Arizona Train Accident Lawyer
Train Accident Attorney Serving Injured Clients throughout Arizona
When you get hurt in a train accident, your injuries can be debilitating. This kind of accident often means that you cannot return to work, and without any income, it can be difficult or even impossible to keep up with your medical bills. When the railroad company’s negligence, or the carelessness of one of its employees, caused the accident in which you were injured, you deserve to seek financial compensation for your losses.
Depending upon how the accident happened, you may have either two or three years from the date of the incident to file your claim. However, it is important to speak with a Arizona train accident lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that we can build the strongest possible case for you.
Types of Train Accidents That Happen in Arizona
There are many different types of train accidents that can lead to serious and sometimes fatal injuries. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the following are some of the more common types of train accidents that occur in Arizona and throughout the country:
- Train derailments;
- Train colliding with another train;
- Train car colliding with another train car; and
- Train colliding with or striking a train company worker, pedestrian, bicyclist, or passenger vehicle.
The NTSB reports that approximately 1,000 train accident fatalities occur each year, while thousands more personal injuries occur as a result of train derailments and collisions.
How Long Do I Have to File a Arizona Train Accident Lawsuit?
The answer to this question depends upon whether you have a state or federal claim. To give you a better understanding, we want to discuss both Arizona state claims, as well as claims that may be brought under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA).
Our firm focuses on public safety and injuries to passengers, pedestrians, and other individuals who have been harmed as a result of railroad company negligence. As such, we do not handle FELA claims, but it is important to understand what these are and how they differ from public safety issues and personal injury claims arising out of train accidents.
Arizona Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims
In Arizona and throughout the country, train accident lawsuit timetables can be complicated depending upon how the incident occurred. Generally speaking, individuals who are injured in a train accident in Arizona may be able to file a claim in state court that is bound by Arizona law and the state’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims. To be clear, the statute of limitations is the amount of time a party has, typically from the date of the accident, to file a claim for compensation. If the injured party fails to file a claim within that statutory period, then she can lose her right to seek compensation through a civil lawsuit.
Many individuals injured in Arizona train crashes will need to adhere to the two-year statute of limitations, including:
- Train passengers;
- Occupants of passenger car vehicles; and
- Other injury victims who are not employed by the railroad in some capacity.
If your injury occurred in another nearby state while you were on a train trip that originated in Arizona, you should reach out to a train accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your case may have a different statute of limitations, and it is important to learn more from an experienced advocate who can ensure that your claim gets filed on time.
How FELA is Different for Injured Workers
While our firm does not focus on FELA claims, it is important to understand that most train accidents affecting the public will not fall under FELA, and as such you likely will be required to file your claim within a shorter statute of limitations period. To clarify, we would like to explain when FELA might come into play. In short, the statute of limitations may be different if you are seeking to file a claim under FELA. For an individual filing a claim under FELA, the statute of limitations is three years. Who may be able to file a claim under FELA? According to the statute, FELA covers:
“Every common carrier by railroad while engaging in commerce between any of the several States or Territories, or between any of the States and Territories, or between the District of Columbia and any of the States or Territories, or between the District of Columbia or any of the States or Territories and any foreign nation or nations . . .”
In other words, the statute essentially applies to any trains that cross state lines.
Who is covered by FELA? The statute says that it applies to “any person suffering injury while he is employed by such carrier in such commerce, or, in case of the death of such employee, to his or her personal representative . . . for such injury or death resulting in whole or in part from the negligence of any of the officers, agents, or employees of such carrier, or by reason or any defect or insufficiency, due to its negligence, in its cars, engines, appliances, machinery, track, roadbed, works, boats, wharves, or other equipment.”
To be clear, FELA can apply to railroad employees (in almost all capacities) who get hurt in a train accident for which another party bears some blame.
Contact an Arizona Railroad Accident Lawyer
Do you have questions about filing a train accident lawsuit? Train accident claims can be complicated, and it is important to discuss your case with a Arizona train accident attorney as soon as possible. A train accident lawyer in Arizona can assist with your case. Contact Pottroff & Karlin today for more information.