Our Boston Law Firm Holds Railroad Companies Accountable for Their Negligence
As common carriers, railway companies are liable for the injuries they could have prevented by exercising their duty of care
A common carrier is any company or individual who transports people or goods in exchange for a fee. By definition, this includes railroads. While anyone who operates a motor vehicle is expected to respect the safety of others and exercise reasonable caution on the road, under Massachusetts law, common carriers are held to the highest duty of care. What’s more, when they are negligent in upholding their responsibility to the public and people are harmed as a result, the law holds that railroads cannot prevent the injured parties from “recovering compensation in damages for any injury by reason of any such rule, regulation, sign or requirement.”
If you’ve been injured in any type of train accident, you can recover damages for the harm caused. At the Boston firm of Swartz & Lynch LLP, our attorneys focus on personal injury matters — helping people get full and fair compensation so they can get on with their lives.
According to safety data from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), there were a total of 196 train accident/incidents — defined as the sum of train accidents, highway-rail and other incidents — in Massachusetts in 2012. Of these accidents, 25 percent were caused by equipment defects, 25 percent by track defects and fully 50 percent were attributed to “human factors.”
Just as there are often multiple parties liable for truck accidents, there are often multiple entities that can be held responsible in railroad accidents:
- The railroad company who owns and operates the train is responsible for the proper maintenance of all the locomotive and rail cars. The company is expected to hire employees who are capable, screen them for drug or alcohol abuse, and assure that all employees are well trained, supervised and follow all rules and regulations. This includes public transportation entities such as the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), which operates the T, and the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail Company.
- The owner of the train track is responsible for its maintenance and safety, and those owners vary across the state. For instance, the MBTA’s Blue, Red and Orange Lines track maintenance-of-way (MOW) is regulated by the Department of Telecommunications and Energy. In other cases, private companies may be responsible for MOW operations.
- The manufacturer of trains or train components may be liable if an accident was the result of defective equipment.
Our lawyers help you obtain the maximum possible compensation in all types of railroad accidents
With nearly three-quarters of a century of combined legal experience in personal injury, your Swartz & Lynch attorneys have the knowledge and courtroom skills to help you with a railroad accident injury or wrongful death stemming from:
- Train derailments
- Car accidents at railroad crossings
- Train collisions
- Injuries caused by gaps between the train and the landing
- Injuries caused by spills of toxic chemicals
Get aggressive legal representation after a train accident injury
To learn more about how we at Swartz & Lynch LLP may be able to help following a train accident, contact an injury lawyer online or call us at 857-250-0664 to schedule a free initial consultation. If you are unable to travel to our office, one of our AV-rated attorneys can visit you at your home or hospital.