Who May Be Liable in a Minnesota Train Accident?

After being in a train accident and starting to file your claim, there is a lot to consider. One of the most critical aspects of your claim is the party responsible for the accident. Multiple parties may be at fault because much can go wrong leading to a train accident. For example, the train conductor, train manufacturer, automobile driver, track designer, track construction crew, and railroad employees are some of the potential parties who could be liable for an accident.

Train accidents are relatively common, with 5,781 nonfatal injuries in 2021, according to the National Safety Council. Our train accident lawyers at Knutson + Casey, located in the Southern Minnesota area, are here to help you sort through the events and everything that contributed to the incident so the appropriate parties are held responsible. We understand there may be a lot of information to compile, so we are here to help you do that. You do not have to go through this process alone.

Who Is Responsible for a Minnesota Train Accident?

When curating your case, it’s imperative you demonstrate who was responsible for the accident. Railroad companies, conductors, and drivers on the road should all follow safety rules and ensure the well-being of those around them. Those who may be held liable for a train accident include the following:

The Train Operator

A train conductor has a lot to pay attention to when operating the carrier. If the conductor neglects their surroundings or gets distracted, they may cause an accident. The conductor could also be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, making them liable for the accident, just like a driver under the influence.

The Railroad Company

The company that owns the railroad could be responsible for the accident if they did not run proper inspections on the trains or keep up to date on train maintenance. They are also responsible for ensuring the sensors on the tracks work to trigger the crossing rails so cars cannot enter a track when the train is approaching. Often they are responsible for the design of the railroad crossing, the crossing lights, and warning devices, and the warnings to be given by trains.

The railroad is responsible for properly training its employees to stick to the safety guidelines and ensure the well-being of the train’s passengers. Therefore, if an employee causes the accident, the company could be liable. The railroad company should also maintain the tracks and keep them free of debris to prevent accidents.

Train Manufacturers

Malfunctioning or defective train components may cause train accidents. Railroad companies and conductors cannot always tell if a part is defective, so if a train accident occurs because of a part of the train failing, the manufacturer of that part may be responsible.

Track Designers or Track Construction Crew

If the accident happened because of the train tracks, the track designers or construction crew might be responsible. If the agency that designed the tracks planned and designed them poorly, they might have caused the train to get into an accident. The crew who built the tracks may also be liable if they used improper materials or if the tracks were constructed improperly.

Negligent Drivers and Pedestrians

While those who ensure the train’s functionality are responsible for keeping you safe, so are the other drivers on the road. A driver could ignore the railroad crossing signs or stop in the middle of a train track, both of which could cause an accident. In the same way, a neglectful pedestrian could be standing, running, walking, or bicycling on or near train tracks, which could result in an accident.

Call a Minnesota Train Accident Lawyer at Knutson + Casey Today

After a train accident, it may be overwhelming to deal with the legal processes that follow. Fortunately, our lawyers at Knutson + Casey are here to help you with your case so you can focus on recovery. We have helped thousands of clients get the financial compensation they deserve thanks to our 30 years of experience and innovative approach.

We are determined to make the claim process as smooth and straightforward as possible and ensure whoever is responsible for the train accident is held accountable. To get started on your claim and schedule a free, confidential consultation with our knowledgeable legal team, please call (507) 344-8888 or fill out our contact form.