Have you been injured in a train accident in or near Tampa, FL? If so, you’re likely struggling with medical bills while missing time from work. You’re probably also dealing with the emotional toll of the collision, creating even more stress.
The legal team at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers in Tampa, FL can alleviate some of your worries by taking on your legal battle, allowing you to focus solely on healing.
Our Tampa train accident lawyers have 119 years of combined experience helping personal injury victims recover fair compensation. We’ll put our skills and resources to work in your case to obtain the outcome you deserve.
Contact our Tampa law office at (813) 223-6200 or online to schedule a free case evaluation. We’ll discuss the train accident, the extent of your injuries, and your legal options for pursuing a monetary award.
How Can Our Personal Injury Lawyers Help After a Train Accident in Tampa, FL?
When you’re dealing with physical and psychological injuries after a train accident in Tampa, Florida, fighting a large corporation or insurance company should be the last thing on your mind. A Tampa personal injury lawyer will handle the legal aspects so that you have the time you need to recover.
If you retain Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers for help with your train accident case, we’ll help by:
- Independently investigating the railroad accident to determine how and why it occurred
- Monitoring any state or federal investigations
- Gathering evidence and consulting leading train accident experts and medical specialists to strengthen your case
- Identifying and calculating your financial and non-financial losses
- Negotiating for the full value of your damages
- Representing you in court in Hillsborough County if we cannot reach a fair settlement agreement
You don’t have to take on your train accident claim alone. Call our Tampa personal injury attorneys today to get the legal representation you need and deserve. We offer a free consultation, so there’s no obligation.
How Common Are Train Accidents in Florida?
Car accidents are more common than train accidents. However, collisions involving trains still do occur in the U.S. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there were 2,184 train collisions in 2022. They resulted in 774 injuries and 274 fatalities.
That same year, Florida experienced the fourth-highest number of train accidents in the country. There were 117 statewide rail accidents that caused 52 injuries and 21 deaths. That means Florida accounted for around 5% of the nation’s total train accidents in 2022.
What Is the Value of My Tampa Train Accident Case?
No two train accident cases or victims are identical. When we put a dollar figure on your claim, we must evaluate several factors specific to your circumstances, including:
- The types of injuries you suffered, their severity, and how they impact your daily life
- Your medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages
- The level of physical and emotional suffering you’ve endured
- Whether you share any fault for the train accident
- The long-term effects of your injuries on your quality of life and ability to earn a living
- Each party’s willingness to resolve the matter in good faith
Determining what your personal injury case is worth can be challenging. It may require assistance and opinions from expert witnesses, such as accident reconstructionists and financial specialists. Our train accident attorneys in Tampa will ensure we include all damages when assessing your claim.
What Types of Damages Are Available To Tampa Train Accident Victims?
Tampa train accident victims can pursue compensation for their financial losses, known as economic damages. They can also request recovery for their personal, more difficult-to-value losses, or non-economic damages.
Examples of economic damages stemming from a train collision include:
- Lost income and job benefits
- Reduced earning potential
- Medical costs you’ve incurred
- Future medical expenses, such as ongoing treatment or physical therapy
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Property damage
Examples of potential non-economic damages include:
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability or impairment
- Emotional trauma, like PTSD or anxiety
In rare Florida train accident cases, the court may award punitive damages. They aren’t intended to cover a specific loss; they’re meant to punish defendants for particularly reckless behavior.
What Causes Most Train Accidents in Tampa?
Most accidents involving trains result from someone’s negligent actions – meaning many are entirely avoidable.
Some causes of train accidents around Tampa include:
- Distracted railroad engineers
- Distracted driving
- Mechanical failure
- Fatigued train operators or drivers
- Operating a train or driving under the influence
- Defective train parts or railroad tracks
- Malfunctioning train crossing lights or gates
- Failure to maintain or inspect the train or railroad tracks
- Failure to stop at a railroad crossing
- Inexperienced drivers or engineers
- Negligent hiring or training
- Violations of state and federal laws, including the Federal Railroad Administration’s rules and regulations
We’ll need to examine why your train collision happened so that we can identify the liable parties. Our train accident lawyers in Tampa will gather the evidence required to prove your case and establish liability.
How Do I Prove Negligence After a Train Accident in Florida?
Because most train accidents result from an individual’s careless actions, you’ll likely need to prove the four legal elements of negligence:
- The defendant (train operator, train company, etc.) owed you a legal duty of care. Public transportation providers like trains are considered common carriers, meaning they transport people or goods for a fee. It also means they have a heightened standard of care to keep passengers and people sharing the roads safe.
- The defendant breached their duty of care by failing to act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances. For example, if a train operator wasn’t paying attention due to distraction, they likely breached their duty.
- The defendant’s careless actions directly caused the accident and your injuries.
- You sustained damages, such as mental trauma, physical injuries, and financial losses.
We’ll gather evidence to prove your train accident claim, such as:
- Police and accident reports
- State and federal investigation reports
- Black box (“locomotive event recorder”) data
- Inspection reports
- Maintenance records
- Eyewitness statements
- Expert witness opinions
- Photos, videos, and surveillance of the accident scene
- Reports of safety violations in the past
- Records regarding the train operator’s qualifications
Our Tampa train accident attorneys will help you prove the at-fault party’s liability for the train crash and pursue a fair financial recovery on your behalf.
Who Could Be Liable for a Train Collision in Tampa?
Under Florida law, multiple parties can share liability for a train accident. For instance, if the train engineer was negligent, the train company may be vicariously liable for its employee’s actions.
The following parties may share financial responsibility for a train crash in Tampa:
- Train operators
- Train maintenance companies
- Train companies, such as Amtrak or CSX
- Train passengers
- Negligent motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists
- Manufacturers of defective train components, parts, and railroad tracks
- Government agencies
Our personal injury attorneys in Tampa will identify and seek compensation from every potentially liable party.
Common Train Accident Injuries
Train accidents can be minor or catastrophic. They could involve a slight derailment or a high-speed crash with a passenger vehicle. Accordingly, victims can sustain various injuries, depending on the nature of the collision.
Some injuries that train accident victims suffer include:
- Fractured and broken bones
- Spinal cord damage and paralysis
- Soft tissue injuries
- Nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back injuries
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Chest injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Psychological injuries like PTSD
In the most extreme train accidents, a victim can lose their life. If you lost a loved one in a Tampa train collision, Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers will help you file a wrongful death claim.
What Is the Deadline To File a Lawsuit After a Train Accident in Florida?
Under Florida law, you have limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit and seek compensation for your damages.
The statute of limitations typically provides two years from the train accident date to take legal action. For a wrongful death claim arising from a fatal train accident, you have two years from the victim’s date of death.
Historically, the statutory deadline in Florida was four years – until the law was revised on March 24, 2023. If your Tampa train accident occurred after that date, you have two years to file your personal injury claim.
However, there may be exceptions to the general statute of limitations. For example, if the defendant is a government entity, there are specific procedural requirements. Additionally, you must typically submit your notice of claim within three years (or two years if it involves wrongful death).
We highly recommend speaking with an experienced train accident attorney in Tampa as soon as possible. It can take time to build a solid case, and if you miss the statute of limitations, you’ll be barred from pursuing your claim.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With Our Tampa Train Accident Lawyers
If you were hurt in a train accident in Tampa, FL, you deserve time to recover and heal. Let our Tampa train accident lawyers deal with insurance companies and legal claims. We’ll put our 119+ years of combined experience to work for you and ensure you get the compensation you need.
Contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We’ll explain the benefits of creating an attorney-client relationship