Texas Train and Railroad Accident Attorneys

Experienced Railroad and Train Injury Attorneys

Train and railroad accidents usually fall into one of two categories: those involving railroad employees injured on the job, and those involving non-rail workers injured in a train accident. Whether the accident involves a railroad employee, train passenger, or innocent motorist, the results are often swift and catastrophic.

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Railroad Worker on-the-job Injuries

Railroad workers include those involved in railroad construction as well as those working on the train itself. These workers are protected under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), which mandates that workers injured or killed on the job are entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering resulting from the accident. These accidents can be caused by:

  • Improper supervision
  • Human error
  • Poor working conditions
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Hazardous equipment
  • Equipment failure
  • Inadequate safety measures
  • Failure to follow safety regulations

According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), approximately 12 railroad workers were killed each year between 2013 and 2016. Approximately 3,924 railroad workers were injured each year in the same time period.

Common Causes of Train Passenger Injuries

Train passengers can be injured or killed when the train they are on is involved in a collision. These accidents can be caused by:

  • Conductor negligence
  • Mechanical failure
  • Outdated train tracks
  • Poor track maintenance
  • Train derailment
  • Defective automatic warning devices
  • Collision with a vehicle
  • Collision with another train

Non-passengers at Risk of Severe Injuries

Other motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians can also be injured or killed as a result of a train accident. In 2014, there were 2,088 accidents that occurred at a highway-railroad crossing intersection. These incidents can be caused by:

  • Driver error
  • Conductor negligence
  • Defective automatic warning devices
  • Defective rail crossing signs
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Your Train Accident Questions Answered

We have straight answers to difficult questions to help you make critical decisions, navigate legal process and help you get justice.

Following a train accident, there are always more questions than answers. At Thomas J. Henry, we’re here to answer any questions you have about your injury case.

In the United States, “commercial vehicle” is a pretty broad term. Many times, when a layman thinks of a commercial vehicle, they think of a delivery truck or an 18-wheeler; however, in the United States, commercial vehicles can also include fleet vehicles, passenger transports, company cars, and other vehicles used for business.

In the United States, a vehicle may be considered a commercial vehicle if:

  • It is titled or registered to a company or a corporation.
  • Is used for business, but is under the name of a sole proprietor for that business.
  • Is a leased vehicle and in the name of the financial institution that owns it.
  • Exceeds a certain weight or class, even if it is not used commercially or company-owned. Generally, any vehicle with a weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more is considered a commercial vehicle, regardless of use or ownership.
  • Is used in the transportation of hazardous materials.

Note that a vehicle used for business may remain privately licensed depending on the amount of time it is used for business.

Among the commercial vehicles that most occupy public roadways are:

  • Large trucks
  • Box trucks
  • Delivery trucks
  • Semi-trucks
  • Tractor-trailers
  • Travel trailers exceeding 10,000 pounds
  • Large vans (intended to carry more than 15 passengers)
  • Taxicabs
  • Coaches
  • Buses
  • Heavy equipment (backhoes, bulldozers, large farm equipment, etc.)

Commercial vehicle and truck accident cases can be complex because there are multiple parties that could be held liable for your injuries, including the vehicle’s driver, the company that owns or operates the commercial motor vehicle, or the vehicle’s manufacturer.

Companies are generally responsible for the actions of their employees. Unqualified management of a commercial vehicle fleet could lead to unqualified drivers. Employers may be liable for:

  • Failure to properly train drivers
  • Failure to maintain vehicle
  • Negligent hiring practices
  • Failure to verify proper driver licensing or certification
  • Negligent supervision

Deciding who to sue (and where to sue) largely depends on the facts surrounding your case and how the accident was caused. An attorney with experience handling commercial vehicle accidents understands how to determine who the negligent party is.

Thomas J. Henry has helped victims in commercial motor vehicle accidents stand up against large companies and corporations and get them the compensation they deserve. When up against a law firm with extensive legal and financial resources and a proven record of winning big cases, companies are more apt to offer an appropriate settlement amount.

As long as the truck driver is an employee of a commercial vehicle or trucking company, your lawsuit will seek damages from both the driver as well the company who employs the driver. Texas law is very clear on this, stating that commercial vehicle companies are responsible for the negligent actions of their employees.

In addition to being responsible for driver negligence, commercial vehicle companies are also responsible for ensuring:

  • Their drivers have obtained and maintained proper licensing to operate a commercial vehicle
  • Their drivers have not committed any disqualifying criminal offenses that would compromise their CDL
  • Their drivers understand they are prohibited from using handheld devices while driving
  • Their drivers are in compliance with hours of service regulations at all times
  • Their vehicles are properly maintained and inspected regularly

Failure to adhere to these regulations or any others coded in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA) can result in a trucking company being held responsible for your injuries.

In some cases, your attorney may decide it is best for you to sue the trucking company only and not the driver.  This is because you are seeking compensation for your injuries and any other damages. While you may want to bring the driver to justice, limiting your lawsuit to the company might be the most financially viable action and the most likely to help you in your recovery.

Depending on the size of the commercial motor vehicle and the severity of the wreck, injuries can widely vary. For example, a crash involving an 80,000 lb. semi-truck and a passenger vehicle could result in catastrophic injuries or death. Common commercial vehicle accident injuries include:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Soft tissue injuries (such as whiplash)
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Psychological and mental injuries

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No matter the injury or the accident, if you or a loved one were harmed due to the negligence of an individual or company, Thomas J. Henry is here to assist you.

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