What Have Past Train Accident Victims Recovered? Almost one quarter of all train accident victims recover over $1,000,000 in court or settlement.

  1. Illinois Recovery in Train Accident Lawsuits
  2. Takeaways From Illinois Train Accident Litigation
  3. How Does Trial Strategy Affect What I Obtain in Court?
  4. Train Accident Settlements and Verdicts
  5. Thinking About What You Could Obtain in an Illinois Truck Accident Lawsuit?

Illinois Recovery in Train Accident Lawsuits

Here is what plaintiffs have recovered by award range according to data compiled from Illinois jury verdict and reported settlement documents:

  • $0
  • $1-$50,000
  • $50,000-$100,000
  • $100,000-$200,000
  • $200,000-$500,000
  • $500,000-$1,000,000
  • $1,000,000-$2,000,000
  • $2,000,000-$5,000,000
  • >$5,000,000
  • 21%
  • 25%
  • 7%
  • 7%
  • 11%
  • 6%
  • 6%
  • 9%
  • 8%

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Takeaways From Illinois Train Accident Litigation

From the numbers above, it is important to realize a few things about plaintiffs’ recovery in Illinois train accident lawsuits. First of all, note that plaintiffs get something about 80% of the time. On top of that, see that Illinois plaintiffs in train accident cases get more than $1,000,000 almost 25% of the time. This explains why the average and median recovery for Illinois plaintiffs is so high. It also shows why their recoveries compete so well against the recoveries of plaintiffs all across the country-which they do!

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How Does Trial Strategy Affect What I Obtain in Court?

Trial strategy will have an incredible impact on your recovery in an Illinois train accident case. How so? Well, it paints the overall landscape of what recovery should look like to a jury. Then, it argues for the maximum amount within that scope. Finally, it rebuts the defendant’s assertions in order to keep it at that high point. This is no easy task. Counsel must use examinations and arguments within the confines of the court’s rules and instructions. It takes skill and practice but a good trial strategy can positively affect your recovery in court.

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Train Accident Settlements and Verdicts


This accident happened just a few years ago. It’s a reminder of the many dangers around railroads. There’s a lot of hustle and bustle. Workers, vehicles, and equipment constantly move about the scene. Here, it wasn’t a train that triggered the incident. It was a service van. The events occurred in Olympia Fields. A boy was innocently riding his bike. His route took him along Western Avenue. The van veered off the road. It hit and killed him. The boy died at the tender age of twelve. The little boy was survived by his parents. He also had one sibling, a brother. The worker driving the van was connected to Illinois Central and Canadian National Railroad Companies. The family brought a lawsuit against these two businesses. The suit claimed negligence and wrongful death. It alleged both were responsible for the child’s passing. In essence, they said the companies were to blame for the driver’s actions. This theory of vicarious liability is common in train accidents. For damages, the plaintiffs sought expenses, fees, and compensation for the boy’s and their pain. In this situation, defendants normally object out of hand. They file motions to end the case. They argue that the plaintiff was at fault too. This might help delay the outcome. It might even lower the award or settlement. Yet, if the defendants were negligent and the plaintiffs suffered greatly, then they probably won’t escape judgment. That’s what happened here. Rather than see a jury render a verdict, the defendants opted to settle. The family received $2,850,000. Here’s what that settlement was meant to cover.

  • The costs of trial.
  • Expenses including medical, funeral, burial.
  • The pain the boy felt prior to death.
  • The pain the family felt because of the loss.


The victim turned plaintiff here was sixty-two years old. She was waiting for her Metra train at the Woodruff Station. It was a late October night in 2011. The train company gave confusing directions. This caused her to get right up by the tracks. A train then came and hit her. She was seriously injured. She broke her pelvis. She fractured her spine. Her brain suffered tremendous damage. In fact, it put her in a coma for almost two weeks. When she came out, she would never be the same again. She required medical attention right after the crash. She also needed professional care for the rest of her life. She sued the train business, Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation. She alleged its employees and the company itself were negligent. Further, this negligence caused the crash that left her handicapped. She sought damages for past and future care, medical expenses, costs, pain, suffering, and reduced quality of life. The defendant train business filed a reply. Yet, the writing was on the wall. Settlement was not long down the road. The woman received more than $7 million. Roughly $1 million of that amount was to cover her medical bills. The rest was for the damages that she pled for in court.


