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If you’ve been seriously injured after being hit by a railroad car, your next phone call should be to an Irvine train accident lawyer. Whether your injuries resulted from a train’s colliding with your vehicle or you were hit while walking near railroad tracks, you could be entitled to financial compensation. Given the size and velocity of trains, your injuries are likely to be severe, and you may need medical care for weeks or months to come. Such medical care is very expensive, and you shouldn’t have to bear this financial burden alone.

Locomotives weigh 200 tons (400,000 pounds) compared to the average passenger vehicle, which weighs roughly 4,000 pounds. It’s not hard to see why a car is crushed in a collision with an oncoming train. Rail cars are mammoth, dwarfing even the largest semi-trucks. A heavy-axle railcar weighs up to 315,000 pounds compared to the 80,000-pound weight of an 18-wheeler. Passenger trains travel at an average of 50-60 mph, but Amtrak trains can reach a maximum speed of 100 mph or higher.

More than 600 railroads operate in the United States, and freight railroads haul roughly 1.7 billion tons each year. All of this means that trains are running on tracks around the clock, day and night, and serious accidents are bound to happen.

Why Choose Neale & Fhima as Your Irvine Train Accident Lawyer?

There are a lot of train accident lawyers to choose from, but our legal team is better than most. Attorney Aaron Fhima is a tough negotiator with a keen legal mind. He has been handling train accident cases for many years, and he knows the complexities and nuances of state statutes. Our legal team understands the quirks in the law, as well as the many court opinions interpreting it. We put this knowledge to work for you. We have many satisfied clients as well as an attractive attorney referral program.

How We Can Help

Neale & Fhima handles hundreds of personal injury and wrongful death cases in which victims suffered horribly because of someone else’s negligence. The following are the ways we can help with your Irvine train accident claim. We will:

  1. Explain your legal rights and your choices for a remedy.
  2. Gather evidence, police and medical reports, photographs, emails, surveillance video, and all other data to prove your claim.
  3. Interview eyewitnesses, and hire expert witnesses, if needed.
  4. Conduct an accident scene investigation.
  5. Build a strong case based on California statutes and case law that puts you in a favorable light.
  6. Negotiate aggressively on your behalf with insurance companies to get the maximum compensation possible.
  7. Litigate your claim in front of a judge and jury, if necessary.

At Neale & Fhima, we don’t back down when fighting for the damages you deserve. To find out more about how we can support you, call us now at 888-407-2955.

Talk To an Attorney

Neale & Fhima understands that train wrecks are horrific because people are often severely injured and killed. We’ll fight aggressively to get victims the compensation they deserve.

Train Accident FAQs

Our Irvine train accident lawyers have handled hundreds of injury accident cases, and we often hear a lot of the same questions from clients. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How many people are killed in train accidents?

There were 2,145 railroad crossing collisions between trains and vehicles in the U.S. in 2021, with 234 fatalities and 669 injuries. California was No. 2 among all 50 states, with 169 collisions and 35 deaths.

Additionally, hundreds of pedestrians walking on railroad tracks are injured and killed each year. There were 599 trespass-related fatalities and 522 trespass injuries across the U.S. in 2021. California ranked No. 1 in 2021 in pedestrian/railroad deaths (138) and injuries (101).

What’s the statute of limitations for filing a train accident injury claim?

The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim (including a train accident injury) is two years. The clock starts on the day of the injury. (If the injury was not discovered for several months or longer, then a lawsuit must be filed within one year from the date the injury was discovered.)

What are the largest railroad companies in the United States?

The 5 largest railroad companies in the U.S. are as follows:

1. BNSF Railway $23.3 Billion Revenue

  • Number of employees: ~35,000
  • Rail network: 32,500 route miles

2. Union Pacific Railroad $21.8 Billion Revenue

  • Number of employees: 32,124
  • Rail network: 32,100 route miles

3. CSX Transportation $12.5 Billion Revenue

  • Number of employees: ~25,000
  • Rail network: 20,000 route miles

4. Canadian National Railway $11.5 Billion Revenue

  • Number of employees: 24,000
  • Rail network: ~20,000 route miles

5. Norfolk Southern Railway $11.14 Billion Revenue

  • Number of employees: 20,200
  • Rail network: 21,300 miles

Is there a cap on damages for train accidents in California?

There are no limitations on the amount of money someone can receive for the economic damages they incurred because of an injury in California.   Non-economic damages are also unlimited in most cases – the exception is in medical malpractice claims.

How many miles of train tracks are in California?

California has 4,971 miles of railroad tracks crisscrossing the state.

Who can bring a wrongful death claim in California?

Sadly, in some train accidents, people are killed. When a person dies in a train crash, a wrongful death claim can be filed to recover damages for medical costs, lost wages, loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, as well as funeral and burial costs. Under California law, the individuals who can bring a wrongful death claim include:

  • Spouse or domestic partner of the deceased
  • Children of the deceased
  • Another party who is entitled to property by intestate succession.

The law states that all wrongful death claims must be filed within two years of the victim’s death. (CCP 335.1)

What areas does Neale & Fhima serve?

Train accident lawyers at our firm serve clients throughout California. We have offices in Dana Point, San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. We handle all types of personal injury claims, including motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, and pedestrian accidents.

Who pays my attorney fees in a train accident lawsuit?

