How do I Prove Negligence in my Train Accident Injury Case?
You must prove that the railroad company and its workers breached a legal duty of care they owed you and that breach was the proximate cause of your quantifiable damages.
Illinois civil tort law involving train accidents is complex, and resolving a railroad injury claim is often complicated. Consequently, many injured victims retain personal injury attorneys experienced in litigating train accidents to handle their cases. A lawyer working on your behalf can collect specific facts and evidence to support your claim and identify every party legally at fault for causing your injuries.
What is Required to Bring a Winning Claim for Compensation?
To successfully resolve your claim after a train accident, you must file your lawsuit as soon as possible. Our experienced train accident lawyers can investigate the crash, gather eyewitness accounts, and file the necessary paperwork in the appropriate Illinois county courthouse before the statute of limitations on your case expires.
Our investigators can determine if the crash was the result of a safety device defect, equipment malfunction, impaired or distracted train operator, or other problem that could have caused the mishap. Our attorneys will then be able to identify who the appropriate defendants in your case are, which could include:
- Train operator/conductor
- Train car or engine manufacturer
- Property owners
- Railroad company
- Railway maintenance crews
- Government agencies
Regardless of whom you bring your train accident case against, it will most likely be one for negligence. In this type of legal action, the basic premise is that the defendant failed to act as a reasonable person would have under the circumstances; in the case of a commercial vehicle driver or common carrier, that standard is usually elevated to the conduct of a similarly situated trained professional. Procedurally, you must allege and prove that he or she breached a legal duty owed to you and that breach caused your damages.
To successfully resolve your claim, your attorney will need to show evidence proving four elements in your case:
- Duty of care—The railroad company, train operator, conductor, mechanics and brakemen had a duty of care to protect you as their passenger or a member of the public while operating, owning, or repairing the train. This duty includes maintaining equipment, conducting routine inspections, maintaining the railway track, and not operating a train or light rail vehicle while distracted or impaired by drugs or alcohol. The railroad company has a legal responsibility to ensure that every employee receives the proper training required to perform their job duties safely.
- Breach of duty—The railroad owner and its employees or agents failed to avoid an accident and thereby breached their duty of care toward you.
- Causation—A direct link exists between the negligent acts of the railroad company, its employees or contractors who caused the accident, and your subsequent injuries.
- Actual damages—There is a correlation between the event and the pecuniary (monetary) damages you suffered. Typically, this proof is provided by documentation of your hospitalization costs and other medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses and wage statements, and by the testimony of expert witnesses hired by your attorney to project your future expenses including additional surgeries/therapies and loss of future earnings due to temporary or permanent disability.
If your attorney can successfully demonstrate that the defendants’ breach of duty caused your injuries and your injuries caused your damages, you can likely obtain financial compensation.
What Type of Compensation can I Expect to Recover?
If you were injured or your loved one hurt or killed in a train accident, you are likely able to file a claim for financial recovery for all past, ongoing, and future medical bills; lost income; funeral expenses and burial costs; and other tangible damages as well as intangible damages including pain, suffering, mental anguish, loss of normal life and grief.
The circumstances of each case are unique, which can make it difficult to predict the exact monetary value of any given claim. Our train accident attorneys will use proven formulas and the results of train accident cases similar to yours to calculate how much you could recover.
Our law firm will ensure you receive adequate financial compensation to restore to the extent possible the quality of life you enjoyed before the accident. If you lost a loved one, you can seek compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
My Medical Care and Other Expenses Took Much of my Life Savings. How Will I Afford to Hire an Attorney?
The train accident injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC accept all cases through contingency fee agreements, which postpones payment for our legal fees until we have successfully resolved your case at trial or through a negotiated out-of-court settlement. We provide a “no win/no-fee” guarantee, meaning if we are unable to secure financial compensation on your behalf, you owe us nothing. We offer every potential client a no-obligation, initial case consultation at no charge. Call our law offices today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule an appointment. Let our team of attorneys listen to your concerns and explain your legal options so your family can receive the financial compensation they deserve. All information you share with us remains confidential.