If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a train derailment, please do not hesitate to call the New York personal injury lawyers at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, at (212) 986-7353. Our legal team specializes in serious accident lawsuits and has the experience and resources necessary to determine liability. You may be entitled to significant compensation for the injuries and other losses you suffered as a result of a serious train crash. Contact us for a free consultation about your legal rights and options.
Trains remain an important method of transportation in our state. Passenger rail services are quite popular, especially for interstate commutes and traveling to vacation destinations such as the Finger Lakes and other areas around the Adirondacks. Commercial trains are just as important today as they were in the past for moving goods and materials from one location to another, and support many vital industries. However, all this train travel increases the chances of a train accident.
Unfortunately, a derailments of different things can cause a train to shift off the rails in some way and derail. Once this happens, inertia takes over and the train is partially or completely pulled away from the tracks, often twisting and flipping over in sections. Derailments are rare, but when they do happen, the damage and injuries they cause can be quite horrendous.
Some of the most common causes of derailments include:
- Improper track maintenance: There are hundreds of miles of train tracks stretching across New York State, which means maintenance and repair of these tracks is no small feat. However, we trust the owners of these railways to invest the time and money necessary to do so and keep people safe.
- Excessive speed: Trains run at very high speeds, which is safe enough across straight areas of track and subtle curves. When approaching a sharp turn, however, trains must be slowed down to posted speeds. Trains that take a turn too fast are at very high risk of derailing.
- Train collisions: When two trains collide, the damage they do can be catastrophic to passengers. Two trains are likely to push each other off their tracks and both can partially derail. This makes train collisions incredibly dangerous not only for people on them but for anyone around them when they collide.
- Incorrect switch alignment: Switches are used to shift trains from one set of tracks to another, often to change course or for trains to pass each other in a busy area. When switches are not aligned properly, trains can end up colliding or not moving from one track to another. Either event can result in a derailment.
- Objects on the tracks: When objects are either accidentally or purposefully left on train tracks, derailment can occur. If a vehicle becomes stuck on train tracks, a collision with it can cause a train to derail. Tools and equipment left behind after track maintenance can also cause a derailment and serious injuries to people aboard the trains.
There were 737 railroad accident fatalities in the United States in 2020. - Federal Railroad Administration
Serious injuries often occur after a devastating train accident. It is not uncommon for survivors of train accidents to discover that pain and other injuries do not become apparent until hours or even days after the crash. This is why it is important to seek medical attention immediately following any accident to detect injuries that might not otherwise be noticeable. Some common injuries from train accidents include:
- Scrapes, bruises, and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Traumatic amputations
- Internal organ damage
- Soft tissue damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
If you or a loved one suffered life-threatening injuries or worse in a train collision, you need and deserve not only answers but justice. With Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, on your side, you will have over 50 years of combined legal experience working on your behalf to establish a strong claim in your favor.
According to the Federal Railroad Administration, the common causes of train wrecks include the following:
- Train operator was distracted, fatigued, or intoxicated
- Operational failure, such as speeding or improper braking
- The computerized signal systems malfunctioned
- Faulty crossing gates, lights, and alarms
- Poor track maintenance
- Inadequate railroad crew training
If a train operator or company contributed to your injuries, our lawyers will work diligently to preserve valuable evidence and protect your rights every step of the way. Railroad companies move quickly to ensure that they are not held accountable for such costly accidents, and some even go so far as to blame victims.
The physical injuries caused by a train crash may not be the only lasting damage that a crash victim or surviving family member may face. The traumatic experience of a deadly crash can leave survivors with emotional and psychological issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, and may require extensive therapy in addition to medical care.
Regardless of whether you have sustained major or minor injuries, an experienced NY train accident lawyer may be able to help you obtain the money you need for the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages and future earnings
- Rehabilitative care
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Funeral and burial costs
Whether excessive speed, mechanical errors, or human negligence is to blame, those who have been affected by a train derailment deserve to have answers, as well as rightful compensation. Our NY train accident lawyers have a strong track record of success, having won multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of train crash victims in the past. Let us do the same for you.
Injured victims and surviving family members of those killed in train accidents have the right to pursue legal action against those responsible. The last thing a victim of a train accident should have to worry about is negotiating with insurance companies and a negligent train company. Let WRSH represent your claim so you can focus on healing and rebuilding your life.
- Confidential Settlement in Valhalla Train Crash Sparks Anger
- LIRR Derailment Latest Incident in Series of Commuter Train Accidents
- Deadly Train Crash Leads New Yorkers to Evaluate Safety While Utilizing Public Transportation This Holiday Season
- $1 Billion Loan Approved for LIRR, Metro-North Safety Updates
- How Safe Are New York’s Train Systems?
- Long Island Rail Road
- Federal Railroad Administration
WRSH partner Kenneth Halperin obtained a settlement in the amount of $1,700,000 for a woman who was injured in a train derailment.