New Jersey Train Accident Lawyers
Representing those injured in NJ Transit and Amtrak accidents
Train accidents, while not as common as other public transportation crashes like bus accidents, can be far more catastrophic. Train crashes often result in numerous fatalities and personal injuries. Those who have suffered serious injuries in a train crash in New Jersey may not be sure how to go about getting compensation for their medical expenses, their pain and suffering, and other losses after the crash.
At Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP, our New Jersey train accident lawyers are here to help. We understand just how life-altering these crashes can be. We are here to help injured train passengers who are interested in pursuing compensation for their injuries after a train accident.
Common types of train crashes
Operating a train requires skill and extensive training. Unfortunately, even the most experienced train operators are susceptible to crashes. Like car accidents, trains accidents can happen in several different ways and for several different reasons. The following are some examples of the different types of train crashes that might occur:
- Head-on collisions. Single line trains unknowingly traveling on the same rail can collide into each other. Head-on collisionssuch as these, while thankfully rare, typically result in numerous fatalities and injuries. Sadly, many train accidents are often the result of oversights in scheduling or signalman errors. Since trains move very quickly and cannot see around turns, braking does very little to lessen the impact of a head-on collision.
- Buffer stop collisions. Buffer stops, or bumpers are devices placed at the end of railroad tracks that aid in bringing the train to halt. Conductor miscalculationin speed can cause the train to crash through these buffer stops, bringing it off the tracks. When trains derail, they can continue moving, causing damage to anything or anyone nearby. The train crash at the Hoboken Terminal, which resulted in one fatality and 108 injuries, was caused by the engineer’s fatigue because of undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea. It crashed into the buffer stop at the end of the track in the station in January 2017.
- Derailment. Many factors contribute to train derailments, with the most common being broken or cracked rails. Many rails are outside and exposed to the elements, meaning that they can break or crack more easily. When the gap in a cracked rail is wide enough, it can cause a passing train to go off its course. As with buffer stop collisions, derailed trains do not stop once they are off the tracks. Derailments in crowded areas can lead to pedestrian accidentsand significant property damage. You can also be injured if you are hit with moving objects as a result of the crash, such as laptop cases, luggage, or even other people.
- Defective design or mechanical defect. When civil engineers design defective bridges or poorly constructed tunnels, it can lead to disaster. Engineering designs that are done poorly or too hastily have been the cause of many train accidents in the past.
FELA and train crashes
Since New Jersey train conductors and railroad workers generally operate beyond state lines, typically traveling to New York and/or Pennsylvania daily, they are protected under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). FELA displaces the no-fault promise of New Jersey’s Workers’ Compensation laws and allows injured railroad workers to file claims against their employers when their injury was a result of negligence on the part of their employer, unsafe working conditions, or violation of certain federal workplace safety regulations.
A railroad employee injured in a train crash on a railway that traveled over state lines can file a suit against his/her employer under FELA. FELA cases let workers pursue damages for defective products and employer negligence.
Recovering compensation after a train accident injury in NJ
Filing an injury claim after a train accident is far different from working with the insurance company for the driver who caused the crash. You will benefit from having an experienced New Jersey train accident lawyer on your side who is familiar with the process of recovering compensation after a train accident.
When a train accident occurs, there is a cap on damager per accident. So, if 100 people are injured and one person dies, the injured people and the family members of the deceased all tap into the same funds. If your injury is not as severe as some of the other injured passengers, you may not be able to recover enough compensation to cover your medical expenses and your other losses. You can choose to settle your case or go to court. The skilled NJ train accident attorneys at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow will advise you about your legal options and what makes sense given the facts of your case.
What can a New Jersey train accident injury lawyer do to help your case?
We take on the legal burden of gathering evidence from the official accident investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, and we prepare a compelling case for your injuries and other losses. We file your complaint within the filing deadlines and we monitor developments in the case. As a common carrier, Amtrak, NJ Transit, or any other railroad owes a duty of care to the public to provide safe transportation. If the investigation reveals that the accident was a result of negligence, the railway company has breached its duty and is liable for the damages of the passengers who are injured.
The Federal Railroad Association reports that there were 433 train accidents in 2016 with 45 fatalities and 266 with non-fatal injuries.
At Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, we have the skills, experience, and resources to take on high-profile cases and win, but we never lose sight of our everyday clients who need our dependable services. We have the tenacity to see your case through to the end, and you are always kept informed about the progress of your case. Our-award-winning lawyers are accredited by the Better Business Bureau and each of our firm’s partners is a Certified Civil Trial Attorney, which is a designation granted by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. You are more than a case number to us, and we will fight for your best interests always.
Skilled NJ injury lawyers representing victims of train accidents
Being injured or losing a loved one in a train crash can be a life-altering experience. Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP can be the advocates you need. Our FELA trial attorneys have successfully represented railroad workers who have been injured due to employer negligence or defective manufacturing. Call our Red Bank, Toms River, or Edison offices at 732-777-0100 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with one our New Jersey personal injury lawyers.