Our seasoned Gwinnett County train accident lawyers can determine the cause of your accident and identify who might be liable. With this information, we can move forward in getting you the compensation you deserve for such severe injuries and damages. We have helped countless people just like you who suffered injuries due to mistakes other people made. We want to hear your story and help you recover compensation for your injuries however we can. Please get in touch with us today.
Georgia is home to over 4,600 miles of active rail lines, including five tourist rail operations and four Amtrak routes, making it the most expansive rail system in the Southeast. Some of these miles of rail lines are in Gwinnett County. While trains are necessary for the transportation of goods and people, they can be extremely dangerous. There are nearly 300 railroad accidents annually in Georgia. Approximately ten percent of those railroad accidents were fatal.
In Gwinnett County, the crossing near Buford Highway north of Pleasant Hill Road is a common site for train accidents.
What can injured individuals and their families do after a train accident? After receiving initial treatment for any injuries, contact a knowledgeable Gwinnett County train accident lawyer at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm.
Causes of Train Accidents and Injuries
A variety of circumstances can lead to individuals sustaining injuries in a train accident. Most of them are preventable, and therefore usually the result of another party’s negligence. Common causes of train accidents and injuries include:
The train drivers have a legal obligation to operate their trains safely and acceptably. They must run the train at reasonable speeds and pay close attention to the train tracks. If they fail to adhere to this duty, accidents will happen.
Crossing Signal Errors and Breakages
Train signals serve a crucial purpose in safety around trains. They let pedestrians and motorists know when a train is nearing so that they can safely stop and wait for it to pass. It’s an efficient system that saves countless lives every year.
Unfortunately, it is not a foolproof system. Train signals can malfunction or cease to function, meaning motorists won’t see oncoming trains until it’s too late. Inevitably, someone will suffer severe injuries or even death.
Drivers of cars and trucks have the freedom to move in any direction they want with the simple turn of a steering wheel. The steering wheel does the rest. However, train drivers do not have the same luxury. Most of the time, they must continue on the track where their train is. If the track is well maintained, the rail system will accommodate getting them where they need to be in a hurry. When tracks happen to be broken or defective, the train driver can quickly lose control of the train, causing a severe accident.
Just like other motor vehicles and even bicycles, trains must have routine maintenance to ensure they will run correctly and be safe for general public use. Sadly, some train companies try to cut costs and increase their profits, and skipping routine maintenance and repairs is one way to do this. Train accidents caused by mechanical failure make up over 10 percent of the total number of accidents.
Who Is Liable for Your Injuries?
Unlike motor vehicle accidents, when it is relatively easy to pinpoint the liable party, determining liability in train accidents is more complicated.
Depending on the specifics of your train accident and injuries, you might hold one or more of the following parties liable:
- The train driver
- The train operator
- A government entity
- The train mechanic
- The train manufacturer or supplier
- Your vehicle’s manufacturer or supplier
Determining the negligent party that caused your injury is essential in your case. You cannot seek compensation for your injuries if you do not know from whom to seek it. Your seasoned Gwinnett County train accident attorney will know how to identify the liable parties and pursue compensation for your damages from them.
When a Train Hits a Motor Vehicle or Pedestrian
There are many railroad crossings throughout the state, providing unfortunate opportunities for trains to hit motor vehicles crossing their potential path. According to Preliminary 2019 Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) statistics, Georgia ranks sixth highest in highway-rail grade crossing collisions with 112. These collisions caused nine deaths and 38 injuries.
Faulty or inadequate warning devices caused nearly all of these accidents. At average speeds, trains can require more than a mile to brake and stop completely. Malfunctioning warning devices give drivers and pedestrians a false sense of security as they are unaware that there is a train coming.
Experts compare the force of a 30-car freight train hitting a vehicle to the proportional force of a car crushing a soda can by driving over it. It’s no wonder that train accidents are usually deadly or result in severe life-altering injuries.
Constructing a Train Accident Claim
Major railroad companies are often intimidating to innocent victims. A train accident legal claim can seem complicated and even insurmountable at times. The good news is that a Gwinnett County train accident lawyer has the knowledge, experience, and resources necessary to support individuals injured in train accidents and their families. At Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm, we know that even powerful businesses and conglomerates are sometimes negligent and can cause accidents and injuries.
Train accidents can arise from many different causes. Typically, we help injured individuals whose train accident was related to:
- Unsafe railroad crossings that cause injury to drivers and their passengers or pedestrians
- Faulty crossing lights or crossing guards
- Negligent upkeep of a railroad crossing
- Illegal speeding
- Not sounding a warning horn
- Conductor or railroad crew fatigue
Should You Settle Your Claim Yourself?
No. Many injured parties mistakenly believe that their claim would be simpler and much less expensive if they handle it on their own. This thinking couldn’t be further from the truth, and for several reasons.
