation with a personal injury lawsuit.
- You will have the satisfaction of holding the guilty party accountable for their actions before a judge and jury.
However, you should also bear in mind that filing a lawsuit and appearing before a court of law will be a much lengthier process and, therefore, more expensive.
According to Florida Statute 95.11, the Statute of Limitations on personal injury lawsuits is four years from the date of your train accident. This may sound like a long time, but you should bear in mind that it can sometimes take 2-3 years to receive a court date. Therefore, you should get started with finding an attorney and starting the legal process as soon as possible.
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What Evidence Do I Need to File a Personal Injury Claim?
To support your accident compensation claim and have the best chance of receiving the right level of compensation for your case, you’ll need as much evidence as possible. Some of this evidence you will need to collect yourself. However, your lawyer will be able to help you to find and catalog information as well.
Types of evidence that are useful for train accident cases include:
- Photographs and videos – Any photographs or videos you have taken at the scene of the accident, as well as any collected by law enforcement, will be useful to support your claim. These could include evidence of property damage, as well as to show the extent of your injuries both immediately following the accident as well as to document the healing process over time.
- Doctor’s notes – Your lawyer will be able to help ensure that any doctor’s notes about the severity of your injuries as well as any recommended treatment are included in your case file.
- Medical bills – You’ll need to keep a record of any medical bills to support your claim and provide an accurate record in order to receive any medical compensation you are entitled to.
- Surveillance footage – It will also be possible for your attorney to access any surveillance footage recorded at the time of the event. This should be able to show exactly what transpired as well as who was involved in the accident.
- Written notes – After any accident, it’s always a good idea to start writing detailed notes about anything that’s occurred. Remember, your memories may degrade over time – especially if your accident was particularly traumatic, as this can cause memories to become distorted or repressed. Therefore, anything you can note down about the accident will become useful to you later and will be used to support your case.
How to Find the Best Train Accident Attorney
There are hundreds of Law firms in Florida with personal injury attorneys. So, accident victims can sometimes find it difficult to make a choice.
Characteristics of reputable train accident attorneys include:
A Free Consultation
When narrowing down a list of train accident attorneys, it’s always best to look for someone who offers a free consultation to new clients. Reputable law firms will want you to be sure you’ve made the right choice of representation. Therefore, they’ll want to ensure you’re satisfied before you make any kind of financial commitment.
They’ll also be confident enough in their own abilities that they don’t need to tie you into an upfront payment.
Lots of Reviews and Ratings
Every law firm sounds trustworthy on its website. They know the right words and phrases to use to persuade potential clients to get in touch with them. However, you should never just take a website at face value without doing your own research.
Be sure to look at Google reviews, as well as testimonies on independent review sites. A premium law firm will be able to point you in the direction of their reviews, case studies, and ratings as they won’t have anything to hide.
Here at The Law Place, we are independently reviewed by AVVO – and many of our team have a rating of 10.0, which is the highest available score.
Specific Case Experience
Naturally, you’ll need to work with a personal injury lawyer in order to file a train accident claim. This is because personal injury law is complex and takes specific legal training to navigate. However, you should also look for an attorney with experience that’s specific to your exact case. So, if you’ve been involved in a train accident and want to make a compensation claim or file a lawsuit, you should work with a lawyer who has previous experience with train or transport injuries.
A lawyer who has taken on previous cases like yours will be the best person to give legal advice. They’ll also be aware of any potential pitfalls to avoid as well as any legal strategies that will give you a better chance of receiving the right level of compensation.
A No Win No Fee Basis
It’s no secret that legal fees can be expensive, especially if you choose to escalate your personal injury claim and take your case to court by filing a lawsuit. Therefore, you should only work with a law firm that operates on a no-win, no-fee, or contingency fee basis, such as The Law Place.
This type of legal agreement means that unless your claim for compensation is successful, you won’t be charged a fee for any legal work your lawyer has completed. This ensures that your lawyer is working in your best interest and makes sure that you won’t be further out of pocket if your claim or lawsuit is unsuccessful.
Contact The Law Place for Any Train Accident Claims
If you’ve been injured as a result of a train accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. Here at The Law Place, we can help provide legal advice and support you through the process of making a claim or filing a lawsuit.
The Law Place is an experienced Florida law firm with a clear track record of success when it comes to helping our clients achieve the right level of compensation for their cases. We work on a no-win, no-fee basis to make sure you’re confident in your choice of legal representation.
In addition to train accident claims, we also specialize in a wide variety of other personal injury and accident claims, including motor vehicle accidents, boating accidents, medical malpractice, and more.
Our phone lines are open 24/7. So, call The Law Place today for a free legal advice consultation about how to make a train accident claim on (941) 444-4444.