Every day, passenger trains carry thousands of people across the United States. Public rail systems transport millions into, out of, and around metropolitan areas, and there are of course thousands of trains that are not open to passengers, but travel through cities and towns around the country.
While most trains get to their destination safely, some do not. Railroad accidents are more common than many people realize; however, they often go unreported in the media. Train derailments, trains hitting vehicles at crossings, pedestrian accidents, and collisions with other trains happen every year. In 2008, the Federal Railroad Administration reported 2375 train accidents. In those, 278 people were injured and 26 people lost their lives.
Many of these accidents involve some degree of negligence on the part of the railroad or carrier company. When negligence is a factor, a train accident lawyer in Houston, TX should be sought for legal advice. At John K. Zaid & Associates, we have successfully represented injured passengers, the family members of those who have died, and railroad workers. Our cases have involved both claims and lawsuits against some of the largest railroad companies including Amtrak.
Before you choose any random Houston, Texas train accident lawyer, it is important you understand these cases are very different from other injury cases. The law imposes strict legal obligations on train companies, and these laws vary by state. It is essential that you choose the right railroad litigation firm. If you or a loved one was injured in a railroad accident, please call a train accident lawyer in Houston, TX today.
Why Choose Us
There are many reasons to consider our firm to be your legal advocates after a railroad accident, including:
We have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts
We have decades of experience in investigating the causes of these, often preventable, incidents
We understand how to establish liability
We know the laws, rules, and legislation
In the case of railroad accidents, the law does not make the railroad company responsible for any injuries or deaths under all circumstances. Rather, these companies must implement the necessary actions to prevent harm from occurring. In order to file a claim against the railroad company, a train accident lawyer in Houston, TX must prove that the company, or otherwise potentially liable party, failed to use reasonable care on their rail cars, tracks, engineering, equipment, and so forth. As a result of this failure, an injury or death resulted. If this is something you can relate to, call John K. Zaid & Associates.
John K. Zaid & Associates: Your Train Accident Lawyers in Houston, Texas
As stated by the Texas Department of Transportation, a vehicle or person gets stricken by a train every two hours in the United States. Injuries that happen due to being struck by a train are critical due to the speed and size of a moving train. Whether you have suffered a minor injury or a life altering injury, if you were in a train wreck recently or you are working as a rail worker, let John K. Zaid & Associates fight for the compensation you deserve.
Our train accident lawyers of Houston have the licensed legal understanding and materials to help preserve your rights after being involved in a train accident. To get in contact with our legal staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week—just call 281-333-8959 or complete our free initial consultation form, today.
Train Claims We Handle
It is an obligation for railroad companies to make sure the equipment is up to safety standards and that they have no danger on their planned routes. Nonfulfillment of safety standards can result in serious accidents.
At John K. Zaid & Associates we handle train injury claims that result from:
If you were harmed by a train, our train accident lawyers of Houston will be able to get you reimbursement for your accident-related expenses, medical bills, lost wages and pain & suffering that you deserve after such a horrific experience.
Experience You Can Trust
John K. Zaid & Associates has been preserving the rights of hurt victims for nearly 20 years, and we may be able to help you also, so act now. Often times, Texas law limits the amount of time you have to file an injury claim which is why it is important to contact us as soon as possible to make sure that you are able to file an injury claim. Contact us now to get the help you deserve.
What are the general basics of a train accident?
A train accident can be amongst the most devastating that occur, as a train accident lawyer in Houston TX can attest. When they happen, dozens or hundreds of passengers and workers may be injured. Property damage could be enormous and the total amount of financial losses could exceed tens of millions of dollars.
If you or a loved one was involved in a train accident, a Houston, TX train accident lawyer may be able to pursue legal compensation. The following is a generalized overview of how personal injury claims involving a train accident works. To explore you options in further detail, call a train accident lawyer in Houston, TX as soon as possible.
What Causes Train Accidents?
Trains are still popular modes of transportation in the United States and are generally very safe to travel on, as a train accident lawyer Houston, TX trusts can attest. However, accidents involving trains still occur and can result in life-threatening injuries. There are several parties that can be held liable in train accidents, including the employees on the train, the company that owns the train and manufacturers of parts of the train. If you were hurt in a train accident, you may be eligible for compensation.
