San Antonio Train Accident Lawyer
We are all well-aware that trains travel across our roadways. For the majority of drivers, trains are nothing more than a minor annoyance. People may complain about getting stuck at an intersection when waiting for a train to cross the roadway.
Thankfully, the reason drivers are not overly concerned about trains is that accidents involving large trains are so infrequent. However, on rare occasions, when accidents do happen, the results are almost always catastrophic. Statistics show that train accidents happen more often in Texas than any other state in the country. Drivers need to know their rights relating to train accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in a train accident, don’t hesitate to contact the personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of George Salinas for a free consultation.
How Do San Antonio Train Accidents Happen?
There are two basic types of train accidents: train derailments and train collisions. Although both types of collisions typically cause significant damage, the two are very different in how they develop and what they involve.
Train derailments happen more often than people recognize. Primarily, people are unaware because most train derailments do not involve passengers. The good news is, across the industry, there has been a 10 percent drop in the number of derailments in recent years. Derailments occur when a train loses contact with the railroad tracks it is traveling along. When the train loses contact with the tacks, the train cars can lose balance, tip over, and spill hazardous material or injure nearby vehicle occupants.
A train derailment may happen for a variety of reasons, including:
- Poor weather
- Conductor error
- Objects on the rails
- High speeds
- Vehicles on the railway
- Mechanical failures
- Poorly maintained rails
Regardless of what type of cargo the train is transporting, these accidents can cause serious injuries. For passenger trains, the dangers are obvious. Derailments can throw passengers about or from the train, which can, unsurprisingly, cause serious injuries. For freight trains, the damages are less direct. If a train is carrying hazardous material, a derailment can cause the material to spread, potentially contaminating nearby residential areas.
The statistics show that derailments are far more common than train collisions. However, per incident, collisions more often lead to far more injuries and fatalities. Again, trains that derail are often carrying freight, rather than passengers. Whereas collisions typically involve a pedestrian or passenger car. When a large freight train collides with a passenger vehicle or pedestrian, the chances for survival are low.
Collisions happen for a variety of reasons, including:
- Missing or damaged railroad crossings
- Conductor failure to signal before crossing a roadway
- Malfunctioning lights
- Mechanical issues
- Distracted driving
- Drivers stopping on or pushed onto tracks
Five Injuries Caused by San Antonio Train Accidents
Train accidents are different than any other type of accident. Trains outweigh any other vehicle on the road and often travel at high speeds. Due to their massive weight, trains can take up to one mile to come to a complete stop. Consequently, these accidents often result in serious, life-changing injuries.
Common train accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries: Traumatic brain injuries happen as the result of a penetrating wound or forceful blow to the head. When the train suddenly shifts, passengers do not have time to react and protect themselves from injury. Traumatic brain injuries can occur when a passenger is thrown against the interior of the train or luggage falls and impacts their head. Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury may include headaches, dizziness, loss of consciousness, confusion, and mood changes.
- Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries are the result of trauma to the spinal cord. The spinal cord transmits messages to and from the brain. As a result, an injury to the spinal cord can cause significant consequences for motor functioning. In most cases, spinal cord injuries result in permanent paralysis extending down from the point of injury.
- Burns: Burns can happen when a person comes in contact with a hot surface or after close contact with a fire or explosion. Victims may be burned when a train catches on fire, either because of the impact of the collision or because of the flammable material it is transporting. Burns can cause permanent and painful scars as well as mobility issues and disfigurement.
- Chemical exposure: According to the Department of Health and Human Services, about 4,300 shipments containing hazardous materials travel by rail every day. During a derailment or collision, these chemicals can leak or explode into the air, causing serious health issues for anyone nearby. Depending on the substance, the exposure could possibly extend for several miles. Chemical exposure may cause respiratory issues, skin issues, or cognitive issues.
- PTSD: People don’t often talk about the psychological effect accident victims can experience, but a train accident is a particularly scary event. It’s normal to feel a range of emotions after a major accident. But it’s not normal for these feelings to linger for months after the accident or interfere with your life. If you find yourself reliving the accident or having trouble sleeping, you may need to talk to a doctor about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Damages After an Accident
Train accidents don’t just happen. In almost all cases, they happen because of a mistake, carelessness, or negligence. When an accident happens because of someone else’s negligence, you deserve fair and just compensation. A personal injury claim can help you recover damages related to your injuries.
Damages may include:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment
- Wrongful death
Were You Injured in a San Antonio Train Accident? We Can Help.
A train accident can be a jarring experience. At a time like this, you want someone who will stand by you and guide you through the process. You need an attorney you can trust and who you know will fight for your rights.
At the Law Offices of George Salinas, our lawyers know how to fight a train accident claim. We’re here to help. To learn more about your rights, contact us today or dial (210) 225-0909 for a free consultation.