Can I file a wrongful death claim if my loved one died in a train accident?

Wrongful death claims after train crashPossibly. Train accidents can be catastrophic and sadly, they happen far more often than most people realize.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), approximately 10,000 train-related accidents or serious incidents are reported to the Department of Transportation (DOT) each year. These include mechanical malfunctions, derailments, and collisions. These reported incidents result in thousands of injuries and roughly 700 deaths each year—some right here in Georgia.

Pursuing A Train Accident Injury Case

If you lost a loved one in a train crash caused by another person or company's negligence, you might have grounds to file a wrongful death claim that allows you to seek compensation for losses related to their death. However, Georgia law limits the ability to file a wrongful death claim to select individuals, such as the victim's surviving spouse, children, parents, or personal representative.

The surviving spouse has the first option to file a wrongful death claim, and must also represent the interests of any minor children of the couple. Additionally, in most cases, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of your loved one's death; otherwise, you risk forfeiting your right to pursue a legal remedy.

Types of Wrongful Death Suits

Wrongful death claimants in Georgia can bring two different types of suits: one to attempt to establish the full value of the victim's life, and another to compensate for financial losses related to their death.

Potential damages in the first kind of claim include lost wages and benefits the victim would have earned, as well as loss of care, companionship, and support for surviving family members. Common damages in the second type of claim include:

  • Medical expenses incurred during the victim's final injury or illness
  • Reasonable funeral and burial or cremation costs
  • Pain and suffering the victim experienced before death

Consult an Experienced Attorney About Your Wrongful Death Case

No amount of compensation can replace a lost loved one, but a wrongful death settlement or financial award can help families gain closure and heal financially after an unexpected loss. If your loved one died in a negligence-related train accident, the knowledgeable attorneys with Rechtman & Spevak can help you investigate your rights to compensation. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation.