Personal injury Library

What Obstacles Do Victims Face in Train Accident Lawsuits?

Your Texas train accident case will be full of obstacles that we can help you negotiate.

Whether you are injured while working for a railroad or in an accident involving a train, the obstacles to receiving compensation can seem like a lot to overcome. You have to deal with claim adjusters, the railroad company's insurance carrier hounding you, and of course the railroad's defense attorneys poking and prodding you for damaging information.

When dealing with a potentially debilitating injury, there is no need to try and take on all of these obstacles by yourself. An experienced train accident injury attorney can keep the defense lawyers at bay, help deal with unsavory insurance claim's adjusters, and prepare your injury case in the event that it needs to go to trial.

In this article our attorneys will address some of the obstacles in your case that may be keeping you from getting the compensation you deserve when you're injured in a Texas railroad accident.

Questions answered in this article:

  • How do we deal with claims adjusters?
  • What can I expect from the railroad's insurance company?
  • What tactics do the railroad's defense lawyers employ?
  • How will my attorney deal with these obstacles?

The railroad company's effort to skirt liability:

The railroad company in a perfect world would look at the facts surrounding your accident, apply a little logic, and make things right. But, with so much money at stake, the railroads will fight tooth-and-nail to keep every cent they can. Here are some of your opponents that stand in your way:

  • Dealing with the Independent Claims Adjuster:

    Working as an independent claims adjuster for railroads requires a very specific skill set. Not only does the third party claims rep need to be familiar with actuary tables and how insurance works, but he or she also needs working knowledge of the railroad industry. This person acts as a liaison between you and the railroad, on the railroad's behalf. In theory they consider the harm that has been done to you, research the typical jury award for that type of harm, then inform both you and the railroad as to what compensation you should receive. They consider the risk that was involved by both the victim and the railroad in causing the accident and determine the equitable benefits that should be paid to the victim.

    That's how the role of the independent claims adjuster should work in a perfect world. Unfortunately, this isn't a perfect world. In most cases, the independent claims adjuster will work for a small firm that specializes in dealing with railroad accidents. This firm may depend upon the railroad for its business, and the claims adjuster doesn't even know you. Given that, you can see how some unethical claims adjusters may attempt to short you compensation in order to remain on the good side of the train company and inspire repeat business. If he or she agrees to pay you an amount the railroad thinks is extravagant, then he or she probably won't get another call from the railroad for future jobs.

    On the other hand, some railroads may be reluctant to pay you any compensation at all after you've been injured or a family member has been killed in a train accident. They may try to prove that you were 100 percent to blame for the accident, for doing so allows them to escape liability completely.

  • Seeking Compensation from a Self-Insured Railroad:

    Just because a railroad doesn't buy an insurance policy from an insurance company, doesn't mean you're only option is to sue the railroad company following in a railroad accident. After a train accident, most people think that you would then file an insurance claim with the railroad. If the railroad company doesn't have insurance, then the railroad company will usually hire a third party claims representative. The claims rep is basically an independent insurance adjuster, who will consider the harm done in the accident and then determine what benefits you should receive.

    On the other hand, some railroad companies may not be so cooperative. With a self-insured company, it's not just like the company pays insurance premiums, and the insurance company is taking a loss by paying out compensation. The railroad is paying benefits out of its own assets, and in so doing, diminishing its own profits. As a result, some railroads may choose to go to court and try to prove the victim was predominantly responsible for their own accident and injuries.

    In other instances, the third party claims rep may not want to give you the damages your injuries or losses warrant. Remember, the rep's company is hired by the railroad, and they likely want to keep the railroad as a client. Preserving as much of the railroad's assets as possible is a good way of retaining business. On the other hand, if the claims rep pays more in benefits than the railroad thinks the harm merits, then the claims rep could be losing income right along with the railroad's assets.

    In order to protect your ability to be compensated, you need a time-tested train accident attorney on your side who has the experience to know when a benefits package is fair or just a ploy by the railroad company to protect its profits. If you need to go to court to be compensated, then your need for a competent lawyer skyrockets, as then you will need to prove the negligence and liability of the railroad to get the compensation you deserve. If you want to find the evidence you need and then use it to prove your case in court or force the railroad company to negotiate in good faith, then you're likely going to need a lawyer who has experience with train accident cases.

  • What tactics do the railroad's defense lawyers use?

    There are a number of ways that the defense lawyer defending the railroad or the Federal Railroad Administration can prevent you from recovering for your losses. There is an investigation process in place that the Federal Railroad Administration employs which will reveal information that it can use in support of it's case against you. The FRA permits the secretary of transportation or an authorized investigator to perform a thorough investigation of your claim that may require the production of records, exhibits, testimony, administering oaths, and even subpoenaing witnesses.

    This is one of the reasons that it is imperative that your injury claim and seek medical attention that shows that your injury was in fact caused by this particular accident. The need for medical attention cannot be overemphasized as you must show that there is a causal connection between this accident and this injury, this connection is crucial for your lawsuit to succeed. The Federal Railroad Administration employs highly skilled attorneys that specialize in proving that your accident is not one that warrants financial compensation and even that you may be faking an injury. When you file your report, do not be swayed by anyone who claims that your injury does not stem from the type of accident that is deemed 'reportable,' make sure you file it as soon as possible.

    The investigation will likely involve multiple interviews with you, from which they will claim you have been inconsistent in your responses. Be prepared for the defense to be presented that in fact this accident was your fault. They will argue that you failed to take heed of the warning signs that are strategically placed at railroad crossings to prevent any type of injury occurring. These types of injuries are anticipated by the railroad, and because of this they are prepared for any type of claim and have specialized counsel prepared to throw out any explanation or evidence you may have to show that your injury was caused by them.

  • How our train accident attorneys deal with these obstacles:

    We've been dealing with rail companies for over 25 years to get our clients the compensation they deserve. We have a team of professionals at the top of their field to assist you. Along with expert testimony, we'll make sure that all of your paperwork is properly filed and negotiate with the train company on your behalf so that you don't have to relive your accident over and over again. Giving you peace of mind is our goal in this process. You deserve every penny, don't let the railroad intimidate you with their tactics. Give us a call: (855) 326-0000 today. If we can't win your case, you don't owe us a cent.

    Related Articles For Further Reading:

    Prev Post Next Post