Rail accident claims

Most if us at some point have travelled by train and have done so for a variety of reasons. These include commuting to work, visiting friends or family and travelling on holiday.

In cities such as London, thousands of people each day use the Underground or the main rail system to get in and out of the capital. This is done in preference to using the car or for reasons of cost and for many people it becomes a familiar routine.

Rail companies duty of care

If you use public transport such as the train on a regular basis then you expect this to be a safe form of travel. The owners of rail companies have a responsibility to you and other passengers to ensure that you are protected from danger whilst travelling.

There should be health and safety measures in place to safeguard passengers from the risk of an accident. Whilst passengers have a degree of responsibility to themselves and their fellow travellers the owners of a rail company still have a duty of care to you and these others.

If this fails or is not properly implanted then an accident is liable to happen which has serious consequences for you and others concerned.

Examples of rail accidents

There have been several high profile rail accidents over the years which include:

  • King’s Cross rail accident
  • Hatfield rail accident
  • Cumbria rail accident
  • Paddington rail accident

Many people were killed and numerous others injured as a result of these crashes. But it is important to keep this in perspective: train travel is still a very safe mode of transport and thousands journey in this way without any problems.

But if you have been unlucky to be involved in a rail accident or it has involved a member of your family then you or they may be able to claim compensation.

Effect of a rail accident

An accident on this scale can have devastating consequences for you and your family. No-one can underestimate the physical and psychological distress caused by such a situation and the possible long term effects.

It is not uncommon for survivors of a rail crash to develop post traumatic stress disorder as a reaction to their experience.

It is also a life changing situation. If you have been involved in a rail accident and have sustained serious injuries as a result then this impacts upon not only you but your family as well. Your family has to deal with what has happened plus a range of other issues.

There is the pain caused by the physical injuries which is also accompanied by psychological distress as well. This causes a range of issues which include legal, financial and emotional.

In regard to financial issues this is something which worries many families. For example, you may have had to spend time in hospital due to your injuries which also means time away from work. This loss of earnings and possibly pension rights reduces your family’s income which then affects their standard of living.

This may lead to financial hardship which only adds to the stress that they are currently experiencing. Plus there may be additional expenses such as the cost of nursing care, specialist services, e.g. physiotherapy, medication, specialist aids and counselling.

All of which cost money.

Money may not be the main issue but nevertheless, it is an important factor which is where compensation can help. There is no amount of compensation that can reverse what has happened but it can be used in a positive way.

Compensation can pay for treatment, support services and many other expenses which would improve your quality of life.

Making a claim for compensation for a rail accident

There are a number of complex issues involved in cases such as these. Compensation is just one aspect of it. Your claim will be based upon determining who was at fault or whether negligence was the cause of the accident.

Compensation claims involve the issue of ‘grounds’: this means having sufficient evidence to show that your injury occurred through no fault of your own.

This is not a straightforward affair and as you might imagine, can be complex in high profile accidents such as the ones listed in the ‘examples of rail accidents’section. But the awards made can be substantial due to the severity of the injuries incurred in the accident.

Find a personal injury law firm or solicitor who is experienced in handling these complex types of claims. They will have people who have handled these high profile claims and will utilise this experience to ensure that they secure the best outcome for you.

They should handle your case with tact, sensitivity and an understanding of the effect this has had upon you and your family.

The lawyer will conduct an initial review of your claim to look at the circumstances surrounding it before advising you about the likely outcome. If he/she proceeds with it then they should guide you through each stage of the process.

If you want to know more about the claims process then visit our making a claim for compensation section.

Time limit for claiming compensation for a rail accident

Personal injury claims have strict deadlines. These are set at a 3 year time limit from the date of the original accident.

But there are certain types of claims where the time limit is longer, for example industrial injuries claims. This may be the situation with transport claims.

Check with your lawyer about the time limit for a rail accident claim.

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