California Train Accident Attorneys
Bisnar Chase California Train Accident Lawyers have been handling catastrophic and serious injury cases for over 40 years. Train wrecks are dangerous and most cases people are left with severe injuries or are killed.
At the personal injury law firm of Bisnar Chase, our team of legal experts have the experience, knowledge and skill that is required to effectively pursue all types of serious injury cases, including injuries or deaths resulting from Metrolink crashes in California.
We will comprehensively investigate every aspect of your claim to assist you in recovering the highest monetary compensation for your injuries or loss. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured as the result of a train collision or MetroLink accident in California, please contact our law offices at 1-800-561-4887 or request a free consultation.
California Train Accident Statistics
In California, the Federal Railroad Administration reported that in one year 82 people sustained injuries and a total of 29 fatalities occurred due to train accidents.
The urban population in the United States is increasing at unprecedented levels and with the increase in population comes the need for expanded forms of mass transit. Train travel once considered a leisurely way to travel throughout the country, is now a necessary conveyance for millions of Americans. There are over 600 railroads and hundreds of thousands of miles of track traversing the country but unfortunately, the increase in train travel has also lead to increased accidents.
National statistics show that every two hours there is a train accident that involves property damage, injury and even death.
Other important facts to note about California railroad accidents include:
- Every 90 minutes there is a train collision or derailment.
- A train carrying hazardous material goes off the tracks approximately every 2 weeks in the United States.
- Railroads are essentially self-regulated and do come under the close scrutiny of the federal government.
- Rail companies continue to rely on technology that was developed over 70 years ago and very little effort has been made to update safety measures.
- Local jurisdictions often have no control over the train travel in their area resulting in delays for a local emergency response to catastrophic situations in the community. This basically means that the fire trucks will have to wait while a transcontinental freight train passes!
- More than 50% of all railroad accidents occur at unprotected crossings and, according to the Federal Railroad Administration, over 80% of railroad crossings don't have adequate warning devices.
- Statistics may show that although vehicle collisions have decreased in the last few years, pedestrian collisions have become an alarming problem. Rail companies have failed to educate the public, improve warning systems, and enforce regulations.
What to Do After You Have Been in a California Train Accident
After a train accident, many people are frantic and find themselves wanting to retrieve to a safe place quickly. Once off the train, injury victims of train wrecks can find themselves with broken bones, head injuries or even with deep lacerations. This can be a traumatic experience, but there are measures you can take to ease the devastating aftermath of a train collision.
- Seek medical attention immediately: If there is an ambulance on site then use this as an opportunity to receive treatment for any injuries temporarily. Even if you feel well and do not see any signs of physical injuries you still are advised to see a doctor. Certain symptoms of conditions such as a traumatic brain injury or broken bones may only be seen through X-Rays and healed with prescription medication.
- File a police report: When authorities arrive at the scene of the accident and you are safe, approach an officer to give a statement. Gather whatever information you think would be useful to the police, for example, if you were not a passenger and saw the crash happen from a car or as a pedestrian you can potentially claim that it was a head-on collision or a sudden explosion occurred. If you choose to file a police report later you can do so at you local police department.
- Contact a California train accident lawyer: The California railroad lawyers of Bisnar Chase have been representing accident victims since 1978. We have helped countless people and families win the compensation they need to recover from their injuries. Our personal injury attorneys have sustained a 96% success rate at winning cases and show no signs of stopping. Call the law offices of Bisnar Chase today at 1-800-561-4887 for a free case analysis.
Injuries that You Can Be Compensated For After a Train Crash
Train accidents can be devastating. Due to their weight and size, trains do not have the capability to stop immediately if there is a car or person on the tracks. Trains can also experience head-on collisions with each other if the tracks are derailed or properly maintained. Victims of train accidents can experience an array of serious injuries and many families may lose a loved one from the incident.
For those who survive the accident, common injuries may include:
- Head trauma: A sudden force to the head can cause extensive damage to the skull. Due to its soft gelatin-like texture, the brain is one of the most vulnerable organs of the body. It is also one of the most important because it controls a person's sensory system, emotions and thought process. If even slightly disturbed the effects can be irreversible. Common traumatic brain injuries include skull fractures, hematomas and concussions. It is crucial for an injury victim to seek medical treatment and a medical evaluation. Exams that may be involved in analyzing the trauma can involve blood tests, CAT scans or MRI's. These types of hospital services can be costly and the treatment that follows can be even more expensive. Speak to a train accident lawyer in California to receive more insight on how much compensation you can win for your injury case.
- Broken bones: The types of bones that are broken are dependent on a series of factors such as the part of the train the passenger was on, whether the passenger was sitting or standing during the accident or if the victim was a small child or elderly person. Bones that can be easily fractured during a train collision can be bones in the legs, pelvis, arms, wrist and clavicle. The clavicle is one of the most sensitive bones of the body and although it may seem insignificant because of its size it holds an important role. If the clavicle is fractured then this can not only be extremely painful but a person can lose mobility of their arm as well. At times, the pieces of the collarbone can move far out of place making it very difficult to treat and the victim may need surgery. The surgery can leave a person to be in the hospital for months and can lead to a person taking a large amount of time out of work.
- Spinal cord injury: The spinal cord is separated into four areas. These areas include the cervical vertebrae, thoracic vertebrae, lumbar vertebrae and sacral vertebrae. The seriousness of a spinal cord injury depends on what section of the spine was harmed. Back injuries that take place in the upper area of the spine (cervical vertebrae) can lead a person to be completely paralyzed but if the injury took place in the middle or lower part of the spine (thoracic and lumbar regions) a person will potentially still have mobility and control in parts of their body. Victims that are paralyzed may have to completely change their lives. Equipment such as wheelchairs, voice-activated computers or equipment for driving a car may be necessary to function.