Here are some of the most common causes of train accidents:
A large percentage of train accidents are due to engineer error. Even the most highly trained train engineers can make mistakes that lead to accidents. For example, if an engineer has been driving for long hours and gets distracted by something, it can lead to an accident. Other types of engineer error include speeding, fatigue and operating a train while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Just like vehicles on the road, trains can experience mechanical failure. If one of the train’s components goes out while it is in service, a crash can occur. That is why it is important for trains to be serviced regularly and watched for issues. If a problem with a train is detected, it must be repaired immediately to avoid accidents down the road.
Poor Track Conditions
Train accidents can also result from poor track conditions. If the the track a train is on is broken, for example, it can cause the train to derail. A crash can also occur if there is a foreign object on the tracks and the engineer doesn’t see it in time.
Another cause of train accidents are distracted pedestrians. If pedestrians aren’t paying attention and walk across a train track while a train is running, they can cause the entire train to derail.
Collision With a Vehicle
Some train accidents occur because of collisions with vehicles. If a driver goes across a track while a train is moving, they can collide and cause a major accident.
Hiring a Train Accident Lawyer in Houston, TX
If you were injured in a train accident, you should consult with a Houston, TX train accident lawyer as soon as possible. You deserve justice for what happened. He or she can help you bring a lawsuit in a timely fashion and gather evidence to prove your case.
During your initial consultation, be prepared to answer several different questions about your case, such as how the accident occurred and what types of injuries you sustained. If you have any evidence pertaining to your case, like medical records or photos of your injuries, remember to bring them with you. The information you can provide your lawyer, the better.
Negotiating a Settlement
Nearly 95% of all train accident claims are settled out of court. City and interstate trains, railways, and metros would prefer to avoid public exposure and any negative press that would certain ensue should the case end up in court. A settlement allows all parties involved to avoid any unnecessary exposure and risks of a lawsuit.
These negotiations may begin prior to a lawsuit being filed, during the lawsuit proceedings, or after. In general, a train accident settlement will involve a Houston, TX train accident lawyer, on behalf of the victim, and a defense team exchanging offers that would cover the total amount of economic and non economic losses.
There are pros and cons to accepting a settlement. For instance, settling a train accident claim early on can ensure the liable party has the resources to pay out the damages; whereas, waiting could make it more difficult - particularly when bankruptcy is a possibility. However, it is also possible to receive a high amount when a case is heard by a judge and jury.
Filing a Lawsuit
A train accident lawsuit is similar to other personal injury cases, but the most notable difference is that they will tend to involve multiple plaintiffs. A lawsuit may begin when a complaint has been filed in the jurisdiction the accident occurred in. The liable party (ies), such as the train company, and their insurance company will then be obligated to respond to the complaint. In this response, they will have the opportunity to defend their actions.
Both sides will enter a discovery period which includes an exchange of evidence. This is followed by hearing and pretrial motions which may include a debate over what evidence can and cannot be admitted, facts that both sides agree on, and other preliminary issues. From this point a trial will be held. Once the jury has heard both sides, a verdict is read, and if the defendant is found guilty, a dollar amount will be awarded.
It is possible for either party to appeal the court's decision. Before an appeal is pursued, either party might attempt to re-enter settlement negotiations.
Caps on Settlements
In 1997, Congress passed a law which capped the total amount of damages that could be sought by victims of train accidents. This limit was $200 million. Although it might seem like a lot of money, there has been accidents which resulted in damages that exceeded this amount. Sadly, the plaintiffs recovered less than what they needed.
Employees of the Railway
Any injured railroad employee must go through a completely different process to file a claim or lawsuit. Most employees are covered by The Federal Employers Liability Act, and this carries special rules that make recovery easier. Any FELA claim or lawsuit is not subjected to the liability cap. You would want to have a train accident lawyer in Houston, TX on your side.
For more information, call a train accident lawyer Houston, TX trusts from John K. Zaid & Associates.
A Train Accident Lawyers Answers Your Questions:
What Are The Common Causes of Train Accidents in Houston?
Railroad accidents are usually the cause of human error or equipment failure. Because of this it is important to consider speaking with a train accident lawyer in Houston, Texas who is proficient in the relevant laws and rules. Common causes of a railroad accident include:
Faulty warning lights, sounds, or gates
Defective rail cars
It is certainly possible for more than one party to be at fault for a train accident. In this case a lawyer may pursue all legal options against each liable party. Regardless of what happened or who might be at fault, let a train accident lawyer Houston, TX trusts investigate your case to determine what your legal recourse should be. Call John K. Zaid & Associates.