Numerous rail lines serve Atlanta, including Amtrak and several commuter trains that travel throughout the area. Although trains offer relatively safe transportation for locals, visitors, and workplace commuters alike, they can break down and become involved in accidents like any other vehicle. Train collisions sometimes occur when dispatchers are not doing their jobs, and one train runs directly into another. Trains sometimes also collide with passenger vehicles and pedestrians at grade crossings where roadways cross railroad tracks.
In some instances, train accidents occur because of carelessness, recklessness, or negligence on the part of the train operator. At other times, these accidents happen because of another person or entity’s negligence.
Regardless of the circumstances, train accidents can lead to extremely serious injuries, ranging from soft tissue injuries and contusions to serious bone fractures and traumatic head and brain injuries. In the most serious cases, victims might face long-term medical problems or disabilities.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a rail accident that was brought about by someone else’s negligence, the skilled Atlanta train accident lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm are ready to help you. We can investigate the likely cause of your train accident and determine who to pursue for compensation. We can then assist you with filing a claim or lawsuit against the responsible party or parties and pursue the monetary compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
Atlanta Train Accident FAQ
How do train accidents typically occur in and around Atlanta?
Rail traffic in and around Atlanta is invariably heavy. Train travel in the area continues to be common, with Amtrak lines, MARTA commuter lines, and numerous freight-carrying lines converging on the city. With the sheer number of trains on the rails every day comes the possibility of more train accidents—including collisions with motor vehicles at highway and roadway grade crossings.
When it comes to rail operations in and around the City of Atlanta, railroad companies have a duty to use “extraordinary care” to prevent railroad accidents. When railroad companies and their employees, including train operators and conductors, fail to abide by this standard of care and an injury-causing accident occurs, then the rail company can be held responsible.
The train accidents that occur in and around Atlanta include:
- Collisions between trains and motor vehicles, such as cars, trucks, and motorcycles at roadway and highway grade crossings
- Collisions between trains that are operating on the rails
- Pedestrian suicides and accidents where pedestrians trespass on railroad tracks or refuse to cross the tracks at a properly designated grade crossing
- Errors made by train operators, conductors, and other individuals who are on board the train when the accident happens
- Accidents that happen when a train derails
- Accidents that occur when a railroad bridge unexpectedly collapses
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries as a pedestrian bystander or a passenger in one of these types of train accidents, then you should get the legal help that you need right away. The skilled Atlanta train accident attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can help you file a claim or lawsuit arising from one of these types of train accidents. Once we have filed your claim, we can assist you with negotiating a settlement of your claim and/or with filing a lawsuit in your case and beginning litigation in the Georgia state court system.
Who has the legal burden of proof in an Atlanta train accident case?
Railroad companies have a duty to use extraordinary care when it comes to train operations in and around the City of Atlanta. When a train driver or train company refuses to use reasonable care when operating a train, and an accident occurs that causes train occupants to suffer injuries, then the train driver and/or train company can be held responsible for the accident and any resulting personal injuries.
In a train accident case, the accident victim has the burden of proving that the train operator, train company, or someone else breached the applicable standard of care. The standard of care in a train accident case is reasonability. In other words, if the defendant train operator or some other person behaved unreasonably under the circumstances, then the accident victim could take legal action against those responsible parties.
Some of the ways a train operator could be negligent include:
- Allowing for hazardous conditions and defects to be present on the rail company’s railroad tracks
- Failing to sound the train’s whistle or horn before arriving at a grade crossing
- Failing to keep crossing signals, crossing gates, and train signals in proper working order at all times and failing to make the necessary repairs on faulty train equipment
- Carrying excessive train cargo
- Failing to properly inspect engines, passenger cars, and freight rail cars, and make the necessary repairs to avoid accidents
- Exceeding the speed limits for passenger and freight trains
- Failing to hire experienced train operators, conductors, and other personnel
- Allowing objects to hang out of the train, leading the object to collide with a pedestrian at a crossing or a nearby motor vehicle
- Operator violations of safety laws, regulations, and rules pertaining to rail traffic in Georgia
- Failing to properly maintain engines, rolling stock, and passenger train cars
If you or someone you care about has sustained injuries in a train accident that was caused by one or more of these acts of negligence, the experienced Atlanta train accident attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can help you prove that the other side was negligent and look to the at-fault person or entity’s insurance company for monetary compensation and damages in your case.
Who can be liable for Atlanta train accidents?
