Train & Railroad Accident Lawyer in Jacksonville
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From coast to coast, our rail systems run through every state making trains an important mode of transportation for both passengers and freight. Although derailments and collisions are seldom a topic of conversation, railroad accidents are much more common than you might think. Every year, thousands of drivers, pedestrians, passengers and railroad workers are injured (or killed) in rail-related mishaps. According to the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB), railroad safety is vital, and any insufficient measures of protection can have tragic consequences. When railroad companies fail to follow proper safety procedures or to post adequate warnings at hazardous crossings, people’s lives can be at stake.
FELA: Safety Versus Sufficiency
At the turn of the last century, Congress passed the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) to provide a federal system of legal recovery for railroad workers and their families. In terms of the original statute, liability is triggered “by reason of any defect or insufficiency, due to its negligence, in its cars, engines, appliances, machinery, track, roadbed, works, boats, wharves, or other equipment.” Contrary to the purpose of the FELA, attorneys have used the “safer alternative measure” as an affirmative defense maintaining the railroad provided a reasonably safe place to work. This defense was created by the illogical interpretations of Stillman v. Norfolk and Western.
Under 45 U.S.C. – 51, the railroad is required to provide sufficient equipment to accomplish any given task. If a tool or work method is up to the task, it is sufficient. If a tool or method (even one that is deemed safe) falls short, it is insufficient. By arguing the grounds of sufficiency versus insufficiency, the issue of safety can be avoided and liability is more appropriately triggered under the provisions as provided by the FELA. While the concept has been largely lost over time, insufficiency should be introduced as a parallel theory to safety when seeking recovery and compensation for an injured worker. It is equally important that the railroad ensure the workplace is “sufficient” and “safe.”
Representing Cases of Railroad Injury & Wrongful Death
Freight and passenger trains are very powerful machines and have the potential to cause major property damage and serious personal injury.
Railroad Injury with Holt Harrell
When the unexpected happens, the emotional and financial toll on victims and their families can be overwhelming. If you or a loved one were injured in a train accident, the Jacksonville personal injury attorneys at Harrell and Harrell provide aggressive representation to railroad workers, pedestrians and passengers to include:
- Rail company negligence
- Derailment accidents
- Lack of sufficiency
- Defective signal devices
- Poorly maintained railroad tracks
- Dangerous train track crossings
- Hazardous material spills
- Pedestrian struck by train
- Mechanical defects and malfunctions
- Vehicle/train collisions
- Train conductor error
- Lack of safety gates
Vehicle & Train Collisions
When a train collides with a car or truck, the end result can mean the death of the vehicle’s driver or a passenger, vast amounts of property damage, permanent disabilities, debilitating pain and/or a lifetime of disfigurement. At Harrell & Harrell, P.A., we understand that the emotional and financial toll on victims of train wrecks and railroad accidents can be overwhelming. However, this is the most critical time to seek legal counsel. The railroad’s insurance adjusters and investigators will not be looking out for your best interests but will be looking for the best way to limit their client’s liability.
Accepting an early offer from the insurance carrier can compromise your opportunity to recover full compensation for medical bills, lost wages, future earnings, pain and suffering, or death benefits. Contact us today at 904-251-1111 or toll free 1-800-251-1111 for a free consultation.
Don’t settle for less than you deserve.®
First, starting my journey with Harrell and Harrell, I felt so many mixed emotions. "Is it worth it?" "Do I want to deal with the legal system?" And the list goes on. I am here to tell you that my experience with Jamie Holland, Holt Harrell and their team of professionals could not have been more supportive, helpful, and encouraging. For me, going through a traumatic accident, surgery, and a long recovery process is bad enough. And when you add the stress of a lawsuit and in my case a trial, it’s one of the most difficult things I have had to face. But I will say that I never felt alone. Jamie Holland and Holt Harrell were by my side throughout every obstacle and every triumph I endured. They always kept me involved in the entire process and up to date on what was going on. I never felt like I was left in the dark and any questions that I had were answered promptly. I also really felt their passion for their job as lawyers and that just made my trust and respect for them grow continually on a daily basis. My experience with Harrell and Harrell could not have been a more positive one and although I hope to not have to use their services again anytime soon, I highly recommend them.