While taking the train to work or other destinations in New York is common, most people do not really think about how they could be injured on their journey.
Entering and exiting the train can be dangerous. The train could derail or crash, leading to passenger injuries. Overcrowding on a train can also be dangerous. People can also be injured at railroad crossings. Trains travel at a high rate of speed, amplifying all of these risks.
If you are injured as a passenger of a train or while at a railroad crossing, you may be able to pursue a lawsuit based on negligence.
If the train engineer is negligent, causing a person to suffer damages, the train engineer may be held responsible in court. In addition, the company that hired the engineer and oversees the railways may also be held responsible for the engineer’s negligence.
Negligence occurs when a person or entity has a duty of care, which they failed to follow, causing an injury that would not have occurred but for the breach and could have been foreseen, resulting in damages.
Railroads as common carriers
Railroads are considered “common carriers” for legal purposes. Common carriers must do everything reasonably possible to keep passengers safe. This is their duty of care.
With that being said, if the passenger on the train or the person at the railroad crossing is negligent, this can affect how much they can pursue in damages. If a person is partially responsible for the injuries they suffered in the train accident, this could reduce how much they can pursue in a subsequent lawsuit.
Taking the train can be convenient but dangerous. We do not think much about how risky train travel can be until we find ourselves in a dangerous situation. If you were injured on a train or as a bystander to a train you may have grounds for pursuing compensation.