Some of the most catastrophic accidents in the country are train accidents. As for those who are injured or who lose a loved one in such an accident, they may be eligible for compensatory damages. Kentucky residents should know what the process of filing a claim against a railroad company is like.
First of all, most cases end in an out-of-court settlement as railroad companies and state transit authorities usually want to avoid the negative press that would come in the wake of a trial. During negotiations, both parties will propose a reasonable amount in damages. Of course, it’s always possible that with a trial, the jury may award a higher amount, which is why some will press on with their lawsuit.
Lawsuits start with a complaint filed against the court holding jurisdiction over the accident. The defendants then file a response with their defense. Plaintiffs and defendants may exchange evidence, hearings may be held, and pre-trial motions may be made to admit or dismiss certain evidence. If a settlement is not reached, then a trial begins.
High-speed rail passengers who are injured in large-scale train accidents may not have all their losses covered due to a $200 million liability cap established by Congress in 1997. Also, injured railroad employees file a FELA claim, which is subject to different regulations.
Railroad collisions can sometimes be connected with auto accidents, in which case the process would be similar: Victims would file a claim against the railroad company and either opt for a settlement or take the case to court. Negotiating a settlement can be hard, though, and the other side could be aggressive in forcing victims to agree to their settlement offer, so it may be wise to have a lawyer. The lawyer might hire third-party investigators and medical experts to help provide evidence.