The expansion of the United States out west would not have been possible if not for the advent of the railroad. Towns cropped up all along the country as railroad depots, and the railroad offered a safer and more efficient means of travel throughout the country. It would have been nearly impossible to develop the western half of the country without the use of railroads. While the use of railroads in public transportation has dwindled in recent years, railways play a pivotal role in the transportation of products, especially oil and gas, throughout the United States. The failure of ongoing railroad maintenance and dangerous defects in railroad designs could lead to serious accidents that threaten hundreds of people around the country.
Product liability cases often involve three different theories of recovery:
- Breach of warranty
- Strict liability
In negligence claims, an injured consumer must be able to prove that the manufacturer or store owner was negligent in the design, manufacture and promotion of the product. Breach of warranty claims have their foundation in contract law, and a victim may recover the amount of damages based on a claim that the manufacturer breached their warranty to the consumer.
Generally speaking, the majority of product liability claims are based on design defects, failure to warn of a risk, or defective construction.
Victims of railroad accidents have multiple theories of recovery that they could take after a devastating accident. Many of these stem from the actions of the driver or the railroad company. However, it is important to look to the manufacturer as well as so many of these accidents stem from a defect in the railcar, locomotive or the rails themselves. All aspects of rail travel require ongoing maintenance to ensure everything is kept up to the appropriate safety standards. In addition to ongoing safety checks, any new products must have gone through rigorous testing by the manufacturer and distributor. The failure to appropriately test a product or the manufacture of a defective product could cause the company to be held responsible for all injuries involved in a railroad accident.
After a serious railroad accident, your first goal should always be your recovery. You may be pressured by the railroad’s insurance company to sign a settlement agreement, but it is important to carefully examine all aspects of the accident. Some accidents may be caused by the driver’s negligence; others may be caused by the weather conditions; while others may be caused by defective rails or brakes. It is important to speak with an attorney and begin an investigation into the cause of the accident prior to signing a settlement agreement.
Malley Law Firm | Houston Product Liability Attorney
If you or a loved one were injured in a railroad accident caused by a defect in the manufacture of the railcar, do not hesitate to contact the Malley Law Firm. Tony Malley has years of experience in handling product liability cases and understands the devastating injuries which can emerge from railroad accidents. Contact our Houston or Beaumont offices today for your initial free consultation.