Who Is Liable When a Train Hits a Car on the Tracks?

A train hitting a car on the tracks is catastrophic. It usually leads to serious injuries or fatalities, as well as property damage. However, it’s not always clear who is at fault for these kinds of accidents. If you’ve been involved in a collision where a train hit a car, keeping a few things in mind can help you understand your rights. 

Understanding Who’s at Fault

A train hitting a car is something that can occur for a variety of reasons. The answer to who is liable comes down to which party was negligent. 

The driver could be at fault if the accident investigation reveals there was reckless or negligent behavior on their part. If they failed to respect warning signals at crossings, if they tried to race the train, or if they were driving under the influence, they could be liable for the accident. Even being distracted when approaching a crossing can lead to accidents. 

The railroad company or train operator could be liable if the investigation into the accident reveals that there was negligence or a failure to follow safety restrictions while the train was in operation. These failures could include not sounding the horn and not applying the brake in a timely manner, as well as many other safety issues. 

The Liability with Manufacturers

Manufacturers can also be held liable if the collision occurred because of defective equipment. That can include manufacturers of warning signals, railroad crossing gates, and many other mechanisms in place to keep trains and other vehicles safe. 

If a driver gets stuck on the crossing and calls emergency services but they’re late at responding, they may also carry some of the liability. 

In some instances, there may be more than one party found negligent. If a driver was distracted as they approached the crossing, and the train operator neglected safety protocol, they could both be liable. 

Proving Liability

Because of the complexity of these kinds of cases, and because of the comparative negligence laws in California, proving who was at fault is important. Even parties who are found at fault can receive some compensation, but that requires having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. 

A personal injury lawyer will gather the necessary evidence to prove your claim and fight for your rights against other parties. The right lawyer will be able to negotiate with insurance companies to get you the compensation you need to cover medical bills and property damage. 

The Importance of an Expert Witness

Another important thing personal injury lawyers provide is contact with expert witnesses who can recreate an accident and speak knowledgeably about your injuries or property damage. 

Personal injury lawyers are also experienced in litigation. This means that if you’re not receiving fair treatment, they can take your case to trial. They have the knowledge necessary to represent you so that you have the best chance of getting the right compensation. 

Train Accidents: Depending on Personal Injury Lawyers

Personal injury lawyers are vital in helping you file for damages after being in an accident that was someone else’s fault. Even when you are partly to blame, an attorney in California could still get you compensation. 

At Saeedian Law Group in Los Angeles, CA, we offer representation for those who’ve suffered injuries and property damage after being in an accident involving a train hitting a car. With the right team by your side, it’s easier to get fair treatment from insurance companies and the other parties involved. 

Call us today at Saeedian Law Group in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, CA, to schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer.