San Diego Train Accident Attorneys
Trains are an important part of the infrastructure of San Diego, transporting thousands of people every day throughout our various neighborhoods. Many visitors to our fair city have traveled on the San Diego Trolley down to the Convention Center. Others utilize Amtrack’s Pacific Surfliner to visit Los Angeles or the Coaster to enjoy a beach trip. Whichever service we use, we expect trains to provide the best in safety standards, but negligence can occur at any time or place. Conductors can become distracted, equipment can fail, and train cars can become overloaded with too much weight, all of which can result in derailments or collisions with other vehicles.
If you have been the victim of a train accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, contact the San Diego train accident attorney at jD LAW. Our legal team can thoroughly investigate your case and pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. Call us at (760) 630-2000 to learn what options are available to you in a free consultation.
Often, when we imagine train accidents, we envision the worst-case scenario: a derailment, or when a train breaks away from the rails. However, there are other tragic situations that can occur, including:
- Head-on collisions with vehicles or pedestrians
- Rear-end collisions with vehicles
- Slanting accidents when the train leans off the tracks
- Collisions with other trains
Most major accidents occur between trains and other vehicles, ending in serious injuries or death. However, there are also risks to riders. Any one of these collisions can cause riders to fall to the floor or slam against the interior walls, resulting in serious injuries. Even without a collision, if a train has a safety hazard, a rider can suffer a slip or trip and fall accident. Train operators are required to ensure each car is safe for riders to use and, if they do perform regular inspections and repairs, they can become injured.
In addition, victims of violent crimes can also pursue claims against train companies for a lack of safety features. Trains can be the site of muggings, violent attacks, or rape. If there have been reports of violent crimes on a particular train route or during specific hours, such as the late evening, and the train company was not providing proper security measures, then victims may have a premises liability claim based on negligent security.
Major train accidents between train cars and other vehicles can be the result of several factors, depending on the type of accident, who was at-fault, and the actions that led to the accident. When discussing derailments and train collisions, investigations have shown that the following elements can result in an accident:
- Excess weight on the train cars that caused the train to dip to one side during a turn
- Faulty brake systems or mechanisms on the train or tracks
- Traveling at high speeds
- Damage to the rails
- Debris or obstacles on the tracks, such as other vehicles
- Failing to use a train’s horn or lights when approaching crossings
- Broken train signals or gates
Sometimes, the accident occurred because the driver of a passenger vehicle or truck was speeding, distracted, or fatigued, resulting in a collision with the side of the train or a head-on collision when they crossed in front of an oncoming train. In turn, train conductors can also be subject to the same forms of negligence and cause an accident.
Multiple parties can have a hand in a train accident, from the company operating the train route to the conductor. In cases involving public transportation, many trains in San Diego are overseen by the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), North County Transit Authority, or Amtrak. They are required to train and hire responsible and experienced train operators to drive these high-powered vehicles and, when these operators act negligently and cause accidents, the MTS can be held liable.
Holding the MTS or Amtrak accountable for your injuries can be more difficult than a standard personal injury claim. Government agencies have stricter deadlines to file a claim – six months in California – and compensation is evaluated differently. If your injury was caused due to the negligence of the MTS or one of their operators, you should discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible.
However, not all trains in San Diego are operated by the MTS. Many still operate for commercial companies, such as the San Diego and Imperial Valley Railroad Company, which transport large cargo and equipment across Southern California. If one of their operators acted negligent or a train had a faulty component that was not repaired, resulting in an accident, you could file a personal injury claim against the company’s insurance policy.
In addition, as mentioned earlier, not all accidents are the fault of the train operator. Drivers of other vehicles can act negligently and collide with a train, resulting in harm to the train’s occupants. Victims could file a claim against the careless driver’s insurance policy for damages.
Train accidents can be serious events that devasting multiple lives and often involve tragic losses of life. Thorough investigations can be conducted to determine the cause of the accident, which can include negligent actions of individuals or companies. When this occurs, victims deserve a fair shot at compensation for the injuries and damages they have suffered. If you suffered injuries in a San Diego county train accident because of a reckless person or corporation, contact the San Diego personal injury attorney at jD LAW. Our legal team can evaluate your case and determine your chances for a train accident claim. Call us at (760) 630-2000 to schedule a free consultation.
- Federal Railroad Administration
- California State Transportation Agency
- Pacific Surfliner Train | Amtrak
Don’t Wait A Second Longer
When you have been injured, or a loved one has been killed due to the negligence of another, you need legal help. Contact jD LAW, today to get the justice you deserve.