Time and again, we read about someone on, or near, railroad tracks getting hit and killed by a train. The moment an awful incident occurs on a railroad track, understand that the railroad company owning those tracks goes into liability-protection mode. That means a team of investigators, adjusters, and defense lawyers scour the scene reviewing what happened, how it happened, and whether the railroad may be liable for the negligence of the train operator, or the condition of the tracks.
Do not be surprised if you hear reports that your loved one, whether they were seriously injured or killed, were at least partly responsible for the incident. Such claims are made quite often by the railroad company in the hopes of diffusing any interest on the part of the injured victim, or a family member, from contacting a railroad injury lawyer.
Take, for example, a case our Virginia railroad injury law firm handled a few years ago. Our client was crossing Norfolk Southern railroad tracks in Prince William County, Virginia (VA), when a freight train suddenly appeared and slammed into the rear left of his car, violently spinning the car off into a ditch. We were retained by the driver’s wife on behalf of two seriously injured children who were airlifted to the local hospital with various injuries. One of the two young boys suffered a skull fracture in the area around the eye (called an orbital skull fracture). Our firm brought claims on behalf of both of the minor passengers in the car and agreed to investigate the liability issues. Obviously, with such a horrific accident, the railroad went into the aforementioned liability-protection mode and claimed that the driver was careless.
Our firm investigators inspected the area of the incident and took measurements and photographs. After doing an investigation, we determined there was liability on the part of the railroad and pursued a claim for restitution of medical expenses for the children. We were able to get the claims settled and our clients were pleased with the outcome.
So if a Family Member is Injured or Killed on the Tracks, Do We Have a Case Against the Railroad?
You may, or may not, have a case. Do not assume anything and do NOT listen to the railroad’s account of what happened. You should contact an experienced railroad accident lawyer to discuss what happened and determine your legal rights. A review of the facts may indicate contributory negligence is a prohibitive issue, but that depends on a myriad of sub-issues that must be examined. Speak to a railroad injury attorney today. Most lawyers handling personal injury and wrongful death claims offer free, confidential consultations.