Confidential Settlement: 20-Year-Old Struck and Killed by a Johnson County School Bus -- Read more

How a Railroad Accident Lawyer Proves Liability

Aug 23, 2023

Railroad accidents are truly devastating. These heavy vehicles can carry freight, dangerous chemicals, and passengers. They are effective ways to move large amounts of goods and people, but they are dangerous when mishandled. After a train crash, you need a train accident lawyer to investigate the cause of the crash and to pursue the maximum compensation you are owed.


At The Spence Law Firm, our railroad accident lawyers have extensive experience with these types of cases. We will analyze your case after a railroad injury and seek to prove monetary damages.

Who Is Liable in a Train Accident?

Train accident victims are often left asking who is at fault for their injuries. Determining the liable party is a critical part of any personal injury case. If they were negligent, the following parties can be at fault in a train accident:

The Railroad Company

The railroad company owns the train, the train cars, and may be responsible for the train tracks as well. This is a lot of responsibility, and too many companies fail to protect your safety. These companies often fail to train their operators and other employees in proper safety procedures or other aspects of their job that can lead to an accident.

Insurance companies representing the railroad company may also be liable in a train accident. If the insurance company is required to cover the accident under the applicable policy, it may be a responsible party in the train accident case. Insurance companies often try to deny coverage, especially with self-represented plaintiffs. However, a skilled train accident lawyer is familiar with these tactics and how to combat them.

The Railroad Employees

Human error is one of the most common causes of train accidents. Railroad employees are usually at fault for this human error. Their mistakes may be caused by the following:

  • Insufficient training or supervision of the employee by the railroad company
  • Exhaustion from long working hours
  • Drug or alcohol intoxication
  • Distracted while operating the train
  • Failure to follow safety procedures

If an employee caused your injuries, their employer is likely responsible under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior. This legal term means that the employer is responsible for its employees' actions when they are working within the scope of their job. A train accident attorney understands when this legal doctrine applies and how helpful it can be in winning compensation claims.

Equipment Manufacturers

Equipment manufacturers are responsible for creating safe products that operate as expected. Train manufacturers and manufacturers of train parts are expected to design and construct safe products. Their negligence can cause serious injuries that lead to economic and non-economic damages. The manufacturer may be liable for these damages in train accident litigation.

A products liability case may be appropriate in these instances. This type of lawsuit holds manufacturers responsible for their negligent designs, manufacturing defects, or failure to warn of known dangers relating to their products.

Government Agencies

Several government agencies may also be responsible for your harm. These oversee critical safety aspects of trains and are supposed to enforce railroad regulations. Their failure to do so may create legal liability and entitle you to compensation from them.

Government agencies are sometimes difficult to sue as certain legal protections guard them. However, a qualified railroad accident lawyer knows how and when a government agency is appropriately liable for your damages.

How Does a Railroad Accident Lawyer Prove Liability?

A railroad accident attorney can investigate your case and seek to prove who is liable for your injuries. To prove liability, the accident attorney must show that the defendant was negligent in causing your injuries.

The Four Elements of Negligence

You and your attorney must prove negligence in a railroad accident claim. To do so, a railroad accident lawyer must show that the railroad company, railroad employee, equipment manufacturer, or government agency owed the victim a duty of care. The lawyer must also show that the party breached that duty of care. Most railroad companies have a duty to protect their passengers, employees, and others near the train from harm. A defendant's breach is often proven by determining the cause of the accident, such as improper train maintenance or human error.

The lawyer must then show that the breach of duty caused the victim's injuries. They must demonstrate that the victim suffered damages due to the injuries. Your attorney must connect the defendant's actions with your harm. They must also prove specific financial costs you suffered from the accident. When this proven, you may be owed compensation such as:

  • Past and future medical costs
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Lost income or earning capacity
  • Property damages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Wrongful death damages

Gathering Evidence

Gathering evidence is a critical part of any railroad injury claim. A skilled attorney understands the most effective techniques to obtain the evidence you need. To investigate your claim, your attorney can:

  • Speak with witnesses to the accident
  • Review police reports
  • Analyze train accident reconstruction reports
  • Work with expert witnesses to investigate and prove liability
  • Take depositions of railroad officials, train owners, and employees
  • Compile your medical evidence to prove injuries and costs
  • Speak with you and your family to learn about the accident's impact on your life

These are just a few examples of what a train accident attorney can do in your case. Many law firms lack the experience to handle these unique cases. They may handle car accidents and other personal injury lawsuits, but train accidents require special skill and knowledge to gather the necessary evidence.

Hire an Experienced Attorney for Your Case

At The Spence Law Firm, our highly experienced train accident attorneys are here for you. We understand the devastating impact these disasters can have on your life, finances, and mental health. Our team is dedicated to compassionate representation of your case while vigorously pursuing accountability from the responsible parties. We know how to investigate your claim and pursue the compensation you are owed in a Wyoming train accident case.

If you were hurt in a railroad accident, we are ready to help. Contact us today online or call 844-520-4622 for an initial consultation of your case.

Schedule a free consultation with The Spence Law Firm, LLC

Meet with us.

If you are struggling with a serious injury, or are fighting against seemingly impossible odds against big corporations, insurance companies or the government, call us to speak with our team of trial lawyers who will fight for you. We take no fee unless we earn it by winning your case.