San Bernardino Train Accident Lawyers
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San Bernardino Train Accident Lawyers
Trains play an important role in the daily lives of San Bernardino residents, workers, and visitors. Commuters take the Metrolink daily from San Bernardino Depot and the downtown Transit Center to and from the larger cities on the coast. Railroad workers spend their days moving cars, trucks, and freight at the BNSF intermodal and automotive rail yards. Long-distance Amtrak passengers pass through and frequently stop in San Bernardino on their way back and forth across the vast American southwest.
With all of that rail traffic flowing through San Bernardino, accidents can happen, including collisions with vehicles at railroad crossings or pedestrians along tracks, derailments, and a wide variety of incidents affecting passengers that ride in trains or workers doing their jobs around them. Any of these accidents can inflict severe, and even fatal, injuries.
ABOUT OUR REPRESENTATION OF TRAIN ACCIDENT VICTIMSGomez Trial Attorneys is a premier, award-winning law firm representing victims of a wide variety of accidents and incidents throughout Southern California. Our team of seasoned, skilled trial lawyers has a well-earned reputation for getting results in even the most challenging and complicated personal injury matters, which is exactly what victims of train accidents in San Bernardino need to secure compensation for their injuries and losses. More than many other types of personal injury cases, train accident matters put the skills, knowledge, and experience of even the best lawyers to the test. To represent a train accident victim successfully, a lawyer will often need to have a detailed understanding of local ordinances, state statutes, and federal laws and regulations, all of which routinely come into play when a train inflicts injury and loss. Clients of Gomez Trial Attorneys can rest assured that their lawyers possess the all-important depth of knowledge necessary to handle these cases, no matter how large or complex the train accident.
TYPES OF TRAIN ACCIDENT CASES THAT WE HANDLETrains can cause harm to innocent victims in a wide variety of ways. The legal team at Gomez Trial Attorneys has the skill and knowledge to tackle these cases on behalf of one or more victims involved in any of the following types of accidents:
- Passenger train derailments, which can easily cause widespread damage and multiple, catastrophic injuries to passengers, rail workers, and bystanders.
- Freight train derailments, which can cause the same massive devastation as passenger train derailments. In addition, they can trigger explosions, spills, and the release of toxic chemicals that threaten the health and lives of hundreds, even thousands, of San Bernardino residents and workers.
- Collisions between trains and vehicles at rail crossings, in which the vehicle often sustains catastrophic damage and the train runs a high risk of jumping its rails, can result in extensive property damage and injuries.
- Collisions between trains and pedestrians, which may occur when someone walks across or near a railroad track or falls into the path of an oncoming train.
- Falls and other incidents in passenger train cars, such as when a rail passenger slips and falls on a wet surface in the aisle of a train car, sustains injuries when getting on or off a train, or falls victim to a violent crime committed in a train car.
- Railroad-related workplace accidents and injuries, such as those that happen when rail employers and employees fail to follow required safety protocols, or when safety equipment fails to operate as intended.
COMMON TRAIN ACCIDENT-RELATED INJURIESAccording to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, more than a thousand train accidents happen every year in the United States, causing (on average) tens of fatalities and hundreds of injuries. The violent force involved in many of the types of accidents listed above commonly inflicts severe and catastrophic injuries, which may include:
- Traumatic brain injuries that leave San Bernardino train accident victims with lifelong physical, cognitive, and emotional impairments that disrupt virtually every facet of their lives, from work to schooling to personal relationships.
- Spinal cord injuries that cause paralysis and loss of bodily functions radically transform victims’ lives, inflict a myriad of health complications, and lead to unplanned expenses that can easily total millions of dollars over a lifetime.
- Crush injuries and traumatic amputations of limbs pinned by train equipment or by the wreckage of a train accident, which can cause life-threatening blood loss and may leave a victim without the use of one or more limbs.
- Organ damage sustained in connection with a violent collision, or as a result of blood loss or other trauma caused by a train accident. Victims whose organs sustain damage frequently end up battling long-term health complications and needing extensive medical care.
- Burns, often caused by the fires or explosions that follow a train derailment, that cause agonizing pain, require immediate and sustained intensive medical treatment, and leave victims with disfiguring, disabling scars.
- Chronic and long-term illness caused by exposure to toxic liquids, chemicals, or other materials released from a train when it derails or when a freight car ruptures or tips over. Toxic exposure may occur even if a victim does not live or work at or next to a railroad, and may also cause health problems that emerge years later.
THE COMPLICATED TASK OF SEEKING COMPENSATION FOR A SAN BERNARDINO TRAIN ACCIDENT INJURYVictims of San Bernardino train accidents may qualify to seek compensation for the injuries and losses that they suffer because of someone else’s bad decisions or dangerous actions. Obtaining that compensation, however, may prove complicated. Why? Because unlike the relatively straightforward legal rules that apply to, say, a motor vehicle accident, a vast and complex tangle of local, state, and federal laws, regulations, and (sometimes) contracts governs when, how, and from whom San Bernardino train accident victims can obtain payment for their injuries and losses. Which laws apply to a given injury or loss can depend on factors as varied as:
- Where the train accident and injuries take place
- Who owns the tracks where the train accident happens
- Who owns and operates the train in the accident
- Who owns or controls the train cargo involved in the accident
- Whose poor decision or dangerous conduct contributed to the cause of the train accident
- Who has jurisdiction and authority to investigate the train accident
- Whether the worker is a member of a union (and which union)
- Whether the victim is a railroad employee
CATEGORIES OF COMPENSATION THAT A SAN BERNARDINO TRAIN ACCIDENT VICTIM MAY RECOVERTrain accident victims tend to want to leave the question of where the money will come from to pay for their injuries and losses to the lawyers. The team at Gomez Trial Attorneys is happy to handle that aspect of a case. Instead, victims usually want to know what kinds of compensation they might have the right to recover. Every train accident in San Bernardino differs in its unique facts and circumstances, of course, so we cannot guarantee that a victim will necessarily recover any specific type of damages. However, in general, victims of San Bernardino train accidents may have the right to receive compensation to cover:
- Medical expenses related to treating the injury inflicted by the San Bernardino train accident and/or any health complication that the initial injury caused. Medical costs included in the damages that victims may seek include emergency care, hospital stays, outpatient therapy, over-the-counter and prescription medications, and medical devices.
