Going purely by statistics, train travel is considered to be one of the safest ways to travel but that does not mean it is 100% accident-free. There are several different ways you could get injured while using a train service, either on the platform or station or in the train itself.
Irrespective of how the accident happened or whether it happened on the station, platform or train, if it was not your fault then you may be entitled to file a train accident claim.
Understanding A Train Company’s Responsibilities
According to the law, train companies have a duty of care towards all passengers who use their services. This means it is the train company’s duty to make sure that you are safe from any harm at all times whilst you are on their premises and using their services. This duty of care begins from the time you enter the station, right through the train journey and until the time that you exit the station at your destination.
Where Things Can Go Wrong On The Platforms Or In The Train
When we think about train accidents, most of us immediately think train crashes. While a train crash is no doubt a major disaster that cannot be ignored, there are several other things that can go wrong while you are in the station or on the platform or the train.
- Defective or neglected components inside the train compartment – Sharp protruding objects, loose supports, defective train doors and damaged seats can cause various injuries from lacerations to broken bones.
- Slips and trips – Defective paving, liquid spillages that are not mopped up promptly, discarded litter such as broken glass pieces or slippery fruit peels left lying on the platform or train floor create hazards that result in slipping and tripping.
- Issues related to food and drink – Buffet cars are a common feature in many trains that run across the UK. The presence of boiling hot liquids in a moving train increases the risk of scalds or burns. There is also the possibility of passengers suffering from food poisoning from foods that may have been left unrefrigerated too long in transit.
- Hit by falling objects – Inappropriate or insufficient luggage storage can cause heavy luggage to fall off and hurt passengers.
- Train crashes – Poorly maintained tracks, signal lights and other equipment, debris on track, mechanical failure, driver error or collision with an oncoming train can all lead to a train derailment or a crash. Unfortunately, train accident derailments often result in severe injuries that could range from broken bones to brain damage, severed limbs, spinal damage, paralysis and even death.
If you sustain any injury, however big or small, due to the negligence of either the rail company or any of its staff members you may be entitled to make a personal injury claim for compensation.
Action To Take Immediately After A Train Accident
- The first thing you need to do after any injury, whether it was caused at the station or on the train, is to make a formal report in the book that is usually kept at every railway station. This ensures that you have a written accident report, which will be very useful if and when you go to court.While you are at the station, take time to get the contact details of all the other passengers who may have witnessed the accident and who are willing to testify on your behalf when the time comes.Get photographs at the scene to show the cause of the accident.
- Seek treatment for your injuries. Do not make the mistake of skipping this because you think your injuries are minor. Seeing a doctor is vital for two reasons – firstly, the doctor will treat your wounds and also check for any hidden injuries and secondly, the medical certificate issued by the doctor will serve as proof of your injuries if and when you go to court.
- Contact a personal injury solicitor as soon as possible. The truth is it is almost impossible to win a claim against a train company without the help of a solicitor. Railway companies are mighty organisations with a huge legal department of their own. Unless you are familiar with the law, it will take you a lot of man-hours and lost income trying to put together a winning train accident claim.
Moreover, most personal injury solicitors in the UK work on a Conditional Fee basis which means they will fight your case free of cost. You only pay after you have won the case and have received the settlement into your bank account.