San Francisco Bay Area Caltrain Accident Takes A Life

August 11, 2011 by Gregory J. Brod

Today, a Caltrain accident took the life a pedestrian, according to sfexaminer.com, and is yet another reason why we have growing concerns over the safety of our public transportation here in the Bay Area. No details have been released yet. The legal consequences of train accidents can be very complicated and usually involve a number of legal issues, such as causation or comparative negligence, which require the experience of a seasoned attorney. Under California law train companies such as Caltrain have a high duty of care. Caltrain is known as a common carrier because they provide public transportation on daily basis to millions of Californians. Therefore, the law assigns such companies the duty of putting safety first. When they do not act with the upmost duty to ensure safety, this is what is known as negligence. Sadly, sometimes a breach in that duty can cost a person’s life, causing the family members to piece together the tragedy and learn live with their loss in the wake of an accident. Every day, passengers put their lives and their trust in common carriers. Each lawsuit filed against a train companies is a message that tells them it is time to take the safety of the public at large seriously.

Typically there are many factors that determine the worth of case, or what the appropriate settlement or verdict will be. Consequently, any attorney litigating a railroad case must have a comprehension of the many legal and technical factors involving railroads and train accidents, and will usually seek the aid of a railroad accident reconstruction expert in order to build a successful case. Railroad accident reconstruction includes the investigation of any number railroad and train-related factors, such as impact and final rest positions, calculating train speed and braking distance, as well as numerous other factors. It also involves an analysis of the actions of other vehicles involved in a collision with a train such as automobiles and trucks, or analysis of worker, patron, or pedestrian actions in a railroad accident. The findings are referred to as quantifying factors and are then used to produce alternate pre-accident scenarios. Other types of factors include assessing the if the traffic control at a grade crossing, train speed, whether there was sufficient sight distance for train operator, if warning devices were in working order, if the tracks were properly maintained, and if there was a attempt to apply the brakes in a reasonable time frame, etc., etc. Most verdicts and settlements are usually based on some consideration of the facts supplied from accident reconstruction, so it is important to hire an attorney who understands this vital part of the litigation process.

Many common carrier cases settle for large sums, some of which may even be over 1 million. Our experienced train accident attorney has represented common carrier cases, including buses, trains and received victorious verdicts and settlements for each. If you or loved on suffered an injury due to an accident with a train, please contact our firm for a free consultation.