Mobile, AL Railroad Injury Lawyer
The state of Alabama has been shaped by rail. Today, there are more than 25 freight railroads, as well as thousands of freight rail employees. While less common, Alabama also has a passenger rail line. While rail can be essential for moving goods, materials, and people, railroads are also dangerous places where accidents can and do occur.
At the office of the Fuquay Law Firm, our Mobile, AL railroad injury lawyer can support you if you’ve been involved in a railway accident, whether as an employee or not. Call our law firm today to learn more about how we can help.
Types of Railroad Accidents and Claim Types We Work On
Our railroad injury lawyer in Mobile has experience working on a wide variety of railroad injury claim types. Our lawyer is prepared to represent you in any of the following:
- FELA claims. Standing for Federal Employee Liability Act, FELA claims provide an avenue for rail workers who are injured on the job to seek compensation against their employers. These types of claims can be complicated and should be pursued with the help of an experienced attorney.
- Employee railyard injuries. In addition to FELA claims, our lawyer can also represent railyard employees in pursuing compensation through workers’ compensation (when applicable) or third-party liability claims.
- Train-motor vehicle collisions. In addition to accidents that involve employees but are isolated from the general public, another risk for rail lines is the potential of train-motor vehicle collisions. If a train and a motor vehicle collide, understanding who’s liable and who will pay for damages can be confusing.
- Train-train collisions. While rare, accidents that involve two trains are possible. When these types of accidents occur, operators/conductors, passengers, and those nearby (i.e. pedestrians or occupants of passenger cars in the proximity) may all suffer harm.
- Train-pedestrian collisions. One of the most tragic and severe types of rail incidents is one in which a pedestrian is hit by a train. If a train-pedestrian crash occurs, the pedestrian is likely to suffer fatal injuries.
- Train derailment accidents. Train derailments occur for many reasons, including rail defects, train defects, and operator negligence.
- Hazardous and toxic material claims. Acute accidents and injuries aren’t the only types of harm that rail workers are at risk of suffering; exposure to hazardous and toxic materials can be dangerous, too, leading to illnesses, disease, and injuries (i.e. chemical burns).
- Other railroad injuries. In addition to the above, our law firm also works on railroad injury cases stemming from operator negligence, security breaches, poorly maintained tracks, malfunctioning or missing railroad crossing signals, and more.
Serious Accidents Can Cause Serious Injuries
Trains are extremely large, weighing thousands of pounds. When a collision occurs, the force involved may be incomprehensible. As such, damages are often catastrophic and injuries very severe. Injuries that a railroad worker, driver, motor vehicle occupant, train passenger, or pedestrian may suffer as a result of a rail accident include:
- Spinal cord injuries. If enough force is involved in an accident, a person’s spinal cord could be damaged. This type of injury can result in permanent paralysis that is either partial or complete.
- Traumatic brain injuries. The head almost always is impacted in a serious accident, which can lead to a traumatic brain injury, such as a concussion.
- Bone fractures. Bone fractures occur when the bones (extremities) are crushed, twisted, or forced into unnatural positions.
- Crush and amputation injuries. A crush or limb amputation injury may be the result of an equipment or machinery accident, a collision, or a pedestrian crash involving a train.
- Fatal injuries. Because of the sheer size of trains and the amount of force involved in a crash, it is not uncommon for train accidents to be fatal, especially if the person involved isn’t protected by a motor vehicle (i.e. train-pedestrian and train-bicycle accidents).
- Psychological injuries. In addition to serious physical injuries, a person who is involved in a train accident or who witnesses a train accident may develop psychological injuries from the trauma. Examples of psychological issues that may develop following a train or rail accident include anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Types of Benefits Available Under FELA
When a worker files a claim for benefits under workers’ compensation, they can recover competition for the value of their medical expenses, as well as a portion of their lost wages if their injury is temporarily or permanently disabling. Under FELA, on the other hand, an employee who can prove that their employer’s negligence was the cause of their harm can recover compensation for the full value of their economic and noneconomic losses, including compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, etc. In this sense, FELA claims provide an advantage over workers’ compensation claims, the latter of which do not allow for the recovery of noneconomic damages, nor the full value of economic damages.
How to File a FELA Claim
If you believe that you have a right to damages under FELA, it’s critical that you understand the claims process and what steps to take to protect your right to compensation. The following provides a brief overview of the steps necessary to file a FELA claim:
- Notify your employer of the injury and ensure the property injury report forms are filled out in full;
- Get medical attention and treatment;
- Document as much as you can about the accident and your injuries, including how it happened, what you believe your employer did wrong, how much time you’ve missed from work, etc.;
- Cooperate with an investigation, which should be initiated by your employer after you file your injury report;
- Discuss a settlement with your employer.
Sometimes, an employer won’t want to open an investigation or a claim after you report an accident. For this reason, hiring a FELA attorney as soon as possible is strongly advised.
Liability for a Railroad Injury
When a railroad injury occurs, it is incredibly important to hire an attorney who can investigate your case and make a determination about liability or legal responsibility. In most cases, liability will depend on negligence – i.e., who failed to exercise the property duty of care which led to the accident? In some cases, liability may be based on relationship. For example, if a train conductor’s negligence was the cause of the crash, the train conductor themselves may not be held liable; instead, the train conductor’s employer may be held liable based on the employer-employee relationship.
Why Work with Our Railroad Injury Attorney?
As you navigate the railroad injury claims process and seek damages to pay for your injuries and losses, working with an experienced railroad injury attorney is important. At the Fuquay Law Firm, you can count on our railroad injury attorney, Richard W. Fuquay, to spearhead all of the following:
- Investigate your claim. The first thing that our attorney will do is open an investigation into your claim that seeks to determine exactly what happened, who acted negligently, and who should be held responsible. This process will likely involve hiring experts and accident reconstruction professionals.
- Prove fault and liability. Once our attorney has the necessary evidence and case background, the next step will be compiling information in a compelling way to prove the fault and liability of the responsible party.
- Determine the value of your case. In addition to proving fault, our lawyer will also work hard to calculate your losses and determine the value of your case. Then, we’ll issue a demand letter to the appropriate party.
- Negotiate your settlement. Once a demand letter has been issued, the insurance adjuster will likely counter with a settlement offer. You do not have to accept the first settlement offer; instead, it is recommended that you negotiate to reach a settlement that’s fair and fully compensates you.
- Bring forth a lawsuit on your behalf. In the event that a fair settlement cannot be reached, our lawyer will file a lawsuit on your behalf and argue your case in court.
Call Our Railroad Injury Attorney in Mobile Today
Being involved in a railroad accident may change your life. For the legal support you need, call the Fuquay Law Firm for your free consultation. Reach us at 251-473-4443 or send us a message online.