Railroad Accident Attorneys in Cullman, Alabama
Cullman, Alabama has a rich history as it pertains to the railroad industry. Indeed, Cullman is the home of the historic Louisville and Nashville Railroad Depot, which has been recognized on the national register of historic places. While the station may no longer serve passengers today, rail is an important part of the Cullman economy, and people and goods alike are transported via rail in Cullman and surrounding areas on a regular basis.
But like all forms of transportation, the railroad is not always safe. When a railway collision occurs, the fallout can be catastrophic for anyone involved, and long-term damages could be severe. If you have been involved in a railroad accident in Cullman, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at the law offices of Burge & Burge, P.C. for your free consultation.
Top Causes of Railroad Accidents in Cullman
Railroad collisions are caused by negligence. Negligence, or the failure to exercise the proper duty of care required in a given situation, may be demonstrated by a number of different parties involved in a railroad crash. This might include the operator of a passenger car, the operator of the railroad, a shipper or loader of cargo, a pedestrian who is struck by a railcar, the party responsible for maintaining the railroad track and various parts, or another third party. Examples of causes of railroad crashes include:
- Operator negligence. If the operator of a railcar is intoxicated, impaired, fatigued, or is performing a dangerous or illegal act–such as speeding–the chances of a rail collision are increased.
- Railway company error. The company that is responsible for maintaining the railway, including both the train itself and the tracks on which it operates, may be responsible for a rail collision if they failed to maintain the rail, perform safety tests, repair broken sections of rail, etc.
- Improper signage/broken crossing arms. Another cause of a railroad collision might be improper signage (i.e. lack of signs warning of railway crossing) or improperly working railway crossing arms, which are designed to descend and flash when a train is approaching.
- Driver or pedestrian distraction or other error. In some cases, a collision between a train and a motor vehicle or a train and a pedestrian is caused as a result of a driver’s/pedestrian’s distraction or other error. For example, failing to stop when crossing arms come down, or failing to look both ways before crossing, may increase the likelihood of a crash.
- Cargo shift. Finally, if a railcar is carrying cargo, the improper securement or loading of that cargo could lead to a cargo shift in transit. Depending upon various factors, including cargo weight, this could cause the train to tip and come off of its tracks.
Damages Following a Railway Crash
If a railroad accident in Cullman does occur, the damages can be very significant. Trains can weigh thousands of pounds, and even if they are not traveling at high speeds, the sheer weight involved means that there is a lot of force and energy involved in a crash. If a train collides with an individual person, such as a pedestrian or cyclist, the injuries sustained by said person are almost always fatal. If a train and a motor vehicle collide, the driver, or any passengers within the motor vehicle will likely suffer severe injuries. These injuries might include crush injuries, amputation injuries, loss of use injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, back and neck injuries, soft tissue injuries, bone fracture injuries, internal injuries, and more.
If a train carrying passengers is involved in a crash within another train, derails, or is involved in another collision type, passengers may also suffer serious injuries. In some cases, railroad crashes can be fatal.
Injuries to Rail Workers
It is not just individual citizens who may be injured in railway accidents. Rail workers are also at risk of serious injuries, including the risk of occupational disease due to exposure to dangerous chemicals and substances. While individuals who are harmed because of another party’s negligence may file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party for damages, rail workers may seek damages via the Federal Employers’ Liability Act. If you are a worker who has been injured during your duties as a railroad employee, contact an attorney who is experienced in recovering compensation for injured railroad workers.
Fighting for Your Right to Damages
Determining the cause of a railway accident can be difficult; there are various factors that contribute to a crash, and oftentimes, a combination of factors are involved. For example, a crash may have been caused by a poorly maintained track and train operator negligence. When you hire our Alabama railroad accident attorneys, we will investigate your case, and hire accident reconstruction experts who can get to the bottom of what happened and who should be held liable for any damages that you or your loved one has suffered.
Once liability has been determined, our lawyers will begin adding up your damages to determine the value of your case. We believe that you deserve to be compensated for the full extent of your losses, including your medical expenses, lost wages and future lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and all other economic and noneconomic losses incurred. We will aggressively negotiate with the at-fault party to improve your chances of recovering 100 percent of your damages amount; if a settlement cannot be reached through out-of-court negotiations, our team will not hesitate to file a lawsuit on your behalf and take your case to court.
Keep in mind that in some cases, railroad accidents may involve the negligence of a government entity. Because claims against the government have different rules for pursuing, it is absolutely critical that you hire a knowledgeable attorney.
Contact the Cullman Railroad Accident Attorneys at the Offices of Burge & Burge, P.C. Today
Railroad accidents can be tragic, and in some cases, may have fatal consequences for those involved. If you or a loved one has been involved in a railway collision, or if you are a railroad worker who has been injured on the job, our team of lawyers is ready to advocate for you. Please call our law offices today for your free consultation at 205-251-9000, visit us in person, or send us a confidential message using our online form. All consultations are offered free of charge, and we work on a contingency fee basis.