- Fractured ribs: Many do not know the important responsibility that the rib cage has in the body. The rib cage protects the entire respiratory system and the heart. If even one of the ribs are broken this can put those primary organs at risk. Orthopedic surgeon Jesse Shaw explains why the pain of fractured ribs makes it dangerous. "Fractured ribs, which may have only a hairline crack (but can still be painful) are less dangerous than a rib bone that has a total break. The jagged edge of bone on a broken rib can tear and injure internal organs, and the risk is increased if you have more than one broken rib", stated Shaw. Shaw also shared that that physical symptom such as headaches, shortness of breath and anxiety are signals that you have a broken rib. Since the lungs are not protected they can be potentially infected and can lead a person to have pneumonia.
- Internal bleeding: Internal bleeding is one the most dangerous ailments that a person can experience. Internal bleeding is hard to detect especially if the injury was not physically obvious. Internal bleeding means that the circulatory system has been compromised and the blood is leaking out of the vessel or organ. Symptoms of internal bleeding can be a stiff neck, shortness of breath, blood in the stool or blood in the urine. One of the most common places where internal bleeding happens is in the abdomen. If internal bleeding is taking place in the abdomen, exploratory laparotomy surgery may be an option for a crash victim. The operation involves a surgeon sealing any vessels that are leaking blood.
Causes of California Train Wrecks
It is the responsibility of a train engineer, train manufacturer or train company to make sure that a train is safe to ride for passengers. If they fail to do so, this can result in many riders experiencing severe injuries and can also result in numerous fatalities.
Common causes of train wrecks can include:
- Train on train collisions
- Derailments poorly maintained tracks
- Noncompliance of safety standards
- Inadequate security and other negligence issues
Train accident cases are classified as civil lawsuits which means that one or more people can hold a negligent entity accountable for their wrongdoings. Types of claims that are usually filed for a train collision are personal injury claims or wrongful death claims. At times employees who are working on the railroad can also experience physical harm. If the injured employee is not compensated for their injuries the train company may face being sued.
From your personal injury lawsuit you can potentially receive compensation for:
- Medical bills: Victims of train accidents may suffer from many painful injuries. Injuries from the accident may also be permanent. For example, if the crash victim has become paralyzed from the incident they would need medical services such as round the clock care, physical therapy and medical equipment.
- Lost wages: People who are recovering from a train accident sometimes need to take a substantial amount of time to heal. At times though, people that are left permanently disabled can no longer provide for themselves financially. When you hire a California train accident lawyer you may be able to collect winnings for lost and future income you will experience.
- Pain and suffering: Measuring how much a person will collect for pain and suffering can be a complex process. Pain and suffering refers to the emotional and psychological damage that a person experiences after an accident. The way in which you can prove pain and suffering can be by presenting your railroad lawyer with documentation that states that you were seen by a counselor or psychologist.
- Property damage: Houses and cars that were near the scene of the metro-link accident can possibly receive compensation. Victims can file a claim as well if they have been affected by oils that have leaked into the ground. The oils that a train operates on can be poisonous if residents are exposed long enough to them.
- Loss of consortium: When people are killed or severely injured due to someone else's negligence, family members of the injured or deceased can claim loss consortium. Loss of consortium means that because of the accident the victim can not provide affection, companionship or are unable to have sexual relations.
Who is Liable for Your Injuries?
Trains are considered common carriers. Common carriers are classified as any entity that transfers people or goods from one place to another. Civil Code 2168 defines a common carrier as "Everyone who offers to the public to carry persons, property, or messages, excepting only telegraphic messages, is a common carrier of whatever he thus offers to carry."
Common carriers such as trains hold what is known as the "duty of care" which means they have the responsibility to keep passengers safe while they commute. Train companies such as Amtrak and Metrolink can be sued if a group of people are injured or killed as a result of their negligence.
If you or someone in your family has been injured due to the negligence of a rail transportation company, you may be able to file a claim to recover your damages. When a railroad or train accident does occur, there are laws that govern whether or not the carrier is liable. There are many factors that determine if the railroad company was at fault and could have prevented the accident and resulting injuries by exercising the proper care and maintenance. Also, if the carrier is found liable, there are even more factors to consider as to what percentage of liability they will have to assume.
Chatsworth, California MetroLink Accident
In the state of California, railroads are no strangers to tragedies. Major companies such as Metrolink and Amtrak have experienced one of the deadliest train wrecks in the nation, one of them being of Chatsworth train collision.
Exactly 25 people were killed and 135 passengers were injured on a Metrolink train in 2008. The Metrolink train crashed into a freight train on a track that they both were sharing. Later on, investigators noted that the engineer who was operating the Metrolink should have stopped beforehand when a light was signaled for him to do so. The reason why the train engineer missed the light signal was due to him texting.
Since the accident Metrolink has taken steps to better protect their riders. One of the safety measures that Metrolink took was purchasing Rotem cars. Rotem cars have crush zones that are designed to push the force away from riders in a collision. Thereafter, Metrolink became the first transportation service to introduce a "collision avoidance system."
Who Do You Turn to For Help After a California Train Collision
The California Train Accident Lawyers of Bisnar Chase strive to give our crash victims the best client services we can. We understand the needs and the stresses that follow an accident and we want to be here to alleviate them. For four decades, our law group of dedicated legal experts have been helping train collision victims win millions in compensation for their injuries.
If you or someone you know has lost a loved one or you yourself were injured in a California train wreck contact the law firm of Bisnar Chase.
Call 1-800-561-4887 for a free case evaluation.