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Train / Train Collisions

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

Collisions between two trains are unlike collisions between two cars in numerous ways.  For one, the sheer force and volume of a train compared to a car is relative to the difference between a car and a soda can.  The impact and damage are simply devastating.  Second, unlike car accidents, collisions between two trains are always avoidable.  There is simply no excusable reason, given today’s technological possibilities, that two trains should ever collide. 

Relatively recent tragedies such as the California Metrolink crash, in which a commuter train collided with a freight train, are reminders of just how senseless and avoidable these tragedies are. In this case, the operator of the commuter train was too occupied sending text messages to properly operate the train.  The public anguish and outrage which resulted from this event collectively led to several positive steps forward by Metrolink – yet other commuter systems, such as the Washington D.C. area’s Metro, are still lagging far behind.  And Metrolink, too, has many improvements which they could but have as of yet failed to implement.  Some problems may always be with us – fail-proof safety is likely impossible – yet the degree to which the rail industry’s approach to safety is lagging behind that of aviation is simply staggering.

Significant change is not only possible, it is imperative because of the massive damage train accidents bring about. If you’ve been a victim in some way of one of these massive collisions, you should seek medical assistance immediately if applicable. In addition, victims should seek legal counsel to ensure that they receive compensation for wrongful damages. If you’re wondering what your options are, we’re here to listen and to help guide you to the right decision. The experienced attorneys of Pottroff & Karlin, LLC are experts in all areas of railroad accident law and can help you find the best way forward.


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Train crash cases are unique and complex with many different potential pitfalls, such as federal preemption. Anytime I get hired or even get a call from a train crash victim, my very first call is to Nathan’s firm. Nathan’s knowledge and experience in handling and trying cases against these litigation savvy railroad companies gives me the confidence to know that the clients and cases I refer to him are getting the best of the best.

James Perrin Lubbock, Texas

I have had the opportunity to work as co-counsel with Nathan on several railroad crossing accidents cases. In each case, Nathan always possessed an incredible knowledge of the law and the facts, possessed a great talent for aggressive - strategic legal planning and trial tactics while, at the same time, displaying great skill as an effective negotiator. I would recommend him to anyone without hesitation.

Scott McCluen Harriman, Tennessee

Nathan Karlin has my strongest endorsement in the field of railroad crossing cases and personal injury law. I had the pleasure of working with Nathan in a complex railroad personal injury case. I was impressed by Nathan’s knowledge, his work ethic, and his dedication to the client. I look forward to working with Nathan on future injury matters. I am also aware firsthand that he has obtained excellent trial and settlement results in numerous cases involving members of the public harmed by railroad companies.

Joseph M. Miller Mandeville, Louisiana

Nathan is a warrior fighting the railroads. As a fellow personal injury lawyer, I have constantly been impressed with his depth of knowledge and his capabilities from case to case. I’d take him into battle with me any day against the biggest railroads and insurance companies on the planet.

Jon C. Clark Austin, Texas

Bob Pottroff has fought for the victims of the railroads’ callous disregard for safety more than any other attorney that I know. I should know because I am currently Chair-elect of the Railroad Section of ATLA.

Robert Schuetze Boulder, Colorado

Mr. Pottroff has shaken the rail industry to its very roots. Settlements are now more common as a result of the way he has exposed the industry’s wrongdoing.

Mike Easley Arkansas

Bob Pottroff’s work in railroad safety law is unmatched and he has been the source of great advice and phenomenal creativity.

Roger Brown Jefferson City, Missouri

In addition to his substantive contributions to railroad grade crossing safety, I have personally observed his untiring efforts and contributions to improving the integrity of the legal system.

Elizabeth Hardy Lake Charles, Louisiana

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