Proving Liability if Pedestrian Hit by a Train

For a pedestrian hit by train, survival is unlikely. And if the pedestrian does live through the accident, it’s usually not without severe, debilitating, and permanently disabling injuries. In order for that pedestrian—or/and the pedestrian’s survivors to recover damages—they’ll have to prove the liability of the at-faulty party in a mass transit accident.

Determine Who Was at Fault

The first step to any accident claim is determining who was at fault. If the pedestrian was at fault, then recovering damages (from a party other than the pedestrian’s insurance company) is unlikely.

More often, though, another party is to blame for a pedestrian’s train accident.

  • Another pedestrian (who pushed the victim)
  • Another vehicle (that hit the victim, pushing him/her into the train’s path)
  • A train operator
  • A train maintenance person or company
  • The city (failure to maintain safe conditions for the pedestrian)

Prove Negligence and Causation through Evidence

Once fault has been determined, negligence and causation must be proven.Negligence refers to an unsafe and unreasonable act; causation refers to the act of negligence being the direct cause of the pedestrian’s injury or/and death.

Examples of neglect include this list (but are not limited to it).

  • Failing to maintain a train, train track, or train crossing/warning lights/fixtures
  • Drinking while driving or operating a train (see the Rail Passenger Family Assistance Act of 2008, recently in the news because of the Amtrak crash in Philadelphia)
  • Failing to maintain a safe walking area leading to a slip or fall into the train’s path
  • Anything else that would not be considered prudent by a reasonable person

The second step is causation, or proving that the pedestrian train accident would not have occurred but for the negligent party’s negligent action. If both negligence and causation can be proven, then the at-fault party will be held liable for damages.

Damages Recoverable in a Pedestrian Train Accident

If the pedestrian is filing the claim, then damages recoverable include any or all of the following.

  • Pain and suffering  
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Other financial and emotional losses

If a family member is filing a wrongful death claim on the behalf of the deceased, damages will also include loss of consortium and guidance.

Let a Pedestrian Train Accident Attorney Help You

Train accidents involving pedestrians are some of the most gruesome and devastating accident types. For assistance in proving liability and recovering your full damages amount, let the attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC guide you. To schedule a free meeting with us today to discuss your claim, call our offices at 215-642-2335 now.