Arizona Railroad Accident Attorneys
Railroad and train accidents occur more frequently than you might imagine, particularly when you factor in the many ways such an accident can occur. Although major derailments and collisions tend to grab headlines, plenty of serious injuries occur every year at railroad crossings, on platforms, and within subway and metro vehicles. Many of these injuries can be lasting and painful, especially if they involve a traumatic brain injury or any kind of spinal impact. Litigating cases such as these requires considerable expertise and commitment, which is why only a handful of personal injury attorneys in Phoenix can boast successful railroad liability records in Arizona.
We at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., have the experience you need to get the compensation you deserve. We have worked with train accident victims and understand how complicated these cases can become. However, we are prepared to go to bat for you and demand that those liable for your injuries offer proper compensation. To set up your free consultation, call our firm at (602) 457-6222 today.
There are several major railroad companies in Arizona. Some are privately owned, while others are operated by the state or federal government. Whoever is in charge of these trains, whether it be the government or a private company, must adhere to strict regulations. Some of the railroad companies you can find in Arizona include:
- Apache Railway
- Arizona and California Railroad
- Arizona Central Railroad
- BNSF Railway
- Copper Basin Railway
- Drake Switching Company
- Freeport McMoRan Railroad
- Sun Link
- Valley Metro Rail
While those in charge of these companies are required to adhere to strict guidelines involving conductor training, train and track maintenance, and weight limitations, not everyone bothers to follow the rules. After all, it is much easier to make a profit if you don’t put money into following regulations. But when railroad companies become neglectful, deadly accidents happen.
A train derailing may seem like the kind of disaster that only happens on the big screen. After all, trains are built on tracks, meaning they can’t make sudden turns or merge into other lanes the same way cars and trucks can. However, these devastating accidents are far more common than you may realize. There are a number of reasons why train accidents happen, but usually, the root cause is human error.
Lack of maintenance: Both trains and their tracks need a lot of upkeep to stay in usable, safe condition. Trains can travel hundreds of miles in one trip and are often used daily. That leads to a lot of wear and tear. Without proper maintenance, this wear and tear can cause trains or tracks to break down, leading to catastrophic accidents and derailments.
Conductor error: While trains are on tracks, meaning they don’t have to be driven the same way as cars, there is still a fair bit of work required to keep them moving safely. Conductors need to be able to make judgment calls, such as when to slow the train down, what speed the train should be going at, and when to bring the train to a complete stop. If conductors act recklessly or allow themselves to be distracted, it could result in the train being involved in a serious accident.
Driver error: Train tracks often cross over roads and sidewalks. These are calling railroad crossings, and will have some sort of indication, usually a light, sound, and barrier, that will indicate to drivers that a train is coming and the crossing needs to be cleared. However, some drivers will ignore these warnings, resulting a collision between car and train that could derail the train.
Malfunctioning equipment: Trains take a lot of equipment to run properly. They are massive vehicles, holding hundreds of passengers or transporting countless tons of material. If even one piece of equipment becomes defective or is installed improperly, then it can lead to the entire train derailing.
Some of the simplest train accidents are also the deadliest. Collisions with moving trains at crossing points kill over a thousand motorists each year, and many such accidents are preventable. The spread of automation in our switching networks have left ample room for human error, and often such accidents occur because a single expired light or sign is out of service. If the train doesn't miss the signal, a motorist might, and the resulting collision can be deadly for all parties involved. Even a glancing blow from a vehicle of this size can prove fatal. In such a case, the family of the motorist can, and should, expect to receive compensation from the responsible railroad company for the loss of their loved one. This would be done through a wrongful death claim; however, the family would likely have to fight for their right to recoverable damages.
Common carriers are expected to follow strict regulations when it comes to passenger safety. This means that when an accident does occur and passengers become injured, the railroad company is most likely the liable party, and will be required to pay out proper compensation to those injured. This compensation can cover your:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of job opportunities
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment
- Lowered quality of life
Even if you were a bystander who was injured, you can still recover compensation for your damages. However, the railroad company responsible for the accident may try to pin the blame on a different party. They may even try to blame you, if you were a bystander and not a passenger. The sad reality is, the more compensation a company pays out, the less profit they take home. This means that many companies will do everything in their power to pay you as little as possible. Thankfully, there is a way for you to fight back. By working with an experienced attorney, you can be sure that your rights are protected and that you will get the compensation you deserve.
Bigger accidents that involve FELA statutes and multiple plaintiffs are less common, but they are important to settle fairly as well. Some of these occur without another train involved at all, and may be attributable to network problems, failed equipment, or conductor error. Subway derailments, for instance, can happen for any number of reasons, and distinguishing the different overlapping liabilities takes patience and wherewithal. This is why you want to work with an effective train accident attorney on litigation such as this, especially if you are facing contradictory explanations of the event.
We at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., are specialists in personal injury law, and our approach has won accolades from clients and professional organizations across the state. Understanding what went wrong and why takes research and expert contacts, many of which may be called to testify on your behalf. If you have been injured in a railroad accident and need proper compensation to recover financially, it is essential that you speak with an aggressive and compassionate lawyer right away. Call The Husband and Wife Law Team at (602) 457-6222 today.
- Arizona Laws to Prevent Train Collisions
- Arizona Train Accident Causes and Common Injuries
- Federal Railroad Administration
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During a free consultation, we will look at the important aspects of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options clearly. All submissions are confidentially reviewed by Mark Breyer.
Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer