Train cart in a train station with several passengers waiting.

What to Know If You Get in a Train Accident in California

Train accidents often occur because people don't realize how fast trains are moving, and they misjudge the distance between the train and themselves. Other times, people may deliberately leave their vehicles on the railroad tracks, or the signals at road crossings can be conflicting. The equipment can also have problems, or the operators can get distracted.

A personal injury can be emotionally, physically, and financially devastating. You may be worried about how you will pay your medical bills or make ends meet if you cannot work. California personal injury lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve under the law.

Types of Train Accidents You Can Get Compensation For

There are many different ways that train accidents can occur. When someone is injured in a train accident, they may be eligible to receive compensation, especially if the accident was caused by someone else's negligence. Train accidents include:


Collisions between trains are rare but can be very dangerous due to the size and speed of the trains.

Crashes with Cars

At a train crossing, there is always the potential for an accident to happen. If a driver is not paying attention, they may not see the train coming and could end up in its path. Additionally, if a driver tries to speed through a crossing while the warning signals are active, they could get hit by the train.


When a train derails, it can cause serious damage and injuries to nearby buildings, passengers, and railroad workers. This occurs when one train car pulls other cars off the track, affecting the entire train.

Pedestrian Hits 

Walking or crossing train tracks when a train is coming can cause a severe accident.

A California train accident lawyer can help you get compensation if you've been injured in a train accident. They can assess the details of your case and file a personal injury case before the statute of limitations expires.

Things to Do If You Get in a Train Accident

If you are involved in a train accident, it is important to seek medical attention immediately, as the injuries sustained can be severe. First responders will be called to the scene of the accident, and a railroad accident attorney in Los Angeles can advise you on what to do next. These steps may include:

  • Not Giving a Statement

The law in California does not require injured train crash victims to provide any information about how the crash occurred or their injuries to the carrier or its insurer. Train accident lawyers in Los Angeles advise against giving any statements or medical authorizations, as they may be used against you in the future.

  • Taking Note of Deadlines

This means that if you or a loved one was hurt in a train accident, you must act quickly to protect your rights. In general, you will have a limited time to file a claim against the responsible party. You could be barred from seeking compensation entirely if you miss the deadline.

  • File a Claim

You have a limited time to file a claim against a public transit agency if you were injured or lost a loved one in a train crash. To preserve your rights, it is crucial to have a railroad injury claim in California represented as soon as possible.

Seeking Compensation for Train Employees

If you work for a railroad company and are injured on the job, you are not covered by workers' compensation like most other employees. Instead, you are covered by the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). California train accident lawyers can help you file a lawsuit under FELA if you can demonstrate that the railroad company's negligence caused your injuries.

To have a successful lawsuit against a railroad company, you will need to show that the company did not provide adequate supervision for its employees. This means putting together all the evidence you have to show that the company is at fault. With the help of a personal injury lawyer, you should be able to get the full amount of compensation you deserve.

Who to Sue in a Train Accident

The first step in filing a train accident claim is determining which party or parties are at fault for the accident. This can be a complex process, as multiple parties may be involved, and each may be only partially at fault. Once the negligent party or parties have been identified, your lawyer can help you file a claim against them and their insurance companies. The typical parties at fault are:

  • Railroad Company

The railroad company is responsible for ensuring the tracks and trains are safe and well-maintained. They also need to make sure that the people who work on the trains, like the engineers and conductors, have the proper training and experience. If the company doesn't do these things and you get hurt, they can be held liable.

  • Train Operator  

The agency or company responsible for the railways needs to ensure that everything is running smoothly and that all the equipment is working properly. They also need to manage and take care of the employees by providing them with everything they need for the job. However, if the company makes the engineers work long hours without enough sleep, it would be considered negligence on the company's part.

  • Track Owner

A train track comprises different parts, each of which could be owned by a different government entity or private company. If there is a problem with one part of the track, it can contribute to an accident. If this happens, the entity that manages or owns the part of the track where the problem occurred can be held liable.

  • Manufacturer

The cause of a train crash can be attributed to many different factors. A signal malfunction, engine failure, or other components of the train can be the cause of an accident. In some cases, the manufacturer of that component or part can be held responsible for the crash.

Types of Damages Recoverable in a Train Accident

After a train accident, you will likely be fighting for compensation. The most important thing you can do is to make sure that the person or institution responsible for the accident covers your damages, either directly or through their insurance company.

  • Punitive 

If the defendant did something wrong on purpose or out of spite, they might have to pay you extra money. You may be able to get this money if you can show that the defendant acted with malice, fraud, or oppression.

  • Property 

If you suffered damage to your property in the accident, you might be compensated for the cost of repairs or replacement.

  • Lost Wages 

If your injuries from an accident prevent you from working or force you to miss work, you may be able to get compensation for those lost wages.

  • Medical 

The compensation can also cover the costs of any therapies, devices, medications, doctor or hospital visits, and surgeries that may be needed.


If you have been involved in a train accident, you can do a few things to ensure you are adequately compensated. First, make sure to get the contact information of any witnesses to the accident. Second, take photographs of the accident scene and any injuries you may have sustained. 

Third, file a claim with the appropriate authorities as soon as possible. Finally, keep all documentation related to the accident, including medical records and bills, for your records.

Do you need the help of an auto accident lawyer in California? Trust Mendez & Sanchez Law. Our attorneys and team members are here to help you through the difficult legal landscape as we pursue the compensation you deserve. Call now.

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