At Neale & Fhima, we work on contingency, which means your Irvine train accident attorney’s fees and case expenses are paid by the defendant’s insurance company in successful cases.

If you have additional questions about the damages you may be entitled to after being injured, call an Irvine train accident lawyer at Neale & Fhima at 888-407-2955 for a free consultation.

Irvine train accident lawyers at Neale & Fhima are ready and waiting to take your call. Reach out to us at 888-407-2955 for a free consultation.

California’s Pure Comparative Negligence Rule

California follows a “pure comparative negligence” rule in determining who is at fault for accidents, which means an injury victim can sue for compensation even if he or she is partially responsible for causing the accident. Unlike many other states that recognize comparative negligence, train injury victims can recover compensation even if they are more than 50% at fault for the accident. Let’s look at an example — if you are awarded $500,000 in a train accident settlement, but you are found to be 40% at fault for the train accident, you will only be awarded $300,000 in total damages ($500,000 reduced by 40%).

Damages You May Be Entitled To

If you’ve been injured, an Irvine train accident lawyer can fight for both economic and non-economic damages on your behalf. These include:

Economic

  • Medical bills
  • Cost of future medical care and rehabilitation
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Funeral and burial costs (in wrongful death cases).

Non-Economic

  • PTSD and emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

Punitive damages can also be awarded in some cases. These are designed to punish the defendant and send a warning to others tempted to behave in a similarly reckless way.

Assess My Claim

Our Irvine train accident attorney can estimate what your case might be worth. Call us for a free assessment.

Severe Train Accidents in California

There have been some horrific train accidents in California that have cost people their lives and injured many others. Here are two of the most notable:

San Bernardino Train Disaster (1989)

This disaster was the result of two separate but related events in which a runaway train derailed and, days later, a petroleum pipeline adjacent to the tracks was ruptured by earth-moving equipment during crash cleanup. The 69-car Southern Pacific freight train lost control while descending the Cajon Pass near San Bernardino, hopped the tracks, and plowed into a residential area. The train conductor, a brakeman, and two residents were killed. Seven houses were demolished. Buried six feet underground beside the tracks was a petroleum pipeline that was pierced, showering the neighborhood in gasoline and igniting a 7-hour fire with a plume of flames reaching 300 feet in the air.

Chatsworth Train Collision (2008)

This crash happened when a Union Pacific freight train collided head-on with a Metrolink commuter train in a Los Angeles neighborhood. This mass casualty event resulted in 25 dead and many more victims injured, several of whom remained in hospitals for extended periods.

Different Types of Rail Cars

There are several different types of rail cars, and they serve different purposes. Following is a list of some of the most common rail cars:

1. Boxcar
Boxcars carry a wide variety of crated or palleted freight including lumber, paper, beverages, and packaged goods.

2. Autorack
Autoracks carry finished vehicles including cars, trucks, SUVs, and electric vehicles.

3. Covered Hopper
Covered hoppers carry dry bulk commodities like corn, wheat, cement, sand, fertilizer, rice, and sugar.

4. Flatcar
Flatcars carry machinery, pipe, rail, tractors, steel beams, poles, military vehicles, and logs.

5. Centerbeam
Centerbeams carry bundled goods like wallboard, fence posts, and other building and construction supplies.

6. Gondola
Gondolas carry heavy bulk commodities like scrap metal, iron ore, copper, and steel.

7. Open-Top Hopper
Open-top hoppers carry petroleum coke, coal, and rock.

8. Tank Car
Tank cars carry liquid commodities like diesel fuels, chemicals, molasses, and water.

9. Refrigerated Boxcar
Refrigerated boxcars carry perishables like meat, poultry, fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, frozen foods, and cheese.

7 Steps Train Accident Victims Should Take

Train accident injury victims should take several steps (and avoid mistakes) to preserve their claim for financial damages. Here are 7 steps for protecting your claim:

  1. Call 911 and ask police to respond to the scene.
  2. Seek prompt medical attention and follow the doctor’s recommendations.
  3. If you’re able, take pictures with your cell phone of your injuries and the accident scene.
  4. Get the names and contact information of eyewitnesses at the crash.
  5. Don’t acknowledge fault for the accident to police or railroad personnel.
  6. Don’t post pictures or comments about the accident on social media. Your comments could be taken out of context and be used against you later.
  7. Hire an Irvine train accident attorney at Neale & Fhima to represent you.

Contact Our Irvine Train Accident Lawyers Today

The experienced Irvine train accident attorneys at Neale & Fhima understand the trauma and confusion that arise immediately after a catastrophic event. Victims often feel a great deal of panic, anger, and uncertainty about what to do next. Courts recognize your right to file a lawsuit to seek damages for all you’ve suffered. If you’ve sustained broken bones, head injury, burns or any other harm after a train crash, Neale & Fhima can fight to get the justice you deserve. To find out more about our legal services, call us for a free initial consultation at 888-407-2955.

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Attorney Aaron Fhima

Aaron Fhima is a trial attorney who has secured numerous settlements and verdicts against large corporations and some of the largest auto manufacturers in the world. Representing consumers and injury victims throughout the state of California, Aaron’s practice areas include personal injury, and lemon law litigation. Aaron has a long record of success taking on large defense firms; and he doesn’t hesitate to take cases to trial when necessary to enforce his clients’ rights. [ Attorney Bio ]

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