Catastrophic Injury

Train Accidents

Over the years, more and more railroad crossings have been upgraded, resulting in motorists receiving advance warning of the approach of an oncoming train. Motorists need to be warned, because an impact between a vehicle and a train always has catastrophic results for the vehicle occupants. On the other hand, drivers need to drive reasonably also, and we will not take cases on behalf of drivers who drive around warning gates and try to “beat” the train across. However, occupants of such a car are at the mercy of their driver and there likely would be a claim against the driver for such an accident. At unprotected crossings, railroads have a high degree of responsibility in order to follow all applicable rules and regulations both as to warning oncoming motorists of the approach, and maintaining the area around the crossing and tracks so that oncoming trains can be clearly seen. Because trains travel so fast, cannot stop quickly and cannot swerve, the railroads need to take every available precaution to warn drivers of their approach. Once we have fully investigated the facts of the accident, we then turn to making a full and complete assessment of the losses suffered by the occupants and their families. We then present that information to the insurance company in an attempt to resolve the matter by settlement. For example, in 2002, we settled a wrongful death train accident case for $1.635 million. If a settlement cannot be reached, then we present our case to a jury and let them decide.