Train accident lawyer Newport Beach
How to File a Claim With Our Newport Beach Rail Road Accident Attorneys
Although trains are an efficient way for commuters and cargo to get around great distances, they do pose a serious risk for passengers and other people on the road. Train accidents have the potential to cause catastrophic injuries and sometimes even fatalities. If you or someone you know was injured or killed following a serious derailment, you should consider consulting with a train accident lawyer to get you the legal help that you rightfully deserve.
By contacting an attorney, he or she will help you obtain compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and more. Your attorney will do whatever he or she can to get you the settlement you deserve. Additionally, your attorney will handle your case from start to finish, so you do not have to worry about dealing with the legalities of such a complex case.
Train crash cases are very complicated since there are multiple parties that will need to be investigated, therefore, it is in your best interest to get legal help from a professional who has experience in handling these cases, such as the team at Accident Lawyers Firm. We have successfully represented many victims of rail accidents in the past and thoroughly understand the steps to take to ensure you are taken care of. It is our priority to make sure that you get the proper medical care, while we work on your case from start to finish. We want to make sure that we are able to ease your stress, so you can focus on making a full recovery.
What Causes Train Accidents?
There are several potential causes of a rail crash in California, which include but are not limited to the following:
- Human error
- Railroad negligence
- Objects on the tracks
- Inadequate inspection and maintenance
- Cause of fire
- Exposure to hazardous materials
- Instances when pedestrians or train passengers are hit and/or killed near entrances or exit stations
- Occurrences when cars, trucks, or other motor vehicles collide with the train at rail crossings
- Mechanical issues (ex. Failure to break), that lead to head-on collisions
How to Get Out Of A Train Crash
Immediately after a train crash happens, you may be scrambling, trying to figure out what to do. Instinctively, you will be thinking of how to get out of the wreckage and seek out medical attention. You will not be thinking about how to file a claim, and the steps to do so. Here are a few tips to consider based on the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
Sit in the middle: If you are sitting toward the front or rear of the train, move to the middle car of the train. The middle cars are reported to be “least likely” to derail. Because the front and back parts of the train produce the most energy, it serves as an indicator that the most damages can be derived from those locations.
Face backwards: When the train comes to an abrupt stop, or crashes, it is best to sit facing backwards. On impact, instead of being thrown forward, you will be pushed back into the seat.
Escape Route: Looking for a way out following a rail accident is tricky. However, it is advised to exit through the window. Depending on the circumstances, finding a way out the wreckage is imperative. Follow any instructions you receive from the conductor, the crew, or nearby medical assistance. But when in doubt, search for the emergency window, pull the red ring, lift it out of the frame and exit as safely as you can.
The Door: Instead of exiting through the window, you may find yourself closest to the door. If that happens you can try to pop it open manually. Depending on the severity of the collision, it may not be the best option compared to exiting through the window. Instructions are as follows: find the panel near the door, lift the lock, pull the ring, push the red handle downward. When the door opens, it will be manageable to open further.
When you have reached a safe location, the next steps would be to:
- Get medical attention – injuries sustained in a rail accident range from severe to fatal. Even if you do not have a scratch, or generally feel okay seek emergency medical care. It will not only help when you file a claim, but also ensure you know the proper symptoms to look for.
- Evidence – Compared to a car accident, this is one of few cases where it is okay if you are unable to preserve evidence. More times than not, a witness will have video footage or photographic evidence of such a substantial derailment or collision.
- Determine liability – Train accidents can be complex, as it involves a number of liable persons, and includes more victims. The train company, track owner, train manufacturer are a few examples of who can be at fault.
- Hire a personal injury attorney – If you or a loved one were severely hurt, hiring a lawyer may be in your best interest. When you seek legal consultation, they will investigate and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure the proper negligent party is held accountable. They will put your best interests first for maximum compensation to account for damages caused.
Types of Train Accident Injuries in Newport Beach
Because trains travel at such high speeds, they have the potential to cause catastrophic injuries. Additionally, trains are extremely large and heavy, which poses an even greater risk to those who have been involved when instances of a speeding train cause it to detail. The most common types of injuries that victims can sustain include the following:
- Broken bones
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Dislocated limbs and torn ligaments
- Emotional trauma
Train accidents can negatively impact one’s life for a lifetime. If you or someone you know was a victim in a train accident, it is in your best interest to seek legal help as soon as possible to preserve your rights, as well as preserve the evidence related to the case. Just as safety procedures are enforced by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration, there are certain laws that people must adhere to in relation to trains. The Federal Railroad Administration was created to enable safe and reliable travel for passengers. Out of seven principles, three of which are specific to protect riders: transparency, accountability and safety. They ensure that rail safety is a top priority for all senior leadership involved, including holding everyone responsible in the event of an accident. Their principles protect employees, the public (including passengers) and the “rail industry workforce.”
California vehicle code policies that pertain to actions surrounding trains, to prevent accidents are as follows:
California Vehicle Code 22452 – school buses and commercial vehicles that may also be transporting hazardous materials such as chlorine or poisons, have to come to a full stop between 15 feet to 20 feet from the railway crossing before crossing. It is a felony if an employer tries to prevent you from doing so to meet a quota or service.
California Vehicle Code 22352 – When drivers approach a railroad crossing they must slow down to a speed of 15 miles per hour when they reach 100 feet.
California Vehicle Code 21362 – Railroad warning approach signs have to be assembled or “erected” by local authorities on the right-hand side of each approach of every single highway in their jurisdiction. It has to be a reasonable distance from any railroad crossing to indicate warning.
California Vehicle Code 22450 – Every vehicle has to stop at the white marked line before crossing a railroad track. This is similar to a stop sign marked at an intersection, or crosswalk. All should be approached with caution.
California Vehicle Code 22521 – Any car, truck or similar vehicle is prohibited from parking or coming to a stop on any railroad track. It is specifically within 7 ½ feet of the nearest rail.
California Vehicle Code 22526 – All vehicles are prohibited from crossing a railroad unless there is room on the other side of the tracks for a safe passage. In this case, safe passage from a train, trolley or classified transit car in the state of California. All traffic control devices that indicate signals must be followed, to indicate when it is safe to proceed driving.
Differing from the vehicle codes, California also enforces penal code 369g. This law must be followed:
- “(a) Any person who rides, drives, or propels any vehicle upon and along the track of any railroad through or over its private right-of-way, without the authorization of its superintendent or other officer in charge thereof, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
- “(b) Any person who rides, drives, or propels any vehicle upon and along the track of any railline owned or operated by a county transportation commission or transportation authority without the authorization of the commission or authority is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
Importance of Hiring a Train Accident Attorney
Obviously, train collisions can cause devastating repercussions for the victims involved. It is imperative for victims to know that they are not alone during this difficult time. There are legal options out there that will protect them and their best interests. That is why you should get help from a lawyer as soon as you can. Keep in mind that all personal injury cases have a statute of limitation, which is two years. This means that if you have been injured in any type of personal injury case and you would like to file a claim, then you must do so within that deadline.
However, you should also remember that the sooner you file a claim, the better the outcome may be for you and the sooner you will be able to get help. This is because personal injury cases require a thorough investigation and your attorneys and accident experts will need to preserve evidence related to your case to prove the train company’s negligence. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, do not hesitate to reach out to our firm. We are here to help you in every way we can. We offer free consultations, which means you have nothing to lose by giving us a call and explaining to us your situation. Additionally, we work on a contingency-fee basis, which means you do not owe us a thing unless we win your case. Call us today to discuss your case
There is a lot of important information to understand when it comes to getting properly compensated for your medical bills and property damage. We walk you through best practices.