Traveling in the Fort Lauderdale area offers you a variety of different modes of transportation, from car to airplane to train. While train travel isn’t as popular as it once was, it’s still one of the most expedient options for getting from place to place. One of the main operators in the area is Brightline, which has an interconnected rail from Miami to Orlando and points in between.
Although train travel is undoubtedly convenient, any train accident can result in significant injuries to you or a loved one. At Cowen Edwards, our team of Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers are well aware of the challenges posed by such accidents. When you’ve been hurt on a Brightline train, you can count on our experience and guidance. Contact us today for a free consultation.
What Should You Do After a Fort Lauderdale Brightline Train Accident?
Being in a Brightline train accident is not only highly dangerous but also beyond your control. However, the aftermath of such an incident is crucial to not just your health, but to any potential legal options you may have. Here’s a few things you’ll need to do:
- Get medical attention – As with any accident, the first thing you should do is check for injuries and get medical attention, even if you don’t feel hurt. This can address any potential hidden injuries.
- Document the scene – Use your phone to capture photos or videos of the accident site, focusing on any hazardous conditions or contributing factors. Note the date and time.
- Get witness information – Make sure to get names and contact information from any witnesses. Their statements may prove valuable in the event of legal action.
- Preserve evidence – Keep any torn or damaged clothing or personal items from the incident as potential evidence to show the severity of injuries and the circumstances.
- Record injuries and damages – Also take pictures of any visible injuries and maintain a comprehensive record of medical treatment, including bills and receipts.
Do You Need a Lawyer After a Fort Lauderdale Brightline Train Accident?
It’s important to remember that every accident, even with a Brightline train, is unique. If there’s been an accident, the most important thing is to make sure you’re safe and healthy. After that, you can think about what to do next. You might want to consider working with our team in this situation. With our experience and knowledge, we can help you in the following ways:
- Experience and legal guidance – Our lawyers have a lot of experience dealing with insurance companies, especially in cases involving Brightline train accidents. This experience helps them navigate negotiations effectively and understand the tactics insurance adjusters often use. It increases your chances of getting a fair settlement.
- Evaluating your claim – Insurance companies usually want to pay as little as possible. Our lawyers know personal injury laws well and can accurately assess the true value of your claim. They take into account all your losses and provide strong evidence to support your case. This approach allows us to fight for the maximum result you should receive.
- Protecting your rights – Insurance companies have lots of resources and people to protect their interests. When you have our personal injury lawyers on your side, they’ll safeguard your rights and interests. Your lawyer will stand up for you, counter any unfair tactics from the insurance company, and work towards a fair and just settlement.
- Negotiation and easing your burden – Negotiating with insurance companies can be very stressful, especially when you’re already dealing with the aftermath of an injury from a Brightline train accident. Our lawyers handle all the communication, paperwork, and legal procedures for you, so you don’t have to worry. This gives you the opportunity to focus on your recovery.
If you’re going through a tough time because of a Brightline train accident, having our team’s support can make a big difference. We’ll be with you every step of the way to make sure your claim ends with a satisfactory and fair outcome. Before that point, though, there’s the actual claims process that you’ll have to go through.
Claims Process After a Fort Lauderdale Brightline Train Accident
In Fort Lauderdale, when there’s a Brightline train accident, the first thing to figure out is who’s responsible. This is what we call liability in legal terms. Liability means being responsible for the accident and the resulting injuries and damages. Just like any other accident, the key to determining liability is establishing negligence.
However, Brightline train accidents have some unique aspects. Finding negligence in these cases can be a bit more challenging, but the process remains the same:
- Duty of care – Everyone involved in the accident has a duty to act with caution and take steps to prevent harm to others.
- Breach of duty – If someone fails to fulfill their duty of care by not being reasonably careful, that’s considered a breach of duty and a sign of negligence.
- Causation – Causation means showing that the negligent action directly caused the accident.
- Damages – “Damages” refer to the harm caused by the accident, which can include property damage, injuries, or even loss of life.
Once these elements are established, responsibility for a Brightline train accident might fall on one or more of the following:
- Train operator – The person operating the train could be held responsible if the accident was due to their negligence in maintaining or operating the trains.
- Brightline – If the accident results from a defect in the train’s design or manufacturing, Brightline may be held liable.
- Maintenance or service providers – Companies responsible for maintaining tracks, signals, and other train-related infrastructure could be liable if inadequate maintenance contributed to the accident.
- Other drivers or pedestrians – If the accident involves a collision with a vehicle at a railroad crossing or a pedestrian on the tracks, the actions of the driver or pedestrian could factor into liability.
- Local government – If the accident is caused by poor road conditions, inadequate signage, or other issues related to railroad infrastructure, responsibility may fall on local or state government agencies.
Identifying who’s responsible in a train accident depends heavily on the circumstances of the accident, but usually involves the following:
- Gathering initial evidence at the accident site.
- Collecting eyewitness accounts.
- Analyzing data from the train’s black box.
- Examining the train’s condition.
- Investigating the actions of the train operator.
- Assessing the condition of the tracks.
- Ensuring compliance with rail regulations.
- Seeking expert analysis on the causes and liability.
- Government agencies may also conduct official investigations.
It’s important to remember that your specific accident will have its own unique circumstances and responsible parties. Once our team is able to help you establish this, you can proceed with actually filing a claim for damages.
Damages Available in a Fort Lauderdale Brightline Train Accident
Train accidents may have unique situations, but the legal process that follows is much like other accidents in Florida. When you or another injured person think about what to do, the general procedure is pretty similar.
Usually, when you’re seeking compensation for a train injury in Florida, there are two main options: making an insurance claim or filing a personal injury lawsuit. It often begins with an insurance claim and might go on to a lawsuit if that’s what you prefer.
The main aim of a claim is to get compensation from the people responsible. In these kinds of accidents, the compensation typically covers:
- Costs for healthcare, like hospital bills.
- Income or any earning potential that was lost due to the injury.
- Damage to your property.
- Pain and suffering caused by the injury.
- Mental anguish.
- Reduced quality of life or companionship.
It’s crucial to know that all injury claims in Florida, including those that come from a Brightline train accident, must follow a specific time limit known as the “statute of limitations.” This is a deadline for actually filing your claim, and it currently stands at two years from the date of the injury. Missing this deadline means you won’t be able to file a claim to recover what will likely be much-needed compensation.
Guidance From Experienced Fort Lauderdale Brightline Train Accident Lawyers
Whether you realize it or not, you’re going to need a great deal of help if you’ve been in an accident on a Brightline train in Fort Lauderdale. No matter the extent of your injuries and damages, Cowen Edwards can help. Our experienced Fort Lauderdale Brightline train accident lawyers can help you figure out responsibility then hold them accountable through the claims process. Contact us today to get started with a free consultation.