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Matthew Albrecht | Founder & Attorney | Albrecht Law, PLLC
Matthew Albrecht
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Our Experienced Accident Lawyers at Albrecht Law PLLC Help Injury Victims Prove Liability for Train Accidents In and Around Spokane, Washington

Riding on Amtrak or on another light-rail train offers Spokane residents and various commuters and travelers throughout Washington a convenient and scenic method of transportation. We trust the Federal Railroad Administration, railroad workers, and railroad companies to adhere to safety standards in order to minimize the risk of injury while transporting passengers to their destinations without incident, but serious and deadly injuries occur when the rail transportation infrastructure does not function as intended. At Albrecht Law, we help train accident victims in and around Spokane, Washington seek appropriate legal recourse following these unfortunate events.

Our experienced train accident lawyers are deeply familiar with the ways in which passenger trains and the rail infrastructure can be involved in accidents, which often involve human error, faulty safety equipment, or negligent train operators. For the injured parties, the ensuing medical bills, lost wages due to time off from work, and trauma associated with being in a train accident compound their suffering as they wonder who is responsible and how they can seek fair compensation.

According to Operation Lifesaver Rail Safety Education, about two-thousand train accidents occur each year, causing hundreds of injuries and fatalities. Experiencing a train accident is likely to inflict harm ranging from a single moderate injury to multiple catastrophic injuries. A train accident can leave you with economic losses like medical expenses and noneconomic losses such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

At Albrecht Law PLLC, our Spokane train accident lawyers can guide you in your path forward, helping you understand how to pursue a claim if a train accident has caused bodily injuries and emotional distress. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation, where we will analyze the events surrounding your unique case and devise a tailored strategy to seek compensation for your injuries and losses.

Common Causes of Train Accidents in Spokane

Determining the cause of a light rail accident or Amtrak accident can be complicated because multiple parties could share the blame. Our accident lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation to determine responsibility — from the train crew and other employees to the railroad workers and railroad company.

Common causes of Spokane truck accidents include:

  • Human Error: Mistakes by train operators, maintenance personnel, or other workers can lead to accidents.
  • Mechanical Failures: Malfunctions in train equipment or infrastructure components, such as signal systems or track switches, can contribute to accidents.
  • External Factors: Adverse weather conditions, obstructions on the tracks, or vehicle collisions at grade crossings can pose significant safety risks.
  • Inadequate Safety Protocols: Insufficient adherence to safety protocols, lack of proper training, or ineffective enforcement of safety regulations can also lead to accidents.
  • Train Track Owner: Trains that meet safety standards can still be involved in a crash if the railroads are not intact and safe to ride on.

The evidence your accident lawyers compile will dictate the names of the individuals  included in your lawsuit. Gathering evidence forms the foundation for successful railroad accident cases because it enables an experienced attorney to present a robust case in court that explains how the collision occurred and why you’re seeking financial recourse. Whether suing employers, workers, locomotive engineers, or those responsible for maintaining the integrity of the tracks, our law firm will represent you with thoroughness and compassion, drawing upon our profound knowledge and experience.

The Federal Railroad Administration and Public Safety

The Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Railroad Safety promotes and regulates safety throughout the U.S. rail industry, fulfilling its regulatory and inspection responsibilities through a diverse staff of rail safety experts — including nearly 400 federal safety inspectors.

Public safety measures required of railroads encompass a broad spectrum of regulations and strategies aimed at protecting passengers, workers, and communities, including:

  • Configuration of Railcars and Cargo: Railroads are mandated to proactively ensure the safe configuration of railcars and the secure loading of cargo on freight trains to prevent potential hazards and accidents.
  • Inspection and Maintenance: Regular inspection and maintenance of rail tracks, signals, bridges, and other infrastructure are vital to identifying and addressing potential safety hazards promptly.
  • Grade Crossing Safety: Improving the identification of high-risk highway-rail grade crossings and enforcing measures to increase grade crossing safety are integral components of railroad safety strategies.
  • Emergency Response Preparedness: Railroads are required to implement comprehensive emergency response plans to mitigate the impact of accidents and ensure the safety of passengers, railroad workers, and surrounding communities.

Despite these extensive safety measures, the complex nature of railroad operations — combined with the potential for unforeseen events — makes eliminating the risk of accidents nearly impossible. Many people are involved in rail transportation and the rail industry, including locomotive engineers, railroad workers, and railroad companies. These systems are populated by people working multiple work schedules, which adds to the complexity and potential for dangerous errors. The maintenance and care required to keep trains running smoothly makes them — and every passenger onboard — vulnerable to accidents.

