Dallas Train Accident Lawyer

Failure to sound the whistle at a crossing is one of many reasons a car is not always at fault in a railroad accident.

Train accidents claim more than 900 lives across the United States each year. Thousands more are left with life-altering injuries that demand immediate and extensive medical treatment. In Texas, numerous victims are permanently disabled due to train accidents. Each year, more than 150 train accidents take place throughout our state. The number of accidents continues to rise, despite the advancement in safety measures to protect drivers throughout the state.

Train accidents often leave victims with overwhelming pain and suffering. The mental and physical consequences are often substantial. The financial burdens resulting from these accidents not only impact victims, but their families often suffer as well. If you were injured in a train accident, you must contact a Dallas train accident lawyer as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation to help alleviate your financial burdens moving forward.

The personal injury attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm in Dallas have decades of experience helping train accident victims. Our Dallas railroad accident attorneys wholeheartedly believe victims should never be forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars on medical treatment and other costs due to the negligence of others. For this reason, we provide effective legal representation to ensure our clients can maximize their recoveries and hold wrongdoers accountable. Contact the Dallas personal injury attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation to see how we can help you.

Train Accidents in Texas

A train wreck is indeed a catastrophic event, one that often leaves horrific wreckage behind and causes multiple injuries with a high number of fatalities. Many states have passed criminal penalties and will impose felony convictions, including life imprisonment sentences, against any individual who intentionally tampers with the normal function of a train which causes the death or injury of others.

The U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration reports that there are nearly 14,000 train wrecks annually. Of these train accidents, approximately 850 people die each year, and another 9,500 people are injured. These statistics indicate that train wrecks, railroad crossing accidents, deaths, and injuries due to collisions between trains and cars are not all that rare or unexplainable. Of the states with the highest number of train track fatalities, Texas ranks #2 with 41 deaths in 2014 alone, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.

Our Dallas train wreck lawyers frequently see accidents caused by the following common reasons:

  • Derailment
  • Collisions with other vehicles on the track
  • Collisions with other trains
  • Mechanical Failure – crossing bar not working or crossing lights burnt out or inoperable
  • Conductor Incompetence or error – failure to sound whistle at railroad crossing
  • Boiler Explosion

In many cases, the typical train accident is not due to an unpredictable or unforeseen disaster but because of the negligence or carelessness on the part of the railroad company, the fault of its management, train conductor, or switch operator.

Common Causes of Train Accidents in Texas

Although there are many causes for train accidents in our state, three areas are the center of most personal injury lawsuits we handle. The three main areas of train accidents include instances of:

  • Improper Mechanical Maintenance: Trains are extremely large and heavy. The massive weight of these vehicles means that it is critical that they have functioning train brakes and other critical parts. When owners and operators fail to maintain their trains, verify the effectiveness of train brakes, ensure the train horn works, and inspect the trains routinely, it can lead to accidents. Mechanical failures can prevent trains from stopping in time to avoid a collision, resulting in a catastrophic and life-altering accident.
  • Defective Crossing Guards: Crossing guards are in place to warn drivers of oncoming trains. When crossing guards fail to operate accurately, drivers may enter a train’s path. In Texas, many areas lack crossing guards. In some cases, especially in high-risk areas, the local government may assume some liability if they fail to address the issue.
  • Overloaded Cargo: Strict regulations surround how much cargo a train can carry. If the load exceeds the maximum capacity, it can derail trains. This can result in a catastrophic collision, which may be fatal for those involved. Under normal circumstances, trains need approximately a half-mile distance to come to a stop. When cargo is overloaded, it can dramatically increase the required length and make the circumstances surrounding the stop dangerous for nearby vehicles or pedestrians.

Driver inattention and distraction is the most commonly cited factor in train accidents throughout our state. An official investigation must be performed to determine what happened and what factors contributed to the accident. There are many instances where malfunctioning gate arms, high grades, and other factors influence accidents with trains.

Several Texas Department of Transportation recommendations aim to help keep drivers safe at train crossing areas. These tips include:

  • Reducing the speed of your vehicle when approaching a designated crossing area.
  • Turning down the music and checking both directions before crossing the tracks.
  • Do not cross the railroad tracks when red lights are crossing or in circumstances where crossing arms are lowered.
  • Do not stop on train tracks for any reason.
  • Make sure all train tracks are clear before proceeding through the crossing area.

