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Claiming Compensation After A Rail Crash

In this guide, we’ll explore whether you’re eligible to claim compensation after a rail crash. An incident of this nature could impact several people including passengers and staff on board the train. Furthermore, the injuries could prove to be both physically and psychologically life-changing.

Rail crash

Claiming compensation after a rail crash guide

It’s important to understand whether you hold a valid claim to seek compensation. We will explore the steps you might take to put forward your claim as well as ways to strengthen your case.

This guide will also offer information and guidance on what your settlement may comprise and how it’s calculated.

Furthermore, we will provide information on No Win No Fee agreements which you could use as a way to fund legal representation. It’s not legally required to have a solicitor represent your claim, but you may find it beneficial.

If you need any additional information on anything of which you’re unsure, please contact our team. To get in touch, you can:

  • Call us up on 0800 073 8804
  • Speak with an advisor using the live chat function below
  • Or contact us via our online form.

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An Introduction To Rail Crash Claims

A rail crash occurs when a train collides with a forceful object or another train. There are various types of rail crashes that could cause injuries of varying severities to those involved. This guide will provide examples of train accidents that could be caused by someone else’s negligence. It will also explore the injuries you could sustain.

Following an accident on a train, you could seek compensation for the harm you sustained. However, there are certain criteria that must be met in order to seek compensation for injuries sustained in a train crash. In this guide, we’ll explore the criteria your claim will need to meet.

Please remember, you can call our team if you have any questions whilst reading our guide.

Criteria For All Personal Injury Claims

There are key points to meet for all personal injury claims, including rail crash claims. For instance, you must be able to demonstrate that:

  • A third party owed you a duty of care
  • They breached their duty of care
  • You were physically or psychologically injured as a result.

Only by meeting each of these points could you viably make a personal injury claim. If you’re unsure whether you hold a valid claim, you can get in touch with our team. An advisor could assess your case to determine whether you’re eligible to claim.

What Is A Rail Accident?

A rail crash involves a train colliding into something with force, such as:

  • A tunnel wall
  • Another train
  • An obstruction on the train tracks

In some instances, the train itself could come off the tracks ending up on its side and causing an obstruction on the tracks.

A train crash could happen while the vehicle is moving or it could be hit by another train while stationary. As you can see, there are various types of rail crashes and several ways in which a train accident could happen.

We have provided examples of train accidents that could be caused by someone else’s negligence in the section below.

How Could A Train Crash Happen?

As per the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Railways Act 1993, train operators have a duty of care to passengers to provide safe rail operations. If they are in breach of their duty, it could lead to accidents occurring, such as:

  • Speeding: A train driver might fail to adhere to the speed limits and when pulling up at a station they might collide with another stationary train on the tracks.
  • Poor weather conditions: The driver might have failed to take caution when operating the train during icy conditions. As a result, the train may have come off the tracks.
  • Collision with another train: In some cases, a train driver may not being paining attention and the train collides with another train.
  • Poor training: An employer may have provided inadequate training to the train driver. As a result, the driver may have misread the signals telling them when to stop the train.

If you have experienced a similar incident, you may be able to make a rail crash compensation claim. Call our team to find out whether you’re eligible.

What Injuries Could I Suffer In A Train Accident?

A rail crash could cause a plethora of physical injuries, such as:

  • Broken bones: This might include a forearm fracture, a broken wrist, a foot injury and other fractures or breaks to different parts of the body.
  • Head injuries: This might include brain damage or a minor head injury.
  • Internal damage: Injuries might include organ damage or internal bleeding.
  • Lacerations: Injuries might include minor cuts or deeper wounds.
  • Whiplash injuries: These might include injuries affecting the neck.

In addition, a rail crash could result in a fatal accident. Or a person could experience a psychological injury in the form of travel anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.

If you have evidence to prove that your injuries were caused by an accident that resulted from someone breaching the duty of care they owed you, you could potentially make a rail crash claim.

Providing Evidence For A Rail Crash Claim

There are various pieces of evidence that you could obtain to support your claim, such as:

  • CCTV footage
  • Photographs of the accident and your injuries
  • Witness contact details

Additionally, you could obtain medical evidence to provide details on your injuries. For instance, doctor or hospital records that highlight the treatment or diagnosis you received.

Furthermore, you may be required to undergo an independent medical assessment to produce a report on the full nature of your condition. The report may outline the severity of your injuries and how badly they will impact you in the future.

If you’re claiming a while after the accident, the report can show the long-term impact the injuries have had on your quality of life.

For more information on the evidence you could provide in support of your rail crash claim, call our team on the number above.

Rail Accident Statistics

It’s worth noting that the Coronavirus pandemic limited rail travel significantly during 2020/21.

According to the Office of Rail and Road’s Rail Safety Report for 2020/21, there were 10 passenger fatalities. Eight of which occurred on the London Underground and two occurred on the mainline.

Additionally, there were 414 severe injuries sustained to passengers and members of the public resulting in hospital admission. Also, there were 1,628 non-severe injuries sustained to the non-workforce in stations or on trains. These didn’t require hospitalisation.

How To Calculate Compensation For A Rail Crash Claim

In general, your settlement may consist of general and special damages. General damages provide compensation for your physical and psychological injuries. Due to the unique nature of each claim and the injuries sustained, your settlement for general damage will vary.