Compensation for Train Accident Injuries

In Washington, individuals who have suffered injuries in train accidents may be entitled to various forms of compensation, including:

  • Medical Expenses: Medical treatment, hospitalization, medication, rehabilitation, and any other healthcare costs related to the injuries sustained in the accident.
  • Lost Wages: Reimbursement for income lost due to the inability to work during recovery from the train accident injuries — as well as potential future loss of earnings if the injuries lead to long-term or permanent disability.
  • Pain and Suffering: For the physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish due to the accident and subsequent injuries.
  • Property Damage: Reimbursement for any damage to personal property, such as a car or another vehicle, due to the accident.
  • Loss of Consortium: For the impact of the injuries on the injured person’s relationship with their spouse or family members.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases of extreme negligence or intentional wrongdoing, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the responsible party and deter similar conduct in the future.

In railroad accident cases, the specific types and amounts of compensation will vary based on the circumstances of each individual claim. An experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance and representation at a time when you need the support of a knowledgeable legal professional who has handled these types of situations before.

Common Injuries Sustained in Rail Accidents

Rail accident injuries can be severe and life-altering, with victims often reporting the following:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): Impact from a light rail accident can cause traumatic brain injuries, ranging from concussions to severe head trauma, leading to cognitive impairment and long-term disabilities.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: The force of a light rail accident can lead to spinal cord injuries, potentially causing paralysis, loss of sensation, and other permanent disabilities.
  • Orthopedic Injuries: Fractures, dislocations, and soft tissue injuries to the limbs, back, and neck are common due to the high-impact nature of light rail accidents.
  • Internal Injuries: Blunt force trauma and compression injuries can lead to internal organ damage, including abdominal trauma, internal bleeding, and organ lacerations.
  • Psychological Trauma: Survivors may experience psychological injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions due to the emotional toll of a light rail accident.
  • Burn Injuries: In cases involving train derailments or fires, passengers and railroad workers can sustain burn injuries, which may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Fatalities: Unfortunately, some light rail accidents cause fatalities, leading to devastating losses for the victims’ families and loved ones. In such cases, the family of the person killed can bring a wrongful death claim.

Do I Need An Attorney to Pursue a Claim Following a Light Rail Accident?

The complexity and challenges associated with train accident claims, including the potential for severe injuries and the involvement of mass transit or metro systems, often warrant the knowledge and experience of legal professionals who focus on personal injury and transportation accidents.

Insurance law governs transportation, including railroad accident cases that involve railroad companies. When commuters or travelers board trains, they place their trust in the rail industry and railroad companies to meet the safety requirements of the Federal Railroad Administration. Whether an accident occurs on passenger trains or freight trains, it often causes those injured to seek medical treatment while they lose time and wages from work, embark on a long recovery, and experience severe pain and suffering.

When considering a personal injury attorney to represent you, your advocate’s knowledge, experience, and competence matter. At Albrecht Law, our Founder Matt Albrecht is the only planner and lawyer to have been awarded the AASHTO (American Assoc of State Highway and Transportation Officials) award for innovative new planning proposals to fund safety improvements. He prioritizes protecting children and pursuing safety for the traveling public by making roads and transportation systems safer. Matt’s profound understanding of insurance law, which he draws upon when representing clients, helps him build robust cases and pursue fair compensation following accidents involving Washington’s road and rail systems.

He is also recognized by the state of Washington as an expert in insurance law, as he authored the book, Washington Insurance Law and Litigation, 2023-2024 ed. (Vol. 35, Washington Practice Series).

Contact Albrecht Law PLLC, for a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Personal Injury from a Train Accident

Train accidents present specific challenges that should be addressed by a knowledgeable and experienced attorney. At Albrecht Law, you are not just another case; you are known.

We combine cutting-edge technology with loyal, personalized service. Contact us at (509) 495-1246(509) 495-1246 or complete our online form today to schedule your free consultation. We are here to serve you.

Albrecht Law PLLC — Our Clients Are More Than Just Cases

Frequently-Asked Questions About Train Accidents in and around Spokane, Washington

What should I do if I’ve been involved in a train accident in Washington?

If you’ve been involved in a train accident, prioritize your safety and seek medical attention immediately. Document the details of the accident, gather contact information from any witnesses, and refrain from discussing the incident with insurance representatives until you’ve consulted with a personal injury attorney.

Who can be held accountable for a train accident in Washington state?

Train accidents can involve various parties, including the train operator, the owner of the tracks, the manufacturer of the train or its components, or even a third party such as a negligent driver. Determining liability requires a thorough investigation. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help identify the responsible parties and hold them accountable for the damages.

What compensation am I entitled to pursue after a train accident in Washington?

Victims of train accidents may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and other related losses. The specific amount of compensation depends on the circumstances of the accident and the extent of the injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney can assess the full impact of the accident on your life and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.

How long do I have to file a claim after a Washington train accident?

In Washington, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including those related to train accidents, is typically three years from the date of the accident. Consult a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and take the necessary legal action within the required time frame.

Why do I need a personal injury attorney for a Washington state train accident case?

Navigating the legal complexities of a train accident case requires extensive knowledge and experience. A skilled personal injury attorney can handle all aspects of the claim, including investigations, negotiations with insurers, and, if necessary, litigation. They can also advocate for your rights as they pursue fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

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