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CHICAGO Metra/Train Accident ATTORNEYS

The Metra commuter rail agency serves over 100 communities throughout Illinois. In addition to the light rail system, there are other types of trains that run through the state, as well, such as Amtrak and the CTA ‘L rail system. Unfortunately, these vehicles are not immune to becoming involved in a number of different types of accidents. Due to the fact that trains are so large and heavy, the damage afterwards is much more severe. If you have been hurt, our team of experienced attorneys can help you through the claims process so you obtain the full settlement you are entitled to. 

Common Injuries Sustained in Train Accidents 

When a train accident occurs, even a seemingly minor collision can result in major damage due to the massive size and weight of a train. Some of the most common injuries sustained are as follows: 

  • Whiplash: Trains travel at a greater speed than other vehicles. When they suddenly stop, whether due to sudden braking or during a crash, accident victims can sustain a whiplash injury. 
  • Broken bones: There are a number of ways bones can become broken during a train accident. These injuries often require a number of invasive surgeries to correct. 
  • Internal organ damage: Train accidents can cause crushing injuries, which can result in serious internal damage to the organs. Ruptured spleens, internal bleeding, punctured lungs, and perforated organs are just a few examples of internal organ damage. 
  • Traumatic brain injuries: There is no such thing as a minor brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions, can result in mobility issues, loss of motor skills, and memory loss. 
  • Spinal cord injuries: A serious train crash can result in serious spinal cord damage, leaving accident victims with temporary or permanent injuries. These injuries can result in a significant loss of physical strength, loss of feeling in certain body parts or the entire body, and loss of bladder control. 
  • Psychological damage: Not all of the injuries sustained during a train crash are physical. These events are extremely traumatic and so, victims can suffer from serious psychological injuries for a significant period of time afterward. 

Common Causes of Metra/Train Accidents 

Metra and train accidents are caused by a number of different factors. The most common of these include: 

  • Human error: Inexperienced conductors can easily cause a train accident. Even when someone has been working in the rail industry for a long time, they can still suffer from fatigue, particularly when they are taking long trips. Tired conductors and crew members may not be able to operate a train and its systems properly, which can cause a crash. Vision issues, poor judgment, and impaired reactions are all also forms of human error that can cause a train crash. 
  • Reckless drivers and pedestrians: Train operators and companies are not always to blame for accidents. Distracted and reckless drivers and pedestrians can cause a crash by crossing or standing on the tracks at the wrong time. In some cases, drivers may be trying to beat a train while crossing the tracks, which can result in a serious crash. 
  • Mechanical failure: Even when all safety precautions are followed, a mechanical failure or faulty part can cause a train accident. Trains have many moving parts and many complex systems. A problem with any one of these is a very serious matter. 
  • Faulty tracks: It is not only trains that can be defective and faulty. If tracks are faulty, or there are foreign objects left on them, this can also cause a crash. 
  • Speeding trains: Any time a vehicle travels too fast, it can result in a crash. When trains speed, they can not only cause a crash, but the resulting damage will also be much more severe. 
  • Unprotected railroad crossings: Railroad crossings help train passengers, and others, from avoiding serious injuries. When railroad crossings are unprotected, it can result in serious injuries. Malfunctioning signals, obstacles that block the view of drivers, and alarm failures are just a few ways in which railroad crossings may be unprotected. 

How Victims Can Recover Compensation for Their Injuries 

Any time another person’s or entity’s negligence causes a train accident, they can be held liable for any resulting injuries. Passengers and other private citizens will have to prove that someone else was negligent and caused their injuries. This requires a thorough investigation and the collection of evidence to prove an accident victim’s case. Railroad employees who are hurt during a crash cannot always file a workers’ compensation claim like other employees in the state can. Instead, these individuals must file a Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) claim instead. A lawyer can advise on which type of claim to file so you obtain the full damages you deserve. 

How Metra/Train Accidents Differ from Other Personal Injury Claims 

Due to the fact that train accident claims involve injuries, and that they rest on negligence, it is easy to assume that these cases are similar to other personal injury claims. Unfortunately, they are not. They are far more complex. 

One factor that complicates train accident claims is that more than one person may be at fault. For example, a conductor may act negligently, but there may also be a faulty condition on the tracks. Or, a negligent driver may stop on the tracks but a conductor may not realize it in time. In these cases, more than one party is at fault and so, it makes it more difficult to determine liability. 

Another complicating factor in train accident claims is that the injuries are much more severe than in other personal injury claims. This means it will take victims longer to reach maximum medical improvement so they can submit their claim, and insurance companies are much more likely to be reluctant in paying the high amount of damages victims deserve. 

Lastly, many rail systems such as Amtrak, Metra, and the CTA, are owned by the government. Claims against the government have very different rules than other types of personal injury claims, including shorter time limits. 

Train Accident Statistics 

There are some alarming train accident statistics that show just how dangerous these crashes are. Some of the most surprising stats are as follows: 

  • It is estimated that trains kill one person every 100 minutes. Annually, almost 1,000 people are killed in accidents related to trains. 
  • Over half of all railroad accidents happen at unprotected crossings. 
  • More than 80 percent of railroad crossings lack sufficient warning devices such as arms and lights. 
  • When a vehicle collides with a train, its occupants are 40 times more likely to be killed than if they had crashed with a vehicle of a similar size.  
  • Every two weeks a train carrying dangerous material derails in the United States. 

Our Train Accident Attorneys in Chicago Can Help You Obtain a Fair Settlement 

The aftermath of a train accident is extremely complex. At Kennedy Watkins, our Chicago train accident attorneys can help you make sense of it so you can obtain the fair settlement you deserve. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and will travel to wherever you are in the state to meet with you. Call us now at (312) 448-8181 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to get more information. 


About Train Accidents


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Kennedy and Watkins were referred to myself and my husband by another attorney. From the very first conversation we knew we made the right choice. Everything was always communicated from the beginning to the end which made the process smooth and in the end we were extremely satisfied with the results of our case.

– Trena L. Wallace

Highly recommended! Jack was very attentive to my case after my accident and walked me through each step along the way clear and concise. My case was settled in a timely manner overall I was very pleased.

– Shelby Furcron

I’d want to mention that working with Mr. Kennedy was a pleasure because he was a huge help and support in my case. He was good at communicating and made sure that everything was crystal clear. He also had a great deal of empathy for the circumstances. I would recommend him to anyone who needs legal advice.

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