Laws in Texas require drivers to yield the right of way to trains at all times. Additionally, it is against the law to cross-train tracks where trains are visible to you. You are never allowed to pass a lowered gate arm in a train crossing area. If the crossing guard arms are broken, the road must be considered closed, and you must seek an alternate route.

If you were injured in a train accident, or a loved one lost their life in a train accident, you must reach out to a personal injury attorney in Dallas as soon as possible. You may have legal options available to help you move forward.

Common Injuries From Train Accidents

Most train accidents leave victims with serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment. Many victims require immediate care and long-term treatment, as well. Some common injuries that are reported amount train passengers and people inside other vehicles during accidents include:

Traumatic brain injuries: These injuries are excruciating and often result in memory loss, mood problems, and various other complications. Traumatic brain injuries can impact the lives of sufferers forever.

Spinal cord injuries: These injuries can result in some extent of paralysis for victims. The location of the injury, and the type of injury, will play a significant roll in whether a victim can use their arms, legs, or neither after their accidents. In some cases, victims suffer incomplete injuries, which require extensive therapy and rehabilitation. When injured parties suffer complete spinal cord fractures, they will lose the ability to use their arms, legs, or both, forever.

Broken bones: Broken bones are one of the most common injuries that occur in train accidents. This is because when a train hits something, the force of the impact can cause the bone to break. These injuries often require surgery, casting, and therapy.

Internal organ injuries: When a train accident occurs, the force of the impact can cause serious injuries to the internal organs. Some of the most common internal organ injuries from train accidents include:

  • Ruptured spleen
  • Punctured lungs
  • Liver lacerations
  • Damage to the kidneys

Internal bleeding: Internal bleeding is another common injury that can occur in train accidents. This is because the force of the impact can cause the organs to be crushed, which can lead to internal bleeding. This type of injury can be incredibly life-threatening if medical care is not provided immediately.

Train accidents have the potential to cause a variety of injuries with varying degrees of severity. Many injuries result in long-term consequences that significantly impact the lives of victims. If you have been injured due to a train accident, call our team at Rasansky Law Firm to see how a personal injury lawsuit can help you recover compensation for your damages.

Wrongful Death Claims Following Fatal Train Accidents

When a train accident occurs, it is often the result of negligence on the railroad company’s part. If someone is killed in a train accident, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the railroad company.

This type of civil action allows bereaved families to pursue compensation for some of the damages they face as a result of their loved one’s death. These claims can help families pursue compensation for various damages that they face. Some recoverable damages include:

Loss of consortium: Loss of consortium is a type of damage that can be awarded to bereaved families and entitled parties in a wrongful death claim. Compensation for this damage is provided to the surviving spouse or child for the loss of companionship and affection due to the death. It can also include loss of parental guidance and other familial impacts.

Loss of services: If your loved one provided services to the home, you might be able to recover compensation for them. This can include housekeeping, cooking, child care, home repair services, and other services that the deceased party contributed.

Lost earning capacity: This damage is intended to compensate you for the loss of the income your loved one would have earned had they not been killed in the accident. To calculate this damage, courts will look at the deceased party’s age, level of education, employment history, and earnings at the time of their death. They will also consider whether they were promotable or would have been throughout their career. With this information, the court will determine how much income the decedent would have earned over their lifetime and award damages accordingly.

Loss of inheritance: This type of damages can be awarded to a claimant if they can successfully prove that they would have inherited money or property from the deceased in the event of their passing. To recover damages for loss of inheritance, you will need to demonstrate the total amount of money or the type of property you would have inherited from the deceased if they had lived a normal life expectancy. This will usually require expert testimony from an economist or other financial expert. You will also need to prove that you would have received the money or property if not for the premature death. For example, you can demonstrate that the deceased had made a will leaving some of their property to you.

To succeed in a wrongful death claim, your family must be able to prove that the death was caused by negligence or other misconduct on the part of the defendant.

In train accident cases, the negligence of the railroad company can be established by providing clear evidence that shows that the company failed to maintain the tracks or equipment properly or failed to provide adequate warnings about potential hazards. For example, if the train operator was speeding or failed to take proper safety precautions, they may be liable for the resulting accident. Similarly, if the train tracks were not properly maintained, the company responsible for their upkeep could be held liable.