Handling the claim on your own means possibly having to face the leaders of large corporations and their attorneys. Since the corporation and insurance companies are watching their company’s bottom line, they aren’t so concerned with providing you a full and fair settlement. They want the claim settled in the cheapest manner possible.
While handling a claim on your own will ultimately save you from paying legal expenses, it is almost a given fact that you claim will be worth much less. When it comes to personal injury law, plaintiffs who have a well-versed Gwinnett County train accident attorney on their side will usually obtain a higher settlement or court award.
Paying for Representation From a Gwinnett County Train Accident Lawyer
Don’t worry about affording our legal services. We require nothing from you to meet with one of our Gwinnett County train accident lawyers. All of our consultations are free and don’t put you under any obligation to hire us.
However, if you decide that our services would be valuable to you, we only work on contingency fees. In this arrangement, you pay nothing upfront for our services. Your Gwinnett County train accident attorney agrees to represent you and only get paid if and when they fairly settle your claim or you receive a court award at trial.
If your attorney does not win your case or garner any kind of compensation, you still owe them nothing and can walk away. If the opposite happens and they negotiate a fair settlement or win money for your damages at trial, they will require you to pay a certain percentage of your earnings.
When you can meet with an experienced Gwinnett County train accident attorney for free with no strings attached and hire them on contingency fees, you have nothing to lose for pursuing your claim in the legal system.
How Our Gwinnett County Train Accident Attorneys Can Help
When you hire the Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm to represent you and your injury claim, rest assured we will:
- Meticulously explore the cause of your train accident
- Precisely assess the extent of your damages
- Identify and find the party that is liable for your injuries
- Determine what insurance policies exist that could compensate you for your injuries
- Consult with appropriate experts to learn more about your accident and damages
- Manage the paperwork load for your claim
- Look for evidence to prove your case
- Negotiate with all applicable insurance companies on your behalf
- If necessary, represent you in civil court
Compensation for Your Train Accident Damages
Compensatory damages are those used to compensate the injured party for their loss or injury financially. Damages represent both your financial losses and ones that are intangible as well. Your financial losses have an assigned and inherent value. There is no arguing that a $50,000 hospital bill requires $50,000.
However, when it comes to other losses, they can be tricky to evaluate in terms of dollar signs. How can you put a price tag on your pain and dignity or your ability to care for yourself? It is crucial to discuss these types of damages with your Gwinnett County train accident lawyer. You want to be sure you are paid fairly for each kind of loss you experience. Your settlement negotiations should include every loss, and a jury will consider them if your case goes to court.
Your financial losses, also known as special damages, can include:
- Medical expenses
- Anticipated future medical expenses
- Transportation costs
- Loss of wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
Your general damages represent your non-economic damages and include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Lower quality of life
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Physical scarring, disfigurement, or impairment
The court awards one more category of damages in some cases—punitive damages. These damages usually apply to cases where the defendant acted particularly wanton with complete disregard for the plaintiff’s safety. Still, it is up to the judge to assign them and determine their value. Instead of providing you with compensation as the purpose, these damages punish the defendant and help to deter more of the same behaviors from them or others.
How Long Do You Have to File a Legal Case?
Georgia law limits how long train accident victims and their families have to file a legal claim. This law is known as the statute of limitations and is two years from the date of the accident. If you let this limit expire, you no longer have legal standing to file a claim for your injuries. If you do file a claim after the two-year deadline, the defendant will move the court to dismiss it, and they will likely not hear your case.
When you contact a Gwinnett County train accident attorney as soon as possible after your train accident, you increase the chances that filing will occur before the deadline, and give your attorney some time to gather evidence and build your case. During this time, they can also be negotiating a settlement for you. If no fair settlement materializes, your attorney will file your claim and pursue it in court. This requires the help of an experienced litigator.
Get Legal Representation From Our Experienced Gwinnett County Train Accident Lawyers Today
Train accidents are complicated and require the legal expertise of a seasoned Gwinnett County train accident lawyer. When you hire a Gwinnett County train accident lawyer from Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm, you are partnering with a law firm with a proven track record of obtaining exceptional results for injured clients and their families.
Train accidents can impact the rest of your life, and it is our goal to obtain compensation that reflects just how horrendous and far-reaching your injuries are. If we cannot negotiate a reasonable settlement with the liable parties outside of court, we have extensive litigation experience, and we aren’t afraid to use it to get you the compensation you deserve.
The Gwinnett County personal injury lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm are equipped and ready to help you. If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a train accident, call us so we can start fighting for you. To set up your no-cost, no-obligation train accident consultation, contact us at (404) 418-8244 today. Remember that we represent our clients on a contingency fee basis only. You only pay if we win your claim.
“Excellent experience with David Brauns and his team. They took care of everything after my accident and stayed in constant communication. You can definitely rely on this A Team to follow through and get the best settlement possible for your situation. Wish I could rate higher than 5 stars!”
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