Train accidents rarely happen, but when they do, the results are often disastrous. Many passengers and workers sustain minor or severe injuries. Sadly, some of them die due to these accidents. Besides, train accidents cause property damages ranging from several thousands of dollars to millions of dollars. If someone’s negligence caused the accident, the responsible party should be held liable for the wrongful deaths, injuries, and property damage that occurred.
Keep in mind that you don’t have all the decades you need to determine whom to name as the defendant, make an argument, and file a lawsuit. According to the statute of limitations associated with train accident lawsuits, you have up to two years to file a personal injury case. That’s the reason it’s essential to contact a competent lawyer or a reputable law firm such as Pottroff & Karlin to get a qualified, experienced attorney.
What to do after a train accident
Everything you do moments after a train accident will affect your case either negatively or positively. Remember, railroad companies always train their drivers and other workers to be in touch with their superiors. When an accident happens, any of the railroad workers will notify their superiors, and within a short time, their investigators will be at the accident scene.
In some cases, the investigators might arrive before the responders do. This is the reason it’s in your best interest to get your lawyer or someone you trust to the scene as soon as you can. If possible, note down the details of the incident. This is because evidence might disappear and your memory might become fuzzy with time.
In most cases, train accidents are like other personal injury lawsuits or wrongful death lawsuits. However, railroad accidents might involve many litigants. The entire process starts with a complaint being filed against the transportation service provider. This filing must occur in the same jurisdiction of the train crash.
Not every railroad accident lawsuit goes to trial. Various factors tend to play a significant role in the determination of the course of the case. The railroad company’s attorney will always do what’s in the best interest of their client. On the other hand, your lawyer will take the course of action that’s in your best interest. If you feel that the case can be settled via mediation or arbitration, then the case won’t go to trial.
In the case that your case goes to trial, and you have a legitimate claim, the jury will set a settlement. The settlement might be offered before or after the lawsuit depending on how the railroad company or defendant responds to your claim. Regardless of whether your case goes to court or not, it’s advisable to work with a highly reliable attorney.
In some cases, there is a possibility that a jury might award the plaintiff a higher amount than the expected settlement amount. This is a disadvantage to the defendant and one of the primary reasons some railroad companies decide to settle train accident-related issues via mediation or arbitration.