Regardless of who drives the train, they are responsible for hundreds of passengers and property. However, as a result of human error and other factors. Train sometimes result into brutal legal cases. Where and if a railroad company is found culpable of an accident, the company can be held accountable for wrongful death or damages.
To bring up a lawsuit, victims of personal injuries and those of a wrongful death have up to two years to bring up the case, while those with damaged property have up to five years to bring a lawsuit. However, it is important to put several considerations into perspective before embarking on a lawsuit. Hiring an experienced lawyer or law firm is one of the considerations.
Additionally, several factors determine the value of a case, among them the severity of an injury, insurance limits available, the extent of pain and suffering and the legally available punitive awards.
In train accidents, the level of harm may be the most important factor considered in determining the value of a case. When cases are determined by this matrix, the estimated value is calculated about current and future medical costs of the injured person including rehabilitation, prescriptions and so on.
Victims who suffer from negligence or intentional conduct generally receive monetary compensation for the pain and emotional suffering and the per diem system is used to calcite their dues.
On the other hand, compensation for railroad employees uses a different settlement system, since many train workers are covered under the Federal Employers Liability Act.(FELA).The system offers an easier burden of proof that makes it recovering a lot more easier.
Generally, the train accidents follow the same civil claim system although they may involve many more injured parties than is the case in other injury suits. A lawsuit begins with the filing of a complaint in a court whose jurisdiction the accident falls in, The train company together with their insures then responds by filing defenses. The case then goes through the “discovery” period in which the parties exchange evidence. This is followed by the hearings and then pretrial motions, where the evidence to be admitted and debated. A trial then follows and if the railroad is found liable, the amount to be compensated is set.
The 1997 law passed by Congress set the law capping the overall liability for passenger rail accidents at $200 million. There have been many cases where damages have exceeded the limit.
The liability cap is also applicable to all passenger claims against rail carriers, high-speed railroad authorities as well as operators.
Getting an attorney is important in order to engage in thorough investigations and help identify the parties to be held liable and help you locate witnesses, assess and examine the damage among other important aspects of the lawsuit.
There is a wide range of train accidents including collisions, derailments on-board accidents, and mechanical failure. It is also common to have train accidents settled out of court as companies and state avoid lawsuits and negative media coverage. This kind of settlement also shortens the process and helps to avoid the lengthy processes and expenses involved. Settling a claim, further eliminates the possibility of a jury awarding a hefty lump sum. Out-of-court settlement gives one party the chance to give up the right to pursue any settlement. In some cases, the plaintiff can agree to perform a certain action.
Notably, the advancement in technology has led to an increase in speeds and subsequently an increase in the number of accidents. Train crashes are some of the work kind of auto accident because of the involvement of a large number of people.
The legal time frame for bringing up a lawsuit involving the train company is well stipulated by law. There are however several factors to consider in the bringing up a case for it to be highly formidable. Involving an attorney is imperative as is considering all the other options such as out of court settlements.
Although the law greatly helps to bar reckless behavior, train accidents still form some of the most expensive legal settlements. The plaintiff stands a great chance when the case has all facts well-presented but always consider that railroad companies set aside considerable amount of resources for settling cases.