Trains are some of the largest and heaviest transportation methods in the world. Used both for public transit and commercial transportation, crossing paths with a train in Houston is rather certain. If you’re traversing Houston on public transit, you’ll be familiar with the METRORail light rail system. Conversely, if you’re driving, you’ll undoubtedly come across train tracks and witness the behemoths that are locomotives. Due to the integration of trains into the Houston area, injuries from train accidents are becoming more common. In parts, the METRORail shares the road with normal cars, causing a significant risk of a collision. Additionally, workers for train companies, can be injured on the job when working with these trains.
Accidents involving trains are often catastrophic and result in debilitating injuries. Due to the mass of the trains, their immense energy is transferred to the unfortunate recipient which rarely results in a minor accident. If you have been injured in a train accident in Houston, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.
At Sherman Law Firm, we are devoted to helping those who have been injured be made whole. Through zealous advocacy and exceptional trial skills, we are able effectively and efficiently resolve personal injury cases to ensure that you receive the best outcome possible. If you have been injured in a train accident, please contact our office as soon as possible for a free consultation to discuss your available courses of action.
Do I have a claim from my train accident?
In typical fashion, the unfortunate answer is “it depends.” Whether you have a claim that will be successful depends on the specific facts of your incident and what can be proven in court. To successfully establish a train accident claim, you will be required to prove the four elements of negligence. Unlike criminal court which requires the burden of proof of “beyond a reasonable doubt,” civil court (where your train accident case will be filed) uses the burden of proof of “by a preponderance of the evidence.” The burden of proof in civil court is lower than that of criminal court and equates to “more likely than not.” Thus, you must prove the following four elements to the standard of more likely than note:
- The person or entity that you are suing owed you a duty of care;
- That person or entity breached the duty of acre;
- That breach of duty of care is the direct and proximate cause of your injury; and,
- Your injury resulted in actual damages which are being claimed.
Failure to establish any of the four elements will result in an unsuccessful claim.
Thus, the most important part of a successful train accident claim is identifying the party that is at fault and the damages that directly result from your injury. In train accident cases, the party at fault is most often the train conductor or driver. However, under the legal theory of vicarious liability, you are most likely to bring the suit against the company that operated the train. Vicarious liability states that an employer is liable for their employee when the employee is working within their scope of employment. Once the proper party has been identified, the next step is to identify the damages which may be claimed.
How will I be compensated?
Damages allow individuals who are injured by others receive the compensation that they deserve. Thus, if you have been injured in a train accident and suffered losses, you may be able to claim those losses as damages in court. The general categories of damages are identified below:
- Out-of-pocket medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering
Out-of-pocket medical expenses include any medical expenses that you incur as a direct result of the train accident. For example, if you are injured in the train accident and require an ambulance transport to the hospital and emergency treatment at the hospital, you may be able to claim the costs that you pay for those services as damages.
Lost wages include any wages that are foregone because of the train accident. If you’re injured in a train accident and are unable to return to work for a week, or are forced to receive lower pay because of a short-term inability to perform certain work, then you may be able to claim that lost money as damages.
Lost earning capacity is a long-term version of lost wages. If you are injured in a train accident and are unable to continue work in your profession or cannot further your income because of the injury, then that loss may be compensable as lost earning capacity. To illustrate, if Tom is a plumber and severely injured his back in the train accident, thus being unable to continue work as a plumber and take a lower paying job, the lost future earnings Tom would have received as a plumber may be claimed as damages.
Any personal property damaged in the train accident may be claimed as damages. If you were wearing a watch which was damaged, of if your car were damaged, then that damage may be claimed as personal property damage.
Finally, pain and suffering includes physical and emotional stress that is not financial in nature. Quantifying pain and suffering is exceptionally difficult and requires a skilled attorney. At Sherman Law Firm, we have the experience and knowledge necessary to ensure that you recover the maximum amount possible.
Contact Our Houston Train Accident Attorney
Train accidents are life-changing events. If you were injured in a train accident, you have a right to receive compensation for the losses and injuries that you’ve sustained. At Sherman Law Firm, we work tirelessly to ensure that your interests are protected, fiercely representing you against those responsible. If you have been injured in a train accident, please contact our office today for a free consultation.