To succeed in your financial recovery for your wrongful death claim, you will need to demonstrate the financial losses you have suffered due to your loved one’s death. Our team will investigate your case and help you determine whether you have a valid claim.

If you have lost a loved one due to a fatal train accident, you should seek the guidance of our Dallas wrongful death attorney at Rasasnky Law Firm Right away. Schedule a no-obligation consultation with our law firm today to discuss your legal options to recover fair compensation for your damages.

Recover Compensation For Your Damages

Train accidents can be devastating and have long-lasting economic consequences. In the aftermath of a train accident, those affected may face significant economic and non-economic damages. Fortunately, Dallas train accident victims are entitled to seek compensation for some of the damages they face.

Economic damages that train accident victims can pursue compensation for include:

  • Lost wages: This includes any wages you would have earned had you not been injured. This can consist of compensation for taking time off work to recover, going to doctor appointments, your hospital stays, and more.
  • Lost earning capacity: Lost earning capacity is the ability to earn an income in the future. A train accident can strongly impact this, especially if you suffer a serious injury. In order to recover lost earning capacity, you will need to prove that the accident has impacted your ability to earn an income in the future. This will usually require expert testimony from an economist or other financial expert. They will look at factors like your age, education, work history, and earnings potential to determine how much money you would have earned over your lifetime if not for the accident.
  • Medical bills: These damages can include covering the cost of medication, any surgery you require, and any time you spend in the hospital.
  • Long-term medical care costs: This can include the cost of future medical treatments, therapies, and medications, as well as any assistive devices or home modifications that may be necessary. If you need ongoing care from a home health aide or other caregivers, those costs can also be included in your claim.
  • Property damage: After an accident, victims and their families often need reliable transportation to go to work, receive medical care, and for other purposes. Our Dallas train accident lawyer will help you repair your vehicle so you can get back on the road quickly. After your accident, you can pursue compensation for your vehicle repairs and any other property damaged or destroyed due to your train accident.

In addition to recovering compensation for economic damages resulting from your train accident, victims and their families can also recover compensation for the non-economic damages that they face.

Non-economic damages that train accident victims can recover compensation for include:

  • Physical pain and suffering: Train accidents often result in serious physical injuries for victims. Physical injuries can result in overwhelming pain and suffering. Dealing with injuries and medical care can be time-consuming and leave victims feeling hopeless. For this reason, victims are entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering that their injuries have caused. The type of injuries that victims suffer and the medical care they require will play a significant role in the amount of compensation injured victims can recover. The more severe the injuries, the more likely it is that the jury will award more significant damages for pain and suffering. The second factor is the duration of the plaintiff’s pain and suffering. The longer the plaintiff has been in pain, the greater their award will likely be. It is important that you seek the help of a railroad accident attorney who can help you prove the physical pain and suffering you experienced from your accident.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: This damage includes the loss of the ability to participate in activities that you once enjoyed, such as hobbies, work, or social activities. It also covers the emotional impact of your injuries, such as anxiety, depression, and fear.
  • Mental anguish: In addition to physical injuries that victims are forced to endure, they often experience overwhelming mental anguish and emotional distress. The mental anguish and emotional distress that train accident victims endure can be just as debilitating as their physical injuries. When victims suffer from anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or depression after train accidents, they often have to seek medical care. This type of care can be costly, so it is important that injury victims can recover compensation to cover these costs.
  • Permanent scarring and disfigurement: If you are permanently scarred or disfigured as a result of your train accident, you may be able to recover compensation for these damages. To recover these damages, you will need to prove that the scarring or disfigurement is permanent and has caused you physical and emotional suffering.

In addition, there are circumstances where you may be entitled to compensation for punitive damages. These damages are not provided to compensate you or any victim for losses they experienced. Instead, they are designed to punish the at-fault party for their wrongdoing. In Texas, the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded are unable to exceed two times the amount of economic damages plus the total amount of non-economic damages that have been awarded. It is important that you seek legal guidance right away to ensure you can protect your legal rights and secure the maximum amount of compensation possible.

Recovering compensation for the damages you face after a train accident is no easy task, but with the right legal support and advice, it can be done. It’s essential to seek the assistance of a railroad accident lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you have the most robust case possible to prove your damages and help you recover compensation for them.