In order to accurately calculate how much you’re owed, medical evidence may be used to consider the severity and extent to which your quality of life has been impacted. Also, a document called the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) may be used to help value your claim. The JCG sets out compensation brackets for injuries.

The table below has been created using figures from the JCG. Please note, this is not an exhaustive list of injuries. If you can’t see your injury listed, please get in touch with our team. They can offer a free valuation of your claim.

Also, please only use the figures in the table as a guide as your actual settlement will vary.

Injury Notes Example Compensation
Paraplegia The award given will depend on various factors such as the person’s age and life expectancy, the extent of their pain and the psychological impact they face. £205,580 to £266,740
Neck Injury (a) Severe: (iii) Injuries might include a fracture, dislocation, severe soft tissue damage or a ruptured tendon. The injuries might lead to a chronic condition and a permanent disability. £42,680 to £52,540
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (a) Severe: The person will be unable to work or function at a level they did before the trauma occurred. £56,180 to £94,470
Chest Injury (c) Lung and chest damage that causes an ongoing disability. £29,380 to £51,460
Traumatic Injury (i) Damage that causes pain and discomfort that is severe and ongoing. £40,370 to £58,100
Pelvis And Hip Injury (b) Moderate: (i) The injury may be significant and cause a permanent disability that isn’t major. £24,950 to £36,770
Leg Injury (a) Amputations: Where both legs have been amputated above the knee or the person has had one leg amputated above the knee and the other below the knee. £225,960 to £264,650
Shoulder Injury (c) Moderate: A frozen shoulder that makes movement limited and causes discomfort. The symptoms may continue for around two years. £7,410 to £11,980
Back Injury (c) Minor: (i) The person may fully recover without requiring surgery and within five years. £7,410 to £11,730
Arm Injury (d) A forearm fracture that is simple in nature. £6,190 to £18,020

Explaining General Damages And Special Damages

As discussed, general damages provide compensation for your physical and psychological injuries. However, the amount you receive will vary depending on factors unique to your case.

Special damages provide compensation for any future or past financial losses that were directly incurred as a result of your injuries, such as:

  • Medical expenses, such as medication you’ve been prescribed
  • Loss of income during the recovery period
  • Transportation costs when travelling to and from doctor or hospital appointments
  • Care costs

You must provide evidence to support your claim for any monetary losses, such as receipts or payslips.

The Steps To Take After A Rail Crash

Should you be involved in a rail crash, the immediate priority is for you to receive appropriate medical attention. After that, you should begin to gather the evidence for your potential claim, including witness contact details.

Additionally, you may find it beneficial to contact a personal injury solicitor for legal advice. An experienced solicitor could help you gather relevant evidence to build a strong claim. Also, they could arrange for you to attend an independent medical assessment in your local area.

If you’re apprehensive about seeking legal representation due to the costs associated, you should be aware that you don’t have to claim with a solicitor. However, an experienced solicitor could help you through each step of your claim and keep you up to date throughout the process.

Furthermore, if you want to hire a solicitor, you could do so under a No Win No Fee agreement. This agreement can help you fund legal representation. See below for more information.

No Win No Fee Agreements

A No Win No Fee agreement allows you to hire a solicitor without paying an upfront cost or paying ongoing costs while your claim proceeds. It also means that if your claim fails, you won’t pay a success fee to your solicitor.

If your claim is successful, you will pay a success fee from your compensation. However, the fee is subject to a legal cap.

For more information about working with a No Win No Fee solicitor, please get in touch with our team. They could connect you with one of our solicitors who works on this basis.

The Advantages Of Working With Legal Expert

There are several benefits of working with our team of advisors and solicitors. For instance, all of our solicitors offer No Win No Fee agreements meaning they could start working on your claim and you won’t need to pay any fees upfront.

Additionally, they have experience handling various types of claims, including for road traffic accidents, workplace accidents, public place accidents and incidents of medical negligence.

For more information, you can check our reviews to find out more about the way in which we work with claimants.

Communicate With Us About Your Train Crash Claim

If you’d like one of our solicitors to represent your rail crash claim, please contact our team of advisors. They can assess the validity of your claim and if it has a chance of success, could appoint a solicitor to begin working on your case.

However, there’s no requirement for you to pursue a claim with us. Instead, our advisors can provide free legal advice and answer any questions of which you’re unsure.

Either way, please get in touch by using any of the following methods:

  • Call us on 0800 073 8804;
  • Fill out the contact form;
  • Or use our live chat service for instant advice.

Further Research For Rail Crash Claims

We hope this guide has provided you with the information you need to make a rail crash claim. However, we have provided some additional external resources and links to our other guides below.

See this guide on claiming should an accident potentially occur on Virgin trains.

This guide on train station accidents could help if you sustained harm while waiting at a station.

If you sustained a whiplash injury, this guide on whiplash claims could help.

For further rail statistics, please see the government website.

Read about annual injury statistics for accidents at work courtesy of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Visit the NHS website for any medical advice.

We hope this guide exploring how you could make a rail crash claim has helped. If you need any further assistance, please contact our team on the number above.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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