Nationwide Train Accident Lawyers
Train Accident Lawyers with Extensive High-Level Experience
For decades, Baum Hedlund has successfully represented railroad and train
accident victims in some of the worst train crashes and derailments in
our history. Based in Los Angeles, our train accident attorneys have handled
the litigation for more than 85 passengers in train-related personal injury
or wrongful death cases across the United States. These cases have included
train derailments, train collisions, train accidents at-grade-crossings,
FELA-railroad employee injury claims, and incidents involving Amtrak,
Conrail, MARC and Metrolink.
Train accident victims or their families hire our firm because of our extensive
high-level experience handling train accident litigation and other forms
of commercial transportation liability. Baum Hedlund concentrates its
practice on wrongful death and serious personal injury commercial transportation
cases throughout the United States. Our firm is listed in The Best Lawyers
in America®, Top Ranked Law Firms™, U.S. News & World Report
Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms and in Martindale Hubbell’s Bar
