Trains involve thousands of working parts and require skilled engineers. One broken rail or a miscalculation of distance, speed, or tonnage can mean catastrophic accidents. A single person on the tracks can derail several cars of a freight train, causing numerous injuries and damages. If a train derails that is transporting toxic chemicals, hundreds of people in the surrounding area can be affected. And if the train collapses a bridge suspended over a major thoroughfare, the wreckage of train cars crashing onto the drivers below is unthinkable.
No matter what the cause, train accidents almost always result in serious physical injury and often death. Sustained medical treatment means bills are piling up, and missed time from work means lost wages as well. Permanent disability could mean an inability to continue working altogether. And that is just the financial aspect of such a catastrophe.
Permanent or severe injury causes emotional trauma not just to the victim, but also the victim’s family members. And ongoing pain, suffering, trauma, and financial strain could result in prolonged struggle for many people.
If you have been injured by a train wreck, collision, or railroad accident, whether as a rail employee, a train passenger, or a person in a car or nearby a passing train, you could be eligible for recover for:
- Reimbursement for bills and medical expenses and property damage – if the accident hurt you and caused you to seek medical treatment, or if the accident damaged your personal or real property, you could be entitled to money damages to compensate you for those bills and losses
- Pain and suffering – this is a legal term for the compensation that a victim of a train or railway accident can seek for any physical pain caused by injuries sustained, particularly when the injuries cause permanent impairment
- Mental anguish – often, victims can recover for the emotional strain they feel and that is imposed on family members due to prolonged illness and worry about the future
If a family member has been seriously injured or killed as a result of an railroad accident, you have legal rights on behalf of your loved one. You may be entitled to recover for:
- Loss of consortium – this is a legal term for the loss of companionship and partnership that someone experiences when a spouse becomes gravely ill or permanently injured
- Wrongful death – this is the legal term for a claim by a person who has lost a family member due to an railroad accident
If the accident that hurt you or your family member was caused by a rail company’s reckless disregard for train maintenance and safety standards, an engineer’s carelessness or, a citizen’s dangerous proximity to the train, in addition to the damages above, you may be able to recover punitive damages.
- Punitive damages – Punitive damages can be additional money awarded to a plaintiff by a jury as a punishment to the company or person for their malicious disregard of your well being. Punitive damages are meant to deter such actions in the future – by this party and others. In Missouri, 50% of all punitive damage awards are put into the Missouri Tort Victims’ Compensation Fund, which helps victims of torts who cannot recover from the defendant at fault.
To read more about the Missouri Tort Victims’ Compensation Fund, click here: http://labor.mo.gov/DWC/Tort_Victims/
These are serious damages that victims of train accidents face, and advocating for recovery of these types of damages requires a serious train-accident attorney.
Newman Bronson & Wallis has extensive experience representing people who have been harmed by train and rail accidents. We understand the injuries you are facing and know how to advocate for your rights.
Click here to read about railroad laws and why you need an experienced rail injury attorney
We want to help you start to recover, and we want to help keep our community safe from such tragic railway accidents. Contact us today - we are here to answer your questions for no charge or obligation. Help us help you put this terrible accident behind you; help us work to promote safer railways for your family and ours.