Train accidents can involve both commuter and freight trains, as well as subway and elevated (known as the "L" or "El" in the Chicago area) trains.
These railway accidents can be caused by a range of factors. The accident may be the fault of the train company (also referred to as the transportation company), its employees, or the person or persons hurt in the accident. These injured people can include motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists and train commuters.
The transportation company employees can include railroad engineers, conductors, and security personnel. There are various reasons why these accidents caused by transportation employees can occur. These reasons include operator error, intoxication and/or drug use, human errors, equipment malfunctions, improper procedures, and other forms of negligence.
One of the ongoing possible hazards of train travel is the possibility of a train derailment. If a train derails, passengers and crew members can be seriously injured. There have been numerous train derailments in the Chicago area and throughout Illinois. Various derailments have included CTA trains. Some of these derailments involved one or more train cars leaving the tracks. In some severe derailments, the train cars can fall off an embankment. If the tracks are elevated over a roadway, there is the possibility of the train car or engine falling onto the roadway below.
In Chicago, there have been instances in which the train doors close on and/or otherwise entrap passengers. If these passengers are outside of the train and the train resumes its travel, these passengers can be dragged and injured during the train travel.
If the train accident is the fault of a person not employed by the transportation company or one of its employees, there can be many reasons why the accident can occur. For instance, one of the most common reasons for train accidents is if a motorist tries to drive around lowered railroad gates. In many cases a collision occurs between the train and the vehicle if the motorist is not successful in getting over the tracks before the train comes.
The same type of accident can occur if a pedestrian attempts to walk or run across the tracks when the railroad gates are lowered. In some of these instances - including those in the Chicago area - a critical question is whether or not the railroad track gates are properly operating. For instances, are the gates lowering at all, or are the gates not lowering quickly enough?
As far as subway or "L" accidents, there can be various reasons for accidents. One of the most common reasons for such accidents is if someone falls onto the tracks and gets hit by the subway train or "L" train.
Another cause of severe injury (and often fatality) is if the track is electrified. In many instances if a person touches the electrified portion of track (which can include the "third rail") the person can be electrocuted.
Injuries stemming from train accidents can range from minor to severe, and often include fatalities. Medical treatment required can vary significantly depending upon the injuries and the characteristics of the person injured. Train accident injuries can require treatment including extensive testing, hospitalization, medical procedures, surgeries, and rehabilitation.
In addition to the physical, mental and emotional trauma that occurs when someone is injured, there are often financial hardships that accompany such physical harm.
Among the financial hardships include the medical bills that are incurred from the medical treatment. Depending upon the type and severity of injuries, these medical bills can be significant if not substantial. Medical expenses can include the cost of treatment for past, present, and future medical care.
In addition to medical bills, another financial hardship is if the injured person has to miss work during the injury recovery period. If the person has to miss work, loss of income may occur. In some cases of severe injury and/or ongoing physical or mental impairment, the person may not be able to return to the same job held previous to the accident.
Often, those injured during a train accident that is not their fault seek injury compensation through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit. For those that have been fatally injured, a relevant person can seek to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the person who died.
While there are various reasons as to why a person may wish to file a personal injury lawsuit, one of the primary reasons is to get compensation for the medical bills that have been incurred.
Elman Joseph Law Group, LLC gets proven results for train accident clients by utilizing our operating experience gleaned over many (25+) years of handling personal injury cases. This experience allows us to know how much cases are worth and how to best go about getting the proper monetary award, whether it be through a settlement or courtroom verdict.
If you have been involved in a train accident, we will gladly provide an initial consultation to discuss your case. This consultation will be provided without charge.