The 2013 Metro-North train derailment en route from New York City to New Haven resulted in 65 injuries and multiple prolonged hospitalizations. Since that time, many Connecticut residents have worried about the possibility of being involved in a train crash. While these kinds of incidents are still rare, even a minor accident on or around trains can cause serious harm.
Whether you are a passenger injured while riding on a train, or you are a railroad employee hurt on the job, you have options for seeking financial recovery that a Bridgeport train accident lawyer could help with. If you are wondering whether you have a valid case against Metro-North, Amtrak or any other commuter or commercial train service, a dedicated personal injury attorney like George W. Ganim, Jr. can explain your legal options during a free consultation.
What Could Justify a Train Accident Lawsuit?
There does not need to be a dramatic derailment or dozens of injuries for someone to potentially have grounds to file suit against a railroad. There are numerous possible justifications for train accident litigation, including accidents involving motor vehicles at railroad crossings, pedestrians being struck at crossings or stations and passenger injuries caused by sudden stops and starts. However, different types of accidents often have different rules for litigation.
For example, since passenger trains function as common carriers, the operators and engineers owe a duty of reasonable care to all their passengers from the moment they get on board to the moment they get off. An entity like Amtrak could be liable for injuries caused by a crew member putting a train in motion before all passengers were safely aboard, loading passengers or cargo in an unsafe area or not providing safe way to enter and exit.
Could a Motorist File a Claim if They Were Hit at a Crossroads?
If someone is hurt by a train colliding with their vehicle at a marked railroad crossing, there can be additional questions regarding comparative fault on the part of the injured individual. A local train accident attorney like George W. Ganim, Jr. can help clarify an injured person’s odds of case success and fight against allegations of comparative fault.
Pursuing Compensation with the FELA
While many workers in the State of Connecticut can seek financial restitution through workers’ compensation insurance following a workplace injury, there is a different process for individuals who work on or around trains. Instead of state-level workers’ compensation systems, train and railroad workers are covered by the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), which allows them to seek compensation directly from their employer for injuries suffered in a train accident.
FELA requires qualifying workers to prove some form of negligence on their employer’s part in order to justify compensation, which is a higher standard than in a typical workers’ compensation claim. However, FELA claims allow injured rail workers, with the aid of a Bridgeport locomotive accident lawyer, to seek restitution for both economic and non-economic losses, just like any other civil plaintiff.
Speak to a Bridgeport Train Accident Attorney Today
For the most part, trains are a safe and efficient way to make daily commutes and travel from place to place. But as many Connecticut residents know all too well, the safety record of entities like Metro-North and Amtrak is not perfect. If you were recently hurt in a train collision or any other railroad-related incident, you can seek civil compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other losses.
A Bridgeport train accident lawyer like Attorney George W. Ganim, Jr. can be an important ally to have on your side when going up against a large train company or government entity. To schedule a free consultation and discuss your legal options, call today.