History of Train Accidents

The United States was captivated by the idea of train travel from the time the first tracks were laid. From the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, with its famous golden spike, to the construction of elevated trains above Chicago, trains have long been a favorite way for us to travel with convenience.

But every different phase of railway travel, whether steam, diesel, or electric, has been plagued by the threat of many different kinds of accidents:

  • Faulty track construction and maintenance

  • Failure to keep engines in good running condition

  • Drivers disregarding safety protocols

  • Control personnel sending wrong messages to drivers

  • Deliberate attacks on trains (terrorism)

Today, fortunately there are clear paths for victims of train accidents to gain compensation for their injuries. In New Mexico, Killian Davis Richter & Mayle offer the services of personal injury attorneys who know how to get these victims the restitution they deserve quickly.

The Nature of Train Accidents

When you think of a train accident, your first impression is probably of a spectacular crash. Devastating crashes between trains are certainly the ones that make it into the news headlines, but there are other ways that people can be injured or killed on or around trains:

  • Trains and cars can collide at road crossings if signaling devices are not maintained or if visibility at the crossing is restricted by overgrown foliage.

  • Trains can become derailed if there are objects on the tracks or the tracks are damaged.

  • Drivers who use poor techniques (braking too fast, etc.) can cause injury to passengers without a crash even occurring. These minor incidents are difficult for plaintiffs to prove, and require the help of skilled personal injury lawyers.

  • Hazardous materials on board trains can ignite or leak, endangering the lives of people near the railroad.

It is rare that a train accident is unpreventable or due entirely to the influence of nature. In most cases, a manufacturer, maintenance crew, driver, controller, or owner acts in a negligent way that opens the door for an accident to happen.

Litigating over Train Accidents

As in any transportation accident, victims often receive an initial offer from the responsible insurance company, which is most likely too small to cover the expenses of recovery. Getting fair compensation for injuries or wrongful death suffered in a train accident is very difficult, for several different reasons:

  • Minor injuries caused by sudden, jerky movements on the train are difficult to detect and trace back to their causes.

  • Recreating accidents at road crossings is complex and difficult, requiring a great deal of evidence and witness testimony.

  • As well-funded companies (or, in some cases, the federal government itself), train owners can afford to hire very skillful defense attorneys to oppose the efforts of plaintiffs to win a fair settlement for injuries.

Airplane Accidents in New Mexico

For obvious reasons, aviation accidents are extremely devastating and can result in many lives lost and a large amount of property damage. Fortunately, they are not frequent occurrences in New Mexico, but when they do happen, those affected must ensure that they receive the support they need.

There are several different types of aviation accidents that can occur. Although most people immediately think of an incident involving a large commercial airliner, accidents may happen in any sort of aircraft. Therefore, an aviation accident may be classified based on the type of aircraft that were involved. Potential aircraft include:

  • Fixed wing aircraft (both commercial jets and small private airplanes)

  • Helicopters

  • Aircraft built from a kit or experimental aircraft

  • Aircraft used for tours or charter aircraft

  • Aircraft used for medical evacuation

Accidents may also be classified based on the actual event itself. In this case, the categories include such classifications as:

  • Accidents occurring during takeoff, such as an improper taxi or failure to prepare the aircraft adequately for flight

  • Accidents occurring as a result of a bird strike that interferes with the operation of the aircraft

  • Equipment failure

  • Accumulation of ice on the frame of the aircraft that hinders proper flight control

  • Accidents occurring during landing including failure of the landing gear to deploy or properly support the aircraft

The type of accident will determine the personnel involved in the investigation. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is typically the agency tasked with investigating an aircraft crash. For a major incident, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will also assist. For major airline incidents, the Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act of 1996 outlines the responsibilities of both the NTSB and the involved airline.

Cause of an Airplane Accident

Before anyone can justly be blamed for an aviation accident, investigators must determine the cause. Typically the cause of the accident can be traced back to one or possible more than one of the following:

  • Defective equipment or defective aircraft design

  • Pilot error

  • Air traffic controller error

  • Improper maintenance or faulty repair of the aircraft

  • Problems with fuel

Legal Action in Airplane Accidents

Once a cause is determined, victims and families must decide whether to pursue legal action. The particular claim will depend on the nature of the cause.

  • Product liability claims are generally made when the accident was caused by a faulty aircraft design or defective equipment.

  • Accidents due to pilot or other human error typically result in a claim of negligence.

  • The Federal Tort Claims Act comes into play when the accident is the fault of an employee of the federal government, such as a Federal Aviation Agency air traffic controller.

The Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act prevents attorneys from directly contacting family members in the days following the incident. Therefore, families must be alert to recognize the need for legal action and seek out a lawyer qualified to handle their case.

Lawyers in New Mexico Helping with Victims of Coal Mine Accidents

Every year, thousands of coal mining workers are injured because of faulty equipment, dangerous circumstances, or leadership neglect. If you have been affected by a coal mine accident, you need help from a law firm that can handle the situation quickly, professionally, and compassionately. At Killian Davis Richter & Mayle, PC in New Mexico, we provide attorneys who know exactly how to handle incidents involving coal mine accidents with your best interest in mind.

  • Our lawyers are professionally trained to deal with car, truck, motorcycle, and other vehicular accidents along with personal, brain, and spinal injuries, oil and gas accidents, and wrongful deaths.

  • Our expert attorneys are more than able to handle occupational illnesses and injuries due to coal mine accidents and will better instruct you on how to go about filing a claim if you are eligible for compensation.

Knowing the Next Step to Take

  • There are many different types of accidents that can take place at a coal mine: anything from electrical malfunctions to entrapment, accidental explosion of chemicals, falling or sliding rocks and other materials, falls while placing propping equipment, fires, impoundment, mining equipment failures, flooding, poisonous gas leaks, inadequate training, deliberate exposure to danger, and more. Sometimes, these accidents can be a direct result of an irresponsible manager, which places them at liability.

  • As a victim of a coal mine accident, you need someone who is going to take care of you. At Killian Davis Richter & Mayle, PC we will provide you with the help and care you deserve. We can assist with both permanent partial or total disabilities. We will also fight for the loved ones who have lost family members due to coal mine incidents. Contact our office to begin taking the next steps to receiving assistance in gaining compensation for these unfortunate events.

Our Firm Provides the Best Legal Care in New Mexico

  • We at Killian Davis Richter & Mayle, PC desire to show you the best way to handle unfortunate accidents that has brought a lot of struggle to you or the family of a victim of a coal mining accident. Our attorneys are always available to help those who are currently suffering the effects of those incidents. Don’t hesitate to contact our law firm to find out how you can find hope from filing a claim.

  • Whether you are a direct victim of a coal mine accident or a family member of a coal miner whose death is due to an accident caused by negligence from others, we have the information you need to take the next step in getting help.