While everyone knows railway crossings are hazardous and you should never try to outrun a train, there are notable times when the driver isn’t at fault and SEPTA is actually responsible for a crash. If you are ever harmed when a car and train collide, there are important steps to take to protect your legal rights and hold the at-fault party responsible for your injury.
Determining Fault in a Pennsylvania Car Train Accident
First and foremost, everyone involved in the collision should seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Injuries are likely to be catastrophic in train crashes and the possibility of fatalities is high. After visiting the ER for a full checkup, your next step should be to retain legal counsel that has a track record of pursuing litigation against transportation companies like SEPTA.
Your lawyer’s job is to prove who was specifically liable for the accident and owes you damages. That requires using evidence like video footage, accident reconstruction experts, eyewitness testimony, employment information, medical documentation, police reports, and more. There are several potentially at-fault parties.
- Manufacturers. Faulty train components or in some cases even faulty parts on the vehicle that collided with the train could be responsible for the collision.
- Engineers and conductors. Railway employees have a basic duty of care to uphold to keep drivers safe and avoid accidents. Negligent conductors may ignore that duty and cause a crash.
- SEPTA or other railway owners. In some cases, the root cause of the accident was a failure to provide proper training, lack of proper lighting or functioning barriers at crossings, or even improperly maintained track.
- Third-party workers. Contractors or maintenance crews may have left hazards on the track or failed to repair safety features at a rail crossing.
Because of the strong possibility of permanent injuries or even wrongful death in a train collision, SEPTA and other railway operators will often fight to pay less than you deserve. An experienced attorney can represent you in court and while dealing with insurance to seek compensation for:
- Amputations, disfigurement, and other permanent injuries
- Medical bills
- Future healthcare and therapy costs
- Lost wages during recovery and in the future
- Wrongful death funeral costs
- Non-economic damages covering pain and suffering
Talk to an Experienced Railroad Crossing Accident Attorney
From malfunctioning equipment to negligent behavior on the part of a train conductor, there are many ways drivers can become seriously injured at railroad crossings. Heslin Law Firm wants to hear more about your accident to find out if we are the right fit to investigate the collision and help you seek compensation.