San Francisco Train Accident Lawyer
Traveling by rail is popular in California and around the country. Many people commute by train each day, putting their safety in the hands of the rail company and train operators. Others take Amtrak’s Starlight route to traverse the west coast from Los Angeles to Seattle or the Capitol Corridor from San Jose to Sacramento. Whether riding the train is an ordinary part of your day or for a special occasion, you expect a safe journey. When something goes wrong and you find yourself hurt, or you lose a loved one in a train accident, you find yourself dealing with all sort of emotions and facing many questions. One of these questions may be whether you can sue. Depending on the circumstances, you may have a legal claim against the at-fault party. To learn more about your legal options, you should contact a San Francisco train accident lawyer at Willoughby Brod, LLP.Common Causes of Train Accidents
The potential causes of train accidents are as diverse as those of car accidents. Any number of factors or actions could take the train off course and cause serious harm. Some causes of train accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Conductor negligence, including fatigue, distraction, speeding, failing to brake early enough
- Negligent track maintenance, including broken rails and switches
- Defective equipment
- Broken train crossings/signal failures
- Mechanical failure
- Collisions with other trains, vehicles, or people
- Collapsed roads or bridges
If you were injured in a train accident, or you lost a loved one, you and your legal team will need to determine the cause of the accident. State and federal authorities will thoroughly investigate the accident, which will provide a great deal of information about what went wrong leading up to it. You may also need to take steps to find out more specific information from the business responsible for the train and/or the tracks. This requires working with an experienced train accident lawyer in San Francisco who understands how to best utilize the discovery process after filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.Who is Responsible?
Once you have information regarding why a train accident occurred and who was specifically responsible for the underlying cause of the accident, then your attorney may determine liability. In many cases, though, liability for a train accident clearly falls to the entity responsible for the train and/or tracks.
Various trains that run in the Bar Area include:
- MUNI Metro, run by the San Francisco Municipal Railway
- Bar Area Rapid Transit (BART), operated by San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District
- Caltrain, operated by TransitAmerica Services
- Altamont Commuter Express (ACE), run by the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC)
If the cause of the crash was the track and not the train, then another entity may be responsible. For instance, if you are injured in an Amtrak train accident, yet the accident was caused by a broken track, then Amtrak may not be liable since it does not own most of the tracks it uses. Your attorney would determine the business that owned and was required to maintain the track. To further discuss how to determine liability for a train accident, contact a train accident attorney in San Francisco as soon as possible.Filing a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Suit
After being hurt in a train accident, your focus is on getting better and getting back to your life. If you lost a loved one, your current purpose may be to keep your family together. Your mind may not be on accident investigations, liability, and lawsuits. However, these are topics you should discuss with an attorney as soon as you are ready.
Train accidents are commonly caused by negligence. If you were injured because of someone else’s negligence, then you may have the right to file a lawsuit and pursue damages. You may have the right to ask for compensation for your physical, psychological, and financial injuries. If you lost a relative, then your family may be able to pursue compensation for any remaining medical bills, burial costs, loss of their financial support, loss of their companionship, and your own mental anguish.Let a San Francisco Train Accident Attorney Help
If it has been a few days, weeks, or even months since being injured or losing your family member in a train accident and you have yet to talk to an attorney, it is time to call Willoughby Brod, LLP. You owe it to yourself and your family to learn about your legal rights and options. You may not be litigious, however filing suit is often the best way to hold the at-fault party responsible and obtain the compensation you need to move forward in life.
Call Willoughby Brod, LLP at (800) 427-7020 to schedule a free case evaluation.