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Train InjuryWe are currently accepting cases involving train crashes nationwide. Train accidents can and often do result in serious injury or death, shattering the lives of victims and their families. You will need a strong and caring advocate in your corner.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury or death as the result of a Train accident, then we invite you to contact Bode & Fierberg at 202-828-4100 for a Free Consultation.
Bode & Fierberg has outstanding experience representing train injury clients, including one of the largest ever settlements with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. We have experience with claims against CSX and other rail companies around the country.
Most legal questions require complex answers. The answers provided here may not be complete or fully accurate but attempt to provide you with abbreviated answers. For more detailed answers to these questions read the rest of this website and contact us.
Frequently Asked Questions in Train Accident CasesWho is entitled to bring a lawsuit based on injuries or deaths stemming from train accidents?
Any passenger who is injured in a train accident, or in the case of death, the personal representative/administrator of the decedentís estates, is entitled to bring a lawsuit.
Do commercial trains or companies that charge passengers to use their trains owe a special duty of care to passengers?
Absolutely. Commercial trains and companies that charge people to use their trains are considered "common carriers" and owe passengers the highest duty of care under the law to make sure that their travel is safe.
Does a train have to crash for the train company to be found responsible for injuries?
No. Many serious injuries occur to passengers without a train crashing. For instance, injuries can be caused by improper starting or stopping, improper door closings, failure to warn, etc. Bode and Fierberg obtained a very substantial settlement several years ago, for a handicapped, deaf mute woman who was dragged under a commuter train as she was getting onto the train. The conductor failed to make sure the doors were clear before signaling the engineer to proceed, and the woman suffered catastrophic and life-altering injuries. The train maintains the duty of utmost care for the safety of its passengers.
Who can be held liable for train accidents?
There is a long list of potential defendants in any serious train accident case. They include operators, owners and lessors of the train, employer of the operator, manufacturers and suppliers of the train and component parts of the train, chart publishers, repairers, train traffic controllers, etc. By interstate compact, WMATA consents to be sued in its own name for the wrongdoing of its employees.
The importance of a thorough investigation in a train accident case.
It is critical that the plaintiff's attorney does everything that he or she can to thoroughly investigate a train accident case. Governmental agencies will perform their own investigation, and attorneys should obtain these reports. However, it is often also important to actually inspect what is left of the train and other evidence that is available after a train crash. The investigation may lead to a theory of recovery against entities other than the train operator or owner of the train.
What damages are recoverable in train accident cases?
The plaintiff who is still alive is entitled to recover damages for reasonable past and future medical expenses, reasonable past and future wage loss, past and future pain and suffering, and if it is deemed that conduct is bad enough, punitive damages (i.e., punishment damages against the defendant). If the passenger on the train dies, his or her survivors are entitled to recover full compensation for their economic losses that result from the passenger's death. In some (but not all) jurisdictions, they may be able to recover for emotional distress/grief-type damages which stem from the loss of society, care and comfort of the decedent. If the survivors can prove that the plaintiff lived for a period of time between the negligent act and death, they may also be able to bring an action for pre-death conscious pain and suffering damages.
What is the time period in which a train accident case must be brought?
In the District of Columbia, a wrongful death action must be brought within one year after the date of death. Personal Injury Actions must be brought within three years of the date that the injury occurred. For minors, except in cases of wrongful death, the limitations period begins to run on the minor's 18th birthday.
Do I need an attorney to bring a train case?
Almost always. In major train crash cases the defendant often attempts to settle with the plaintiff (or his/her) survivors before they retain attorneys. Experience dictates that the offers from the trains are generally low. Most plaintiffs do much better retaining attorneys.
Train litigation is very complex and there usually needs to be an investigation to ascertain fault. This will require a skilled attorney.
Will my train case settle?
In theory, most civil cases do settle at some point before trial. However, our firm always remains ready, willing and able to go to trial if necessary, and our track record proves it.
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