Common Circumstances Surrounding Train Accidents in Texas

There are a number of common circumstances surrounding train accidents in Texas. In many instances, innocent victims suffer from injuries caused by these accidents due to another person’s negligence. Some of the most common situations surrounding train accidents in Dallas include:

  • Cars, bicycles, and pedestrians being involved in railroad crossing accidents
  • Freight train collisions
  • Accidents involving passenger trains, either alone or with other vehicles involved
  • Dallas Area Rapid Transit trains crashing into other vehicles or people on tracks
  • People being injured while loading or unloading from the train or while on-board
  • Ticket holders being injured after falling off train platforms

Regardless of the scenario behind your accident and injuries, you must have a responsive and knowledgeable Dallas train accident lawyer on your side to navigate the complex legal system. The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm have decades of experience settling claims and presenting cases to judges and juries throughout Texas. If you were injured in a train accident, contact our law firm to see how we can help you.

How Often do Train Accidents Occur?

Texas has the most railroad crossings in the entire country. The second leading state, Illinois, has approximately 20% less. The state of Texas is home to nearly 15,000 miles of train tracks and around 10,000 railroad crossing areas. Statistics collected by the Texas Department of Transportation show that between 2005 and 2009, roughly 1330 people were involved in collisions across our state. These accidents occurred at 1,044 public grade crossing areas. Of the total number of accidents:

  • 5% or 472 accidents involved a passenger vehicle
  • 25% or 335 accidents involved pickup trucks
  • 21% or 282 accidents involved semi-trucks with attached trailers
  • 7% or 89 accidents involved large trucks
  • 5% or 70 accidents involved smaller vehicles, ATVs, or ride-on lawnmowers

Texas train accidents claimed the lives of 14 people while leaving more than 180 others injured. Over half of these accidents occurred in unprotected crossing areas. Texas still has more than 300 unprotected crossing areas or railroad crossing locations without guards. This dramatically increases the risk of drivers or individuals being involved in life-altering accidents. If you were injured in a train accident, contact our personal injury attorneys in Texas to discuss the circumstances surrounding your claim to determine what legal options are available for you.

Passengers are Afforded the Highest Degree of Care

A railroad company owes its passengers that travel on the train the highest degree of safety, protection, and care. This trust cannot be breached or violated. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a train accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Let our experienced train wreck lawyers get to work immediately on your train crash case today.

Railroad Employees are Protected

Ever since the late 1800s, since the peak of the industrial revolution, the American government has tried to protect railroad employees. Eventually, the Federal Employers Liability Act or FELA was passed, which required train companies to protect and compensate their employees if they were injured on the job. Our Dallas railroad accident lawyers know what it takes to protect railroad employees’ rights following an accident.

Texas Train Accident Laws Are Complex

Railroad accidents and the laws surrounding these types of cases are complex. You should never assume that a railroad crossing accident was your fault. If you are injured as a result of a train accident (even a TRE accident) either as a passenger, railroad employee, or because you were involved in a railroad crossing accident, you need an experienced train wreck lawyer who can walk you through the process and explain your legal rights. These accidents must be handled differently from traditional car accidents. If you have been injured or have had a family member killed in a train accident, then it’s time to take decisive action. Call Rasansky Law Firm for a free consultation.

Speak With a Dallas Accident Attorney

According to statistics, every 1.5 hours, a train accident occurs or derails somewhere in the United States. These accidents leave numerous people with life-altering injuries every day. Victims involved in train accidents are likely to require extensive medical treatment and often endure injuries that lead to permanent disabilities and overwhelming pain and suffering. Anyone injured in an accident must reach out to a train accident attorney in Dallas as soon as possible to ensure their legal rights are protected.

The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm help people protect their legal rights and maximize their recoveries after being injured in train accidents. Our team conducts independent investigations into each accident, gathers extensive evidence, and ensures each client is in the best position possible to protect their legal rights after being harmed by others. Our attorneys provide effective, responsive, and competent legal representation to assist our clients in reaching their goals throughout their recoveries.

If you were injured in a train accident, contact our Dallas railroad accident lawyers as soon as possible. We offer free consultations to learn about your case and determine how we can best help you. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

Speak With a Dallas Train Accident Attorney For Free

The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are happy to discuss your potential case free of charge. If we can help with your claim, we’ll do so for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us 24/7 at (214) 617-1816 or 1-877-405-4313.

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