This train accident involved a couple. A man and wife were trying to cross the tracks in Glenview. They were at the Metra station by Willow Road. The woman crossed without trouble. The man did too but had to go back for something. When he returned, he saw an oncoming train. Despite that, he thought he could make it. Witnesses even testified he said as much. He didn’t make it though. A train sideswiped him. Right away he needed to be taken to the hospital. Doctors performed emergency surgery. However, they couldn’t save his arm. It had to be amputated. Not long after these events, he contracted leukemia. He died from that disease. His wife still brought a case against the train company. She alleged it was negligent. She felt it should have put more safeguards. Thus, she thought it was to blame for a lot their suffering and expenses. The hospital bills alone were hundreds of thousands of dollars. The defendant train business disagreed. It filed its reply in the proper amount of time. That document claimed the man was at fault. It stated he didn’t look out or take heed. There were many warnings. He chose to ignore them. Yet, it still conceded that it could have done more. In the end, both sides normally share in some of the blame. Train accidents are rarely all of one party’s fault. That’s why it was predictable that she would have obtained some compensation. How much though depended on their harms. And they had a lot of harms. Thus, the high award size isn’t surprising. Here’s what it was meant to reimburse her for.

  • Suffering.
  • Pain.
  • Disfigurement.
  • Lost normal life.
  • Medical bills.
  • Lost society.


The plaintiff survived this train accident but barely. He was 45 at the time of the crash. It happened in Decatur, Illinois. At trial, his lawyers argued he got stuck crossing the train tracks. His foot became lodged between the track and wood planks. To this point, the defendant offered a different theory. It said that he had a seizure and that prompted the incident. Whatever the case, he was smacked by a train. He need an amputation on both arms. One needed to be cut at the wrist. The other was removed below the shoulder. As trial got going, some crucial points came to the surface. First, his shoe was messed up in a way to suggest he did get caught. Second, lights on the train were out. This would have impaired the crew’s ability to see him and stop before crashing. Third, the man had amnesia around the accident. That’s to be expected though with a crash of this force. Most of these points favored the plaintiff. He argued the train company was negligence. That negligence caused the crash he surmised. Of course, they rejected this premise. Their seizure claim was undercut by the facts though. In the end, the plaintiff was able to convince the jury. He obtained $900,000. Most of that covered these damages.

  • Suffering.
  • Pain.
  • Lost normal life.
  • Medical bills.
  • Disfigurement.


The victim was only 11. He was doing what kids do: explore. On his bike, he found an old path. It was actually dug out by a railroad company. He took that and found a train track. When a train came by, he tried to hop on. The jump didn’t go well. He fell and injured himself. One leg needed to be amputated below the knee. On the other foot, he lost all his toes. Through a guardian, he sued the company. He alleged it negligently erected the path. Also, he claimed it should have done more to guard the tracks. This case ended up settling. That means we can’t say what would have happened at trial. We can say though that the defendants would have had a hard time blaming the kid. It’s what kids do! The plaintiff received almost $2 million. This was to be used for his past expenses and future care. It also accounted for his pain and disfigurement.

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Thinking About What You Could Obtain in an Illinois Truck Accident Lawsuit?

After reviewing all of this information, you might well be wondering what you could in an Illinois truck accident lawsuit. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can help you arrive at an appropriate estimate for your potential case. Then, if you hire us, we can help you get it in court on contingency which means you won’t pay a dime unless you’re happy with the jury award. Just call us today to get the ball rolling.

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

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Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

- Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

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This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

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