- Non-medical expenses related to harm that victims suffer in a San Bernardino train accident, which can range from the cost of repairing or replacing damaged vehicles or personal property to the cost of modifying living spaces to accommodate an accident-related disability, to hiring services to perform day-to-day tasks that injuries prevent victims from handling on their own.
- Lost income and benefits attributable to the train accident and the injuries and health complications that it caused. Victims who miss work while recovering from San Bernardino train accident injuries may recover the value of the vacation and paid-time-off they used, for example. Individuals may also seek to replace the income that they can no longer earn because the train accident caused a disabling injury.
- Pain and suffering inflicted on the victim’s life by the train accident itself or the injuries that it caused. This includes compensation for physical discomfort, emotional anguish, the strain on and interference with personal relationships, and an overall loss of enjoyment of life.
- Punitive damages, which apply in limited cases in which the at-fault individual or business caused or contributed to a train accident by engaging in extreme, outrageous, or intentionally harmful conduct.
- Filing and pursuing claims against insurance policies that cover our clients’ injuries and losses, including private and government-supplied workers’ compensation benefits.
- Filing and litigating lawsuits individually or on behalf of a class of injured victims against parties at fault for a San Bernardino train accident.
- Filing and pursuing claims against compensation funds established for the benefit of the victims of a mass casualty event involving a train accident.
SAN BERNARDINO TRAIN ACCIDENT FAQSVictims of San Bernardino train accidents, and the families of those who tragically die in such accidents, have important questions that need answering about their legal and financial rights. We invite anyone whose life has been upended by a San Bernardino train accident to contact Gomez Trial Attorneys with any questions. For your convenience, we provide general answers below to some of the questions that we hear most frequently from our clients about train accidents at Gomez Trial Attorneys.
WHO OWES ME COMPENSATION FOR TRAIN ACCIDENT INJURIES THAT I SUFFERED AS A TRAIN PASSENGER IN SAN BERNARDINO?It depends on the circumstances of your train accident, but the parties that may owe you legal liability include:
- The operator of the train on which you were riding, which may consist of a government or quasi-governmental agency or a private business
- The employer of the conductor or other railroad worker whose actions contributed to the cause of the accident
- The manufacturer of the train equipment involved in the accident, if that equipment had a defect that contributed to the accident’s cause
- A fellow passenger, if that passenger’s wrongful actions contributed to your injuries
- The type and severity of your injuries and their impact on your life. Injuries to vital body parts or organs, severe injuries, and/or injuries that take a major toll on your day-to-day life, work, activities, and relationships, tend to merit larger damage payments than injuries that have less-drastic consequences. The skilled trial lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys work closely with clients to evaluate the varied ways in which an injury can affect a person’s physical, emotional, social, professional, personal, and financial wellbeing, to calculate the full amount of damages that a person may qualify to pursue under all applicable laws.
- The strength of your evidence and arguments. Obtaining full compensation for an injury suffered in a San Bernardino train accident requires careful investigation, planning, and execution of a legal strategy tailored to a victim’s personal, medical, and financial priorities. The more complete and detailed the evidence that a victim’s lawyer presents, and the more well-crafted and persuasive the legal arguments that the lawyer makes, then the higher the potential claim value.
- The source of payment of damages. As a practical matter, a San Bernardino train accident case is only worth as much as the party with legal liability can pay, up to the maximum amount of damages set by federal law. Typically, insurance covers a significant portion of the injuries and losses that victims of train accidents suffer. Lawyers may also have the option of seeking payment from the assets of a liable party.
- The pace of the official investigation. Federal and state railroad regulators routinely conduct investigations of train accidents. They have broad investigative powers that take priority over other parties. Regulators’ findings often play a significant role in determining the cause of and legal liability for an accident. As a result, victims and their attorneys may decide to wait for the official investigation to conclude or reach a fixed milestone before proceeding with their claims.
- The number of victims and defendants. Train accidents can cause widespread damage and injury. The wider the scope of the harm inflicted by a San Bernardino train accident and the more parties that are caught up in it as victims or as potential defendants with legal liability, then the longer the timeline of the case will typically extend.
- The degree of the dispute over facts and law. Train accidents have the potential to bankrupt the parties on the hook for paying damages. As a result, the at-fault parties tend to fight tooth-and-nail over factual and legal details that could reduce their financial exposure. The more fighting that happens, the more time a case can take.
- Administrative delays. Resolving a San Bernardino train accident claim takes coordination among parties, lawyers, insurance representatives, investigators, regulators, and courts, to name just a few. Sometimes, it may feel like herding cats, and as a result, the timeline can stretch longer and longer.
YOUR SAN BERNARDINO TRAIN ACCIDENT LAWYERSTrain accidents cause widespread injuries and damage and often leave behind a legal and financial mess to match. It takes the kind of skill and know-how possessed by the team at Gomez Trial Attorneys to successfully obtain compensation for victims of such accidents. If a San Bernardino train accident left you or a loved one badly injured, then contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today for a free case consultation at 866-TRIAL LAW (866 874-2552). INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT? GET A REAL TRIAL LAWYER. GET GOMEZ.
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