Whether traveling across the city or between counties, Floridians have typically relied on personal cars or mass-transit buses as a means to get around. With the introduction of Virgin Trains USA (formerly Brightline) in 2017, a privately-run express train service, people can catch an express train that connects Miami to West Palm Beach. Coupled with the continued use of the Tri-Rail system throughout South Florida, more people are choosing trains as their method of travel.
While trains offer the added convenience of quick travel, the increased usage can pose dangers to passengers, as well as other people on the roads. With Florida now ranked as sixth in the nation for railroad crossing accidents, injuries are on the rise. Train accidents can pose unique challenges in that there could be many factors that contributed to an accident. People who were injured or families who have lost loved ones in a train accident should seek the help of a Miami train accident attorney. They will review the circumstances around the accident and help you to navigate through your options for recovering damages. If you or a member of your family was involved in a train accident, contact the Miami train accident attorneys Wolfson & Leon for help. During your free consultation, we can answer your questions and advise you of your legal rights. Call us today at (305) 285-1115.Where Do Train Accidents Happen?
A train accident can happen wherever their tracks run. They can occur at intersections where cars or people are crossing or at train stations where people are getting on or off trains. Many times, accidents involving pedestrians happen in lower-income or urban neighborhoods, where tracks are more likely to be.What Causes a Miami Train Accident?
Train accidents can result from a variety of reasons. Some of the most common include;
- Conductor mistake – If a conductor is distracted, speeding, or operating the train in a reckless manner, this could lead to an accident. Other times, they may forget to alert cars or pedestrians when they are coming up to an intersection or a station.
- Malfunctions – In some cases, cautionary lights or devices that are designed to alert drivers or pedestrians when a train is approaching an intersection may not work properly. This can lead to cars or people getting hit when crossing over railroad tracks.
- Equipment failures – Trains are made up of multiple parts that can malfunction or fail. Engines, brakes, or the tires of railway vehicles can break or fail. A fire may start if oil or coolant leaks or electrical cables break.
- Lack of maintenance – The Department of Transportation requires trains to undergo inspection throughout the year. If problems are detected but not fixed or the train isn’t inspected at the times that it should be, this can lead to equipment failure. Similarly, if regular maintenance is not conducted, parts on the train may break.
- Mechanical failures – An accident may also occur if the condition of the tracks is poor. Broken welds or damaged rails can cause a train to go off the tracks, causing injury to those on board as well as cars or pedestrians nearby.
Passengers may also be hurt while they are travelling. Floors that are slick or have debris can result in people slipping and falling. Steps or train platforms that are slippery can also cause people to fall when getting on and off a train.Why Call a Miami Train Accident Attorney?
Accidents involving trains pose special issues for victims who are injured. Train companies may be negligent in their responsibilities if they failed to ensure that equipment was inspected and operating as it should. They may bear some responsibility if spilled liquids or aisle-way debris that were not cleaned up in a reasonable period of time, causing someone to slip and fall. A train company, as well as the driver, may bear responsibility if the train was not operated in a safe fashion. Driver distraction or impairment can also play a factor in an accident. Companies that maintain the tracks or external safety equipment may share some of the burden if they break or malfunction.
In some cases, the cause of an accident may not be evident and require further investigation. Even if driver or passenger error played a role in the accident, it does not mean that an injury victim or their family does not have rights. A Miami train accident lawyer helps victims of train accidents and their families to identify the cause of the accident and factors that may have contributed to it. A personal injury attorney can help you to build a case and file a claim for damages if appropriate. They will work with railway companies such as Brightline or Amtrak, and their insurance companies, to negotiate a settlement on your behalf. If the matter cannot be settled at the negotiation table, they will represent your rights against these big companies in a court of law.Miami Personal Injury Lawyers Helping Train Accident Victims
For over 55 years, the Miami train accident injury attorneys at Wolfson & Leon have helped injured victims to recover monetary damages when they’ve been hurt in a train accident. We provide accident victims and their families with complete legal representation in the event of an injury or death resulting from a train accident in Miami. Your first call is always free and you never pay us a fee unless we settle your case. Call (305) 285-1115 today for your free consultation.