Personal Injury Blog

New Jersey Train Accident Attorneys Advocate for Injured Victims

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Accidents involving mass transportation are devastating. When a train is involved in an accident, hundreds of passengers may be injured or even killed. In addition to passengers, pedestrians, motorists, and other individuals may be impacted by these accidents. Every year, there are roughly 3,000 train accidents, resulting in approximately 1,000 deaths. At Leonard Legal Group, our New Jersey accident attorneys are experienced in train accident claims and work hard to ensure our clients receive the maximum compensation available.

Laws that govern train accident claims

Because trains often transport passengers and goods from one state to another, federal law primarily governs train accidents. When a train accident occurs, the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, typically launches an investigation. The NTSB will examine the accident site, and gather other evidence to determine the cause of the crash. In addition, the Federal Railroad Administration is the agency that regulates railroad safety.

Depending on the individual circumstances of the accident, some state laws may come into play in railroad crashes. If federal laws and state laws on the same subject matter are conflicting, the federal law will apply. However, states are free to expand upon any federal laws that govern common carriers within their jurisdiction. Train accident attorneys must carefully analyze the facts of a train accident claim to determine which laws are applicable and how they impact the claim.

Liability in a train accident claim

Several parties may be at least partly responsible for a train accident. These include:

  • The train conductor
  • The company that owns the train
  • The company that owns the railroad tracks
  • The company that manufactured or designed the train
  • The jurisdiction in which the accident occurred

Often, several parties are liable for a train accident. The above list is not exhaustive, but simply an illustration of the most commonly cited at-fault parties in such an incident.

To determine liability, train accident attorneys must gather hundreds of documents. They study various logs and reports that are kept by the conductor. In addition, they study photographs, employment records, manuals, hiring records, maintenance records, cell phone records, and a number of other documents.

Causes of train accidents

Trains have an incredible amount of mass and travel at high rates of speed. This combination often has deadly consequences when an accident occurs. Common reasons for train accidents include:

  • Speeding
  • Derailment
  • Poor maintenance, of either the train or the railroad tracks
  • Conductor negligence (texting, etc.)
  • Improper training or supervision of railroad employees
  • Equipment failure

In any train accident, there may be multiple reasons for a crash. Often, the reasons are not clear until an investigation has been completed.

Damages in a train accident case

Train companies have a duty to maintain high safety standards for their passengers. If a train company fails to meet certain safety standards, and injuries or deaths result, the victims of a train accident may be able to recover monetary damages.

These damages may include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills
  • Prescription costs
  • The cost of future medical care
  • The cost of making one’s home accessible
  • Emotional distress
  • Punitive damages, which are awarded to punish the defendant for especially egregious or reckless conduct

A victim may be entitled to several types of damages, depending on the individual facts of the claim.

Contact our experienced New Jersey train accident lawyers as soon as possible

There are deadlines in place that limit how long accident victims have to file a claim. After a train accident occurs, the clock begins ticking immediately. If you or a loved one was involved in a train accident in New Jersey, contact Leonard Legal Group today to discuss your legal options. We offer a free consultation with our experienced train accident attorneys. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 973-984-1414 or contact us online.