Traveling by train is commonly a good option among the passengers who want to have a faster ride yet economically wise one. But when the trip results in a wreck causing injury from a train accident, then nothing could really be said safe about it. It usually happens when there is a defect in the machinery or any of the vehicle's parts and when the driver is negligent or incompetent to operate the train.
This defect or negligent operation is the cause that drives the legal action of those who have been victimized by the circumstance, and what they will now seek is reasonable compensation for what they have suffered. Each passenger will incur expenses in hospitalization, work leave, and loss of support in case of wrongful death. Nevertheless, the problem here is that it is not easy to acquire the indemnity being asked for because it involves complicated court litigation before everything can be finally settled. Thus, securing it right after the accident is necessary but difficult. Here are the steps on how you should proceed:
- Consult an Attorney Immediately – it is necessary to have counsel immediately so you will be guided as to the proper steps to take in settling your case. Your lawyer may advise you either to negotiate with the other party to avoid unnecessary expenses or file the claim and let the court decide the matter. Just bear in mind, however, that you should hire a specialized attorney in personal injury claims because your case really requires specialty and competence in the area of railroad litigation; otherwise, you will be allowing the other party to take advantage of you.
- Gather Evidences and Talk to the Eyewitnesses – having photographs of the actual scene and testimony from the eyewitness counts a lot during the trial of your case. Such evidence will serve as proof of liability of the driver, the train company, or the manufacturers or suppliers of their materials. Although this is quite obvious to make and basic to consider since in train accident; there are usually many victims who can testify as to what really happened, but having your own independent investigation is something which could boost the possibility of your winning the case.
- Have a Copy of the Police and Medical Reports – the report of the police officers regarding the incident and your medical record can be used to support your claim as to the negligence of the driver or his company and the injuries or damages that you have sustained from the accident. Thus, even if you're still unable to have a copy of those essential documents, it may be better to have someone who can do it for you to avoid the hassle of obtaining the evidence which might make your claim compensable.
- Negotiate for Possible Settlement – if you have sustained only a minor injury, then it would really be impractical to elevate the matter onto the court. The settlement negotiation is, therefore, beneficial in your case since the train company would usually offer some reasonable settlement following the accident.
- File a Claim if Necessary – in the case where you were not able to settle the matter with the train company or if you have serious injuries such as a wrongful death claim, then it would really be wise to file your claim immediately. Just cooperate with your lawyer so you will know what is the most favorable decision to make considering the circumstances of your case.
There can really be no reason why you cannot secure reasonable compensation after a train accident if you only take the right steps. So never lose hope after a train accident and hire the right lawyer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Atty. Emery Brett Ledger, founder of The Law Offices of Ledger & Associates has been practicing law since 1998. Atty. Ledger graduated his bachelor's degree from Arizona State University in 1994 and his formal education in law at Pepperdine University School of Law in 1998. His works as a Personal Injury Lawyer are often acknowledged by various legal organizations.