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Milwaukee Train Accidents Lawyer


Amtrak’s Hiawatha train makes 14 trips daily (Monday - Saturday) between Milwaukee and Chicago and 12 on Sunday. The Hop, Milwaukee’s streetcar, ferries passengers by rail from Milwaukee Intermodal Station downtown to the Lower East Side and Historic Third Ward neighborhoods every day. While most train trips are uneventful, train accidents that cause injury and death are more common than you might think.

If you have been injured on an Amtrak train or The Hop, on a train platform or tracks, in a car hit by a train or at Milwaukee Intermodal or the Mitchell Airport train station, you should have your accident independently investigated if it was not your fault. Anyone injured in an accident caused by a train operator’s negligence or recklessness is legally entitled to full compensation for his or her injuries.

Amtrak’s Hiawatha train makes 14 trips daily (Monday - Saturday) between Milwaukee and Chicago and 12 on Sunday. The Hop, Milwaukee’s streetcar, ferries passengers by rail from Milwaukee Intermodal Station downtown to the Lower East Side and Historic Third Ward neighborhoods every day. While most train trips are uneventful, train accidents that cause injury and death are more common than you might think.

If you have been injured on an Amtrak train or The Hop, on a train platform or tracks, in a car hit by a train or at Milwaukee Intermodal or the Mitchell Airport train station, you should have your accident independently investigated if it was not your fault. Anyone injured in an accident caused by a train operator’s negligence or recklessness is legally entitled to full compensation for his or her injuries.

Types of Train Accidents Our Milwaukee Lawyers Investigate

An Amtrak train accident lawyer at Gruber Law Offices can investigate the circumstances of a train accident, determine its cause and identify those that should be required to compensate you for your losses. Our attorneys can estimate your costs and losses related to your train crash injuries and lost income and demand the full compensation you need.

There are several common types of train accidents, any of which may cause serious injuries or fatal injuries. They include:

  • Railroad crossing accidents involving a car hit by a train
  • Train derailments
  • Train collisions
  • Falls caused by abrupt stops and starts
  • Slip and fall accidents on trains, train platforms or in train stations
  • Runaway or rollaway equipment
  • Electrical shocks and explosions
  • Fires
  • Toxic or hazardous material spills in derailments
  • Rail employee exposure to toxic or hazardous materials.

The Federal Railroad Administration says 94 percent of all rail-related fatalities and injuries occur at railroad crossings, which includes people and vehicles on tracks and derailments caused by poorly maintained rail grades.

Train accidents, like other vehicle accidents, can cause death or serious injuries, including:

Loss of limbs
Smoke inhalation.
Burns
(including from fire, caustic chemicals or electrical shock)

Train accidents, particularly derailments that lead to spills of hazardous waste or other toxic cargo, can damage real property and require expensive cleanup.

Common Causes of Train Accidents

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating the probable cause of passenger rail accidents. In rail accidents with multiple injuries, the NTSB sends a multi-member investigative team and takes over most aspects of the accident site. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) also investigates about 100 train accidents a year, including any resulting in the deaths of railroad employees or contractors.

Train accidents may be caused by any combination of events related to human error, failure to meet safety standards, equipment failure or track obstruction. These include:

 

Train Operation / Human Error

Many railway accidents are caused by human error. In 1,878 train accidents in 2018, the Federal Railroad Administration cited “human factors” in nearly 37 percent of the train accidents.

Engineers or conductors may be distracted from their duties by cellphone use or impaired by fatigue, alcohol or drugs. These issues lead to problems with:

  • Train handling, i.e., engineer’s action (recklessness) or failure to act (negligence).
  • Improper train speed, such as running too fast approaching a curve, a crossing, a steep grade, or entering a station.
  • Improper use of brakes or not braking in a timely manner.
  • Train makeup (number of cars) and/or improper loading. The weight and length of a train has implications for speed, rounding curves, and stopping.
  • Signals and communication, including operational failure or incorrect signaling.
  • Main track authority.


