Train accidents lawsuits can become highly complex. Not only will the extent of your injuries play a role in determining the length of the case, but there could be several parties involved in the case. Due to these circumstances, a train accident lawsuit could take months or over a year to resolve. If you or a family member was injured in a train accident, you should consult with an experienced Philadelphia train accident lawyer. At The Reiff Law Firm, our dedicated team of lawyers will tirelessly work to help you hold negligent railroad and transportation companies responsible for their actions. In this article, our personal injury attorneys explain how long train accident lawsuits typically last in Pennsylvania.
What Factors Impact the Length of a Train Accident Case?
There are several factors that can determine the length of a train accident case in Pennsylvania, which our SEPTA accident lawyers discuss below in greater depth. As mentioned above, the type of injuries you sustained, and the cause of the accident, can be used to help you estimate the overall length of a case. It is normal to want your case to be resolved quickly, but you should not rush to finish the process without having the necessary information you need to litigate your case thoroughly.
#1: The Severity of Your Train Accident Injuries
If you were severely injured in a train crash, you would likely need help managing your medical bills and other financial issues if you had to take time away from your career. Therefore, you should be aware of the full extent of your injuries before you file a personal injury lawsuit.
Knowing the extent of your injuries is important because it will help you decide on the amount of compensation you feel is necessary to treat your injuries and the impact they had on your life. For example, if you suffered a brain injury during the crash, you should know whether your symptoms will resolve over time, or are expected to grow worse.
Long-term or permanent health issues, such as paralysis, hearing loss, or the loss of a limb, demand ongoing care or the use of special equipment, greatly increasing the person’s lifetime expenses. The compensation you are seeking will depend on the severity of your injuries, meaning a significant portion of the case may be devoted to analyzing your injuries and their effects on your life.
#2: The Cause of the Train Crash
Some train accidents have more complex causes or involve more parties than others, which can influence the overall length of the case. There may be multiple individuals or companies that are responsible for causing or contributing to the train accident, and you may have to prove how each party played a part in your injury. The following is a list of common causes of train accidents:
- Defective equipment (such as cables, motors, train signals, lights)
- Poor track maintenance
- Railroad crossings that are not protected or properly identified
- Manufacturer errors
- Failure to properly inspect the train
- Operator error, possibly caused by fatigue, intoxication, or inexperience
- A person stopping their vehicle on the train tracks
The cause of a train crash is also a critical puzzle piece in determining who is liable for your injuries. For example, if the train crash was caused by manufacturer error, you may have to add the manufacturer to your complaint. If the train conductor was responsible for causing the wreck, then their employer may be liable for your injuries as well. Though sometimes complicated, determining fault will be a crucial part of your case. Therefore, if you have to involve several defendants in your train accident lawsuit, this will likely increase the amount of time it will take to adjudicate your case.
If you are depending on receiving compensation for a train lawsuit to handle your financial affairs, you should plan to wait at least a few months before your case is concluded. You should also remember that you must be able to prove that the transit company or other parties, such as individual train operators, were responsible for your injuries. You will not be able to receive compensation until you prevail in court, or all parties agree to a settlement. However, a settlement may not provide you with the compensation you need to manage medical care for your injuries, so it may be wiser to go to trial. Our NJ Transit train accident lawyers are here to help you understand your rights and options throughout every step of the way.
Philadelphia Train Accident Attorneys Handling Claims Against SEPTA and Amtrak
If you or a family member was injured in a train accident in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, you should consult with an experienced injury lawyer for assistance. The dedicated railroad accident attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm are prepared to help you aggressively pursue your train accident injury claim. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (215) 246-9000, or contact The Reiff Law Firm online.