Chicago Railroad Accident Lawyers
Are You the Victim of a Train Accident in Chicago?
Chicago’s rail system is expansive and active. A number of different trains move through and around Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, including Metra trains, and Amtrak. Trains make about 2,145 trips each day and serve 143 stations. For commuters in the surrounding suburbs, Metra transports approximately 301,200 riders each weekday and approximately 121,800 riders on weekends.
Unfortunately, railroad accidents often result in devastating injuries and even deaths due to the sheer size of the trains and the speeds at which they travel. Railroad deaths totaled 907 in 2019 and nonfatal injuries totaled 7.867, illustrating the severity and pervasiveness of these incidents. As such, our Chicago railroad accident attorneys at Cogan & Power, P.C. represent victims who suffered injuries or death in train accidents involving negligence or wrongdoings. Clients trust us to put our considerable experience, skill, and knowledge to work to get them the compensation that they deserve.
Get started on your claim today. To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or at (312) 477-2500!
Common Causes of Railroad Accidents
Many internal and external factors can lead to train accidents, and when negligence or wrongdoings play a role, victims have a chance at obtaining compensation for their injuries. That being said, train accidents can occur for several reasons such as:
- Train derailments
- Defective equipment
- Poor maintenance of the track
- Collisions with other trains
- Fatigued operators
- Railroad crossing accidents
- Collisions with cars or trucks
- Collisions with pedestrians
- Inexperienced train operators and employees
Damages Available in Railroad Accident Lawsuits
Given the size and nature of trains, railroad accidents often involve catastrophic injuries and death. While the amount of compensation that a person receives depends on the extent of the injuries and the cause of the accident, victims of personal injury accidents may be entitled to compensatory damages, including:
- Medical bills
- Property damages
- Loss of normal life
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of future income and benefits
- Loss of future inheritance
- Loss of spousal companionship, protection, and care
- Grief, sorrow, and mental suffering of surviving spouse and next of kin
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damage (if the defendant’s actions were intentional)
How Many People Are Killed or Injured by Trains?
It may seem rare, but train accidents are more common than you may think. 2020 saw 1,519 total railroad accidents, most of which were caused by derailments (1,047). 91 of these accidents in 2020 were caused by collisions, and 381 train accidents resulted from other factors. As a result, 26 people were injured in derailment-related accidents, 8 people from train collisions, and 33 from other factors in 2020. 1 person died in a train accident in 2020 due to factors other than derailments and collisions.
Tips to Prevent Train Accidents
As you can see railroad accidents occur more often than one may think. Many times, however, they are preventable. That said, we encourage you to review the life-saving tips below to best prevent getting involved in a train accident:
- Always assume a track is in use
- Never stop your vehicle on a railroad track
- Never try to race or a train with your vehicle
- Look both ways before crossing a track
- Remember that trains are wider than the tracks
- Remember that trains cannot stop quickly
- Never enter a train tunnel
- Never drive around lowered gates
- Never go on a train track
These tips above apply to drivers and pedestrians, but we would be remiss to exclude considerations for operators and railroad engineers. For this reason, we include some tips below to help minimize and avoid railroad accidents, as provided by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
- Establish regulations
- Implementing intelligent signaling systems
- Training personnel
- Developing a preventive railroad accident plan
As experienced Chicago railroad accident lawyers, we understand the complexities and nuances involved in these cases. Fear not, however, because we are skilled negotiators who will work tirelessly on your behalf to obtain a favorable settlement. If one is not possible, our skilled trial attorneys will vigorously fight for your rights in court to get you the compensation you deserve.
Your path to peace of mind begins when you schedule your complimentary consultation with us online or at (312) 477-2500!
FELA Team Investigators
Ron Pasquarella, Investigator
Ron brings extensive experience to the Cogan & Power FELA team. Ron started his railroad career as a trackman with the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad after serving two tours of duty in Vietnam. Ron worked as a machinist and then a locomotive engineer until his retirement. Ron was a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainman (BLET), Division 682, and held various executive rolls in the union including Secretary, Treasurer, Local Chairman, and General Chairman. Ron’s thirty years of experience as a railroader and twenty years’ experience in union administration provide invaluable insight. Ron has extensive knowledge of railroad rules, union agreements, investigative procedures, and railroaders’ rights. Ron’s knowledge is utilized by the FELA team to maximize recovery for its clients.
John Grob, Investigator
John Grob has more than thirty years experience as an investigator. He has worked with hundreds of railroaders and their families. John works closely with injured workers and families to help them navigate the frightening, emotional, and confusing situation of being injured on the railroad. He has assisted the most severely injured including those suffering loss of limbs, paralysis, brain injury, and death. John’s success comes in part from his own experience on the railroad. John started his railroad career in 1976. He worked on the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad. He also held office with the Transportation Communications Union (TCU) for twelve years. John has extensive knowledge in operating and non-operating craft agreements. John is familiar with all aspects of disability and pension matters for railroad workers. John works closely with our clients to ensure they receive all the benefits to which they are entitled. John’s knowledge of the railroad and his unwavering commitment to Cogan & Power clients is unmatched.
Brett Hobbs, Investigator
Brett Hobbs joined Cogan & Power as an investigator after experiencing a career ending injury on the railroad. Brett knows firsthand how difficult it is to suffer an injury on the railroad. Brett is a prior client of Cogan & Power and has firsthand knowledge of the hard work, support, and excellent results of the FELA team. Having benefited from Cogan & Power’s efforts he wanted to be part of the team. Brett has twenty-two years of railroad experience as a conductor and locomotive engineer on the Elgin Joliet & Eastern Railroad and Canadian National Railway. He also spent seventeen years as Local Chairman and General Chairman for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainman (BLET) where he negotiated several collective bargaining agreements, represented workers in hundreds of disciplinary hearings and arbitrations, and negotiated the labor rosters following a railroad merger. Brett is a past winner of Canadian National Railway’s President’s award. Brett brings his years of experience and administrative knowledge to the FELA team allowing us to provide the best legal services to our clients and maximize their recovery.