Track, Roadbed and Structure

The weight and movement of trains, particularly freight trains loaded with heavy commodities, can damage the infrastructure that train travel relies on. The condition of railroad tracks was cited as a contributing factor in 29 percent of train accidents in 2018. A lack of maintenance or, in some cases, design flaws may lead to accident-inducing problems in:

  • Roadbed
  • Track geometry
  • Rail joint bar and rail anchoring
  • Frog, switches and track appliances
  • Highway-rail grade crossings
  • Other way and structure problems.


Mechanical and Electrical Failures

Trains, railroad signals and rail junctions run on complex mechanical and electrical systems. Signal and equipment issues were found in 17 percent of train accidents in 2018. Problems that may cause or contribute to a train or rail accident may be due to malfunctions in:

  • Brakes
  • Train car bodies
  • Coupler and draft systems
  • Trailer or container on flatcar
  • Track components
  • Axles and journal bearings
  • Wheels
  • Locomotives
  • Doors
  • General mechanical / electrical systems failure.


What to Do If You Are Injured by A Train in WI

Due to the weight and speed of passenger trains, many railroad accidents are catastrophic. If a train hits a car, motorcyclist, or pedestrian at speed, or even as it tries to brake, a fatality is almost certain.

A train derailment can kill or seriously injure passengers onboard and anyone in close proximity to the crash and cause extensive property damage. Accidents such as a slip and fall at a train station or on a lurching train car may cause serious injuries too.

Train Accident Lawsuits

Train Accident Lawsuits

Accidents involving individuals in a train station or on a platform may be reviewed and analyzed by local authorities. Train derailments and collisions are major incidents. An Amtrak train accident or other interstate railroad accident will be investigated by the NTSB and possibly the FRA, in addition to the initial response by local police.

The aftermath of a Milwaukee train accident may be complex and involve multiple agencies. Determining what happened and why can be a complicated undertaking requiring specialized forensic knowledge to reconstruct the accident and analyze multiple sources of information. The investigation into a major accident may take a year or longer. If numerous people are injured, legal claims may be combined as a class action lawsuit.

It is best to contact an experienced Milwaukee train accident lawyer as soon as possible after suffering a serious injury or the death of a loved one in a train accident of any kind.

Our personal injury attorneys at Gruber Law Offices in Milwaukee can respond promptly to protect your rights and interests. We can investigate the train accident and prepare a claim for you. We can ensure that you are properly represented in the aftermath of a federal train accident investigation, including in a legal claim against the government or third parties implicated by investigation results.

Train Accident Lawsuits

Compensation Claims After Train Accidents

If an accident and resulting injuries occurred because of the railroad’s negligence, such as failure to provide adequate training, equipment or safe conditions, the railroad may be held liable for failing to keep the public or its employees safe.

Governmental agencies that offer train service are liable for the safety of their passengers. When a train accident occurs, the agency can be held accountable. Third parties, such as manufacturers and product or service vendors, can be held liable if their negligence contributed to a railroad accident.

Under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), the government is obligated to protect and compensate railroad workers injured on the job if the worker can prove that the injury was at least partly caused by the railroad’s negligence. Local rail and station employees may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits after suffering an injury on the job.

Our professional railroad accident investigators have the experience and know-how required handle complex train accident cases. We know how to connect the dots and establish responsibility for an accident, with or without the government concluding that specific liability exists.

Contact Our Milwaukee Train Accident Lawyers

Contact Our Milwaukee Train Accident Lawyers

If you or a family member of yours has been injured in a train accident in Wisconsin, contact Gruber Law Offices in Milwaukee today. We understand how and why train and railroad accidents occur, including when trains derail or cars are hit by trains. We can help you seek full and fair compensation for your injuries and other losses. The experience and aggressive approach our attorneys bring to train accident claims can help make you financially whole.

Gruber Law Offices are conveniently located in downtown Milwaukee. If your injuries limit your mobility, our attorneys are available to meet wherever is most convenient for you, whether at your home, hospital room or workplace. An initial legal consultation about a train accident case is free. We only charge a legal fee if we obtain compensation for you. Call 414-436-2484 now to speak with one of our railroad train accident attorneys. “ONE CALL … THAT’S ALL!”

Contact Our Milwaukee Train Accident Lawyers