What to Know About Train Accidents in Pittsburgh

Trains are an everyday part of life in Pittsburgh. Cargo trains bring goods in and out of this industrial city, and The T transports thousands of people daily from home to their jobs and back. Given all of the different types of rail traffic in and around the Pittsburgh area, train accidents are inevitable, and the results of these accidents can be catastrophic for victims. If you or someone you know has been injured by a train, it is critical that you speak with a knowledgeable Pennsylvania train accident attorney about your case. At Disney Law, your claims will get the dedicated attention they deserve. Call or text Robert Disney at 412-999-5765 or contact us at Disney Law today to schedule a free consultation of your case.

Common Causes of Train Accidents

Train accidents can be caused by many different factors and situations. Train operator negligence is one of the most common causes of accidents, including distracted driving and conducting a train while drowsy. Failing to sound the horn when approaching crossings or failing to use lights at night also lead to many accidents every year. Defective gates and signals can lead to accidents in addition to crossings obstructed by plants and other objects. Wet and slippery surfaces or obstacles on the platforms can also lead to accidents and injuries that hurt many people in the Pittsburgh area annually.

When trains derail, the most common causes of those accidents include faulty tracks, obstacles on the tracks, improper cargo loading, and faulty equipment. Derailments can injure people both traveling on the train and those nearby when a trail goes off the track. Regardless of the cause, a qualified train accident attorney should be able to identify the liable parties that owe you compensation for your injuries.  

Who is Liable for Train Accidents?

Liability for train accident injuries can be complicated. Injury claims to rail workers are governed by the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) with specific rules and processes. Injuries to train passengers may be the responsibility of the train operators and companies that own the trains. Outside entities like employment companies may also be liable if they hired railroad employees whose negligence results in accidents. The manufacturers of train parts and equipment may also be responsible for accidents if a crash is caused by a malfunctioning part. Identification of liable parties is critical to every train accident case.

Who can be Injured in a Train Accident?

Depending on the specifics of the case, there are many different people who may be injured in a train accident. Railroad workers may be injured while working on or near trains in the course of their employment. Drivers and passengers in vehicles may be struck by a train, or a pedestrian may be hit. Accidents also occur that injure passengers on trains or platforms on the train’s premises. Injuries inflicted on train accident victims are often devastating and severe, which is why an experienced attorney should always be on the case.  

Injuries Caused by Train Accidents

Trains weigh multiple tons and can take up to a mile to come to a complete stop when an issue or emergency arises. The force and impact of a train in an accident routinely leads to catastrophic and fatal injuries for victims involved. Some of the most common injuries seen in train accidents includes the following:

  • Head injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Facial trauma
  • Neck injuries
  • Amputation injuries
  • Crushing injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Paralysis
  • Death

If you or someone you know has been injured in a train accident in Pittsburgh, you should speak with a knowledgeable train accident attorney before talking to anyone else about the incident to protect your claims and learn more about how much you deserve in compensation.

Train Accident Compensation 

Victims involved in train accidents deserve to be compensated for their injuries by those responsible. Damages include payment for both economic and noneconomic losses caused by the accident. Economic damages include all medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and the loss of future income and benefits. Medical bills include all present and future expenses stemming from the accident injuries, such as the costs for ambulance transportation, hospitalization, medications, surgeries, scans, treatments, rehabilitation, medical devices, and any long-term care. Noneconomic damages compensate a train accident victim for pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.

The families of victims killed in train accidents may also seek compensation for wrongful death. Damages for a wrongful death case include compensation for all medical expenses related to the accident, pain and suffering of the victim, funeral and burial costs, and for the loss of love, support, companionship, and guidance of the deceased.

However, it is important to note that Pennsylvania utilizes a modified comparative fault system when determining the overall award for train accident compensation. This means that the court identifies the degree of fault for every party involved in the accident and reduces compensation by that percentage. If a party is found to be more than 50% at fault, they are barred from collecting any damages for their injuries. 

For example, if a train accident victim has $1,000,000 in damages and is found 25% at fault, the overall compensation is reduced to $750,000. In the same example, if the victim is found 60% at fault for the accident, they can collect nothing for their injuries. Insurance companies are always looking to place fault on the victims to reduce compensation, which is why you should only trust the highest quality attorneys with your case.

Talk to Disney Law Today 

Collisions involving trains often result in some of the most catastrophic and tragic injuries for victims, but it is important to know that you are not alone. At Disney Law, we understand how traumatic and scary the aftermath of a train accident can be for victims and their loved ones. Call or text Robert Disney at 412-999-5765 or contact us at Disney Law today to schedule a free consultation of your case with an experienced Pennsylvania train accident attorney today.