Train accidents can occur for a variety of different reasons, and several individuals and entities might bear full or partial responsibility for an accident. In many instances, train operators drive too fast, fail to obey signals and other controls, close doors too quickly (especially on commuter trains), or operate their trains while they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Train operators can also be responsible if their negligent actions or inactions result in a collision with a pedestrian or vehicle at a grade crossing. Train operator negligence can also lead to an impact with another train on the rails, causing the individuals on board to suffer one or more serious injuries.
In addition to negligent train operators, train companies can also be responsible for the negligent acts of their drivers. Since train operators are presumably acting within the scope of their employment with the train company, the company may be liable for the driver’s negligence through a legal doctrine known as vicarious liability.
In addition, train companies can be responsible for negligence in retaining, hiring, or supervising a problem train operator—especially if that individual caused an accident in the past.
Finally, train companies are ultimately responsible for the conditions of their train cars, train stations, and passenger waiting platforms—and for maintaining these areas and keeping them safe at all times. If a slip and fall hazard exists, property owners and leaseholders must take steps to either warn about the hazardous condition or correct the condition so that it is made safe.
In addition to train operators and train companies, a dispatcher can be held liable for the consequences of a train accident. Dispatchers are the individuals who are responsible for train movements and switch positions. If a dispatcher makes a serious mistake, that mistake can result in a collision between two or more trains, causing the train occupants to become injured.
In some instances, the responsible party may be a government agency or municipality, and if that is the case, there may be one or more notice provisions that apply. These notice provisions must normally be complied with before filing a lawsuit directly against the government agency.
Finally, accidents on trains can result from defective products that malfunction, such as seats on passenger coaches. When that happens, the injured accident victim could file a claim or lawsuit against the product manufacturer or distributor, since these entities have a duty to properly design, manufacture, and market their products before they make them available to the public.
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury in a train accident, the experienced Atlanta train accident lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can file a claim or lawsuit against all potentially responsible individuals.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit in an Atlanta train accident case?
In Georgia personal injury cases, including those pertaining to accidents and occurrences that involve trains, accident victims only have a short deadline to file a lawsuit. Specifically, they must file their lawsuit within two years of the date on which they suffered their injuries in the accident.
This hard-and-fast statute of limitations applies in almost every case. Therefore, if the accident victim fails to file suit within the two-year deadline, the law will preclude them from ever asserting a damage claim in the future.
Start your train accident claim as soon as you can. If you wait, you risk losing access to evidence important to your case. In addition, while you have no lawyer representing you, there is a chance that you could do something that could hurt your case. Insurance companies are certainly not above taking advantage of unrepresented victims, so you should retain an attorney as soon as possible.
The experienced Atlanta train accident lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can assist you with filing your claim or lawsuit against all potentially responsible parties in your train accident case. We can then pursue the monetary compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
What will happen in my case after I file an Atlanta train accident lawsuit in the court system?
Once your lawyer files a lawsuit in your Atlanta train accident case, the parties will begin the litigation process. As part of the litigation process, the parties will exchange answers to written questions called Interrogatories, and the plaintiff will usually need to participate in a deposition.
The discovery process allows each side of the case to learn more about the other side’s version, including the plaintiff’s recollection of how the occurrence happened, the injuries he or she suffered in the occurrence, and whether the plaintiff suffered a permanent injury as a result of the occurrence.
The experienced Atlanta train accident lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can help you throughout the litigation stage of your case to pursue a favorable resolution of your claim, via settlement, trial, or some form of alternative dispute resolution.
What types of monetary compensation and damages might I recover in an Atlanta train accident case?
Train accidents can result in serious injuries. Accident victims may suffer a fracture or broken bone, soft tissue contusion (such as a muscle sprain or strain), traumatic head injury, or internal injury, to name only a few. Assuming an accident victim can prove all of the other legal elements of a train accident claim, train accident victims are eligible to pursue monetary compensation for their injuries.
The types and amounts of monetary damages that an accident victim can recover depend on the severity of the injuries sustained, as well as how the accident victim suffered injuries. Accident victims can recover monetary compensation for all related medical treatment and procedure bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, inability to use a body part, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of spousal support and companionship connected with the train accident.
Call Our Atlanta Train Accident Lawyers Today
Were you hurt by a train? Did a speeding train collide with you, or did a guard rail fail and allow you into a train’s path? Did you get hurt while traveling on a train due to the negligence of a conductor, engineer, or the people who failed to properly repair or maintain the tracks?
The experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will zealously advocate for your interests and will work to maximize the monetary compensation that you recover for your train accident injuries. Give us a call at (404) 418-8244 or send us a message through our online contact page. We want to help you pay for all of the injuries you received.
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