Train Accident Attorneys Serving the South and Midwest
Since 2003, Bryant Law Center has represented and secured verdicts & settlements for thousands of train derailment victims. We have also recovered verdicts & settlements for residential and business losses; and commercial property damage. Call us today at 1-270-908-0995.
Passenger and Freight Train Derailments
Train accidents create the potential for catastrophic injury because of the sheer weight of the engines and the cars, plus the speed at which many freight and passenger trains move. Understanding these dynamics and the rules and regulations for trains demands experienced, knowledgeable representation by the train derailment attorneys at the Bryant Law Center.
The statistics are staggering. Each day in 2022, more than 25 train accidents occur in the U.S; while most may be minor, about 10% result in fatalities. Derailments are the leading cause of most train accidents. The most common types of accidents are:
- Train-train collisions
- Train-vehicle collisions at road/track crossings
- Train-person collisions
- Damage to property
Train derailments and accidents can also be caused by poor track maintenance, signal malfunctions, excessive speed, other mechanical failures as well as driver fatigue or intoxication.
Amtrak is the leading passenger train system in the U.S., and in the last ten years, it has had 11 crashes accounting for 25 deaths and almost 600 people being injured.
The most recent is the June 27th train derailment in Mendon, Missouri, that killed three people and injured more than 50 others when Amtrak’s Southwest Chief hit a dump truck at a crossing.
Train passengers can experience serious injuries from being thrown around inside the train car during the accident. Injuries included catastrophic trauma, broken bones, lacerations, muscle pain, burns, brain or spinal cord injuries, chest or stomach injuries, and headaches and contusions.
And sometimes unfortunately train accidents result in fatalities.
What should you do if you were involved in a passenger train crash?
- Take pictures and video of the accident
- Preserve all evidence such as your ticket, receipts, etc.
- Get names of witnesses and fellow passengers
- Keep all receipts if your trip was interrupted by accident, and you must pay for lodging and transportation to your destination.
- Keep track of all your medical records, treatment, and diagnosis.
- Call an experienced train accident attorney to help you navigate the process of personal injury and insurance claims.
There is a chance you can hold either a train company, track owner, motor vehicle driver, or train manufacturer liable for the injuries you sustained and collect damages for medical bills, property damages, loss of earnings, pain, and suffering.
Or, if your loved one died in a train crash, you should take steps to file a wrongful death claim.
Get an experienced train accident lawyer on your side as soon as possible
At the Bryant Law Center, our experienced train accident attorneys can help you identify liable parties, locate witnesses, examine train wreck evidence, hire other experts such as train operators, mechanics, and designers and help you negotiate with insurance companies. Call us today at 1-270-908-0995.
Freight train derailments can also cause substantial property damage, especially if hazardous materials were the cargo and spillage or fumes escaped. Suppose your home or business is in proximity to a freight train derailment with dangerous cargo. In that case, you could be evacuated, which will keep you from your home for an extended period and could close your business or place of employment
The Bryant Law Center has extensive history with train accident and derailment cases
Tamaroa, IL Train Derailment
Bryant Law Center P.S.C., along with the firm of Fayard and Honeycutt of Louisiana, represented 500 Tamaroa, IL, residents and businesses impacted by February 9, 2003, derailment of a northbound Canadian National freight train. A faulty rail joint caused 22 of the train’s 108 cars to leave the track. Four derailed cars released methanol, and the methanol from two of these four cars fueled a fire. Other derailed cars contained phosphoric acid, hydrochloric acid, formaldehyde, and vinyl chloride. Two train cars containing hydrochloric acid, another car containing formaldehyde, and one last car containing vinyl chloride released product but were not involved in the fire.
The entire town of Tamaroa of roughly 850 residents had to evacuate within a 3-mile radius of the derailment. No residents were injured during the actual derailment, but they were forced to stay away from their homes for up to a week. Businesses were closed, and some lost inventory. Chemicals contaminated parts of the town. Extensive testing and remediation followed. Residents and business owners filed suit against Canadian National in Illinois state court. The case was litigated for four years – including two times before the Illinois Supreme Court – before a confidential settlement in 2009 was finalized.
West Point, KY
Bryant Law Center P.S.C. represented hundreds of residents of West Point, KY., who had to flee their homes after 12 cars of a Paducah and Louisville Railroad train derailed and caught fire on October 29, 2012. The entire community at the Hardin-Jefferson County line was evacuated. Another large explosion during the cleanup prolonged the evacuation. Some residents were out of their homes for a week, and the town was forced to postpone Halloween.
Plaintiffs sued for nuisance, trespass, negligence, failure of duty to warn, and strict liability on behalf of all residents within a five-mile radius of the chemical spill, people subject to an evacuation or ordered to stay indoors as well as businesses or commercial entities affected by the derailment.
After two years of litigation, a US District Judge Charles Simpson, in November of 2014, approved a confidential settlement for the class of victims who were designated as living within five miles of the derailment area.
A federal investigation determined a broken rail caused the derailment. Bryant Law Center worked with Jones Ward PLC of Louisville and Fayard and Honeycutt PLC of Denham Springs, LA.
Mt. Carbon, West Virginia Train Derailment
A CSX Bakken crude oil train derailed and burned on February 16, 2015, along the Kanawha River near the communities of Mt. Carbon and Kimberly.
Bryant Law Center P.S.C. represented 470 people and businesses along with Fayard and Honeycutt of Louisiana and West Virginia counsel P. Rodney Jackson and Travis Griffith.
The 107 car crude oil train was 45 miles southwest of Charleston headed to Yorktown, Virginia when 26 cars derailed during a snowstorm and sub-freezing temperatures. Nineteen of those cars caught fire. The fire raged for the next day, producing plumes of smoke and explosions. The derailment forced the evacuation of approximately 1,000 people and orders for others to remain inside their homes. The intense fire disrupted electrical service, and local utilities shut off water service because the crude oil drained into the river. Without power, pipes in many homes froze and burst. Roads were closed, and many people were unable to work. The resulting fire also consumed a nearby house and vehicles. Some plaintiffs alleged that their homes suffered cracks or structural damage from the explosions.
The Federal Railroad Administration determined that a problematic rail section failed and cracked, causing the accident. Bryant Law Center filed individual suits on behalf of the clients in Wayne County Circuit Court against CSX and Sperry Rail. Sperry Rail in mid 2017 reached a confidential settlement with the plaintiffs.
CSX in 2018 settled most of the plaintiffs’ lawsuits and agreed to pay $1.2 million in penalties to the United States and $1 million in penalties to West Virginia to resolve its liability for state and federal water pollution violations.
You Don’t Pay Anything Unless We Win
A train derailment in your area can be devastating and with our experience, we can help. We are the small-town Kentucky law firm with a national reputation for success in injury cases. Our lawyers will sit down with you one-on-one during a free, no-commitment initial consultation to examine the details of your case.