Filing a Claim Against Amtrak After Injury
The last thing you expect when you walk onto an Amtrak train is to suffer a serious injury in some kind of accident. Yet this is the reality for hundreds of passengers every year. In 2018, the Federal Railroad Administration recorded 1,870 train accidents in the U.S. These accidents caused 200 nonfatal injuries and eight deaths. California alone had 100 train accidents in 2018 – the third highest accident rate in the country. If you suffer an injury on an Amtrak passenger train, find out how to file a claim.
Seek Medical Care
Before you file an train injury claim, get medical care immediately following the accident. Delaying your doctor’s visit could ultimately hurt your claim. Tell an authority figure on the train that you suffered an accident and injury. If you were in a serious accident, such as a train collision, make sure someone calls the police. Request an ambulance if you have severe injuries. Even if you do not think you have injuries, tell authorities you will not be sure until you have seen a doctor. Telling police you do not have injuries can make it more difficult to obtain compensation if you discover injuries later.
Determine the Cause of the Accident
After you receive treatment for your personal injuries, start gathering information about the Amtrak train accident. Statistics show that train derailments are the most common type of train accident. Human factors are the most common cause of train accidents. Human errors such as navigation mistakes, speeding, or improper train operation could cause a vessel to derail. Other common accidents include collisions and onboard accidents, such as slip and falls.
- Human mistakes
- Equipment failures
- Unsafe track conditions
- Signal causes
- Rail yard accidents
Determining who or what caused your Amtrak passenger train accident is one of the first steps toward filing a claim. You or your attorney will need the identity of the defendant to bring the initial lawsuit. The demand letter will need to name the defendant(s) and list their most recent addresses. If you need help identifying what caused the accident, hire a personal injury law firm to investigate for you.
Bring Your Claim
In California, you have two years from the date of your Amtrak train accident or discovery of your injuries to file a personal injury lawsuit. Do not delay. Missing your deadline generally means forfeiting your right to seek compensation. Before your deadline passes, file an official injury claim with the court in the county where the accident occurred. A court clerk can help you fill out the appropriate paperwork for a small claim. If your damages exceed the limit for small claims court, use an attorney to assist you. An attorney can help you fight for fair results.
Fight for Compensation
An Amtrak train accident could cost you thousands of dollars in medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages – not to mention significant noneconomic damages. In California, you have the right to file a civil claim in pursuit of damage recovery. A successful claim could result in payment for many different types of damages.
- Lost wages
- Lost capacity to earn
- Medical costs
- Disfigurement or disability
- Lost quality of life
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional distress
Hiring a lawyer is the best way to fight for the compensation you require after a major train accident. An attorney can review your case, honestly evaluate your damages, and file a claim against one or more defendants on your behalf. A lawyer can then use aggressive negotiation tactics to force an insurance company to offer more for your claim. If that does not work, your accident lawyer can take your lawsuit to court. Using an attorney during your Amtrak passenger train accident case can allow you to focus on healing while someone else fights for compensation.