Bloomington is home to passenger rail services that run multiple trains everyday between St. Louis and Chicago. These busy railways serve commuters and visitors alike.
Though uncommon, train accidents can happen. Whether a poorly marked gap between train and platform causes a fall, or a derailing event occurs, the resulting injuries can significantly affect your life.
If you or a loved one have been hurt in a train wreck, speaking to a Bloomington train accident lawyer could be the first step towards obtaining a recovery. A seasoned attorney could investigate the accident and prepare to negotiate for an out-of-court settlement or file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.
Common Causes of Locomotive Accidents
The cause of an incident is crucial to determining who is liable for a Bloomington train crash. Some of the common issues that cause train wrecks include:
- Compliance or inspection violations
- Inadequate maintenance
- Reckless train operation
- Slick, oily, or wet platforms
- Tripping hazards
- Objects on train tracks such as stopped automobiles
Train operators have the responsibility to comport with the Federal Department of Transportation regulations. When they do not, and an injury occurs, proof of non-compliance can be highly effective in helping someone harmed in a train crash prove liability.
Even without a regulatory breach, train operators owe a duty to passengers to ensure their safe travel by taking reasonable measures to keep them from harm. A violation of this duty that causes injury and damages can render the train operator negligent. Negligence is a concept of tort law often employed in such cases.
Common Carrier Liability
Common carriers are motorized forms of transport that move passengers or goods in exchange for money. Trolleys, trains, and buses are examples of common carriers. Since transporting people is the primary function and role filled by common carriers, they have a heightened legal duty to their passengers.
Negligence is usually the legal theory for train accident cases. A negligence claim is based on the carrier owing a duty to the Plaintiff and breaching its duty. Some of the duties that a common carrier must comply with are performing thorough checks for out-of-date, malfunctioning, or dangerous equipment, maintaining trains and tracks, and adequately vetting, hiring, training, supervising, and not over-working employees. Failure to meet these duties can result in common carrier liability.
Damages in Train Crashes
Since train accidents can result in grave injuries like broken bones, brain injuries, spinal cord and back trauma, lacerations, or burns, injured parties often require serious medical attention. This can cause a person to accrue substantial medical expenses. A claimant can seek reimbursement for these and future medical expenses likely to be required in an insurance company negotiation or lawsuit.
Additionally, an injured person can seek lost wages from time taken off work and lost earning capacity, whether on a temporary or permanent basis. In a personal injury lawsuit, a claimant can also solicit damages for the physical pain and mental suffering they have endured as a result of an accident.
In a fatal accident, the surviving kin of the deceased can seek damages for the loss of their loved one’s companionship, earnings, household contributions. Awards or settlements usually include medical expenses incurred before death and funeral expenses. A Bloomington attorney could explain what damages are available to a claimant, depending on the facts of the train wreck.
Consult a Bloomington Train Accident Attorney Today
Though train operators should prioritize the safety and security of passengers, they do not always deliver a secure and injury-free environment. Hazardous situations may cause an injury that could harm you or a loved one for an extended time or permanently.
A Bloomington train accident lawyer could help you seek compensation. You can focus on healing while your lawyer prepares a compelling case for negotiation or trial. Get in touch with an attorney today to explore the options available to you.