The train business is a big player in West Virginia and it always has been. In fact, it is such a big part of our history that the B&O railroad was operating its railways in West Virginia territory back in the 1840s before West Virginia was even established. B&O’s tracks arrived right here in what we now know as Wheeling in the early 1950s. West Virginia has almost 2,300 miles of freight railroad tracks on which our rail passenger services are also operated.
Railroad travel is generally known to be safe, but as our Wheeling train accidents attorneys know, train accidents do happen and people are injured and sometimes killed as a result. Big train accidents, like the Amtrak carrying Republican lawmakers to West Virginia for a retreat, make headlines and we all hear about them, especially when there are a number of resulting injuries and fatalities. But it is the smaller train accidents and injuries not covered by the news that we often do not hear about. Train accidents and injuries occur in a number of scenarios including these described below:
Depending on the actual cause of the train accident, there are several parties who may be liable including the train owner, the track owner, parties responsible for maintaining the tracks and train, the train operator, the train operator’s employer, and anyone else who may have caused the accident such as a motor vehicle driver who ignored warning signals and failed an attempt to beat the train across the tracks.
It is necessary to understand the true cause of the accident before a claim for recovery can be made against another party. Investigating a train accident to determine fault and liability may include looking at things such as the train’s compliance with rules and regulations, safety and maintenance reports, employee hiring and training practices, and whether or not the train had important safety devices and if they were in working condition.
Once the cause of the train accident has been determined, it is time to start dealing with insurance companies. Often one insurance company will point fingers at another party, which starts a chain reaction of potential defendants and their insurance companies blaming each other for causing the accident.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a train accident, contact a Wheeling train accidents attorney at Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman. We understand train accident law and we know how to successfully deal with insurance companies. We will work your case from every angle in order to see that you are fully and fairly compensated for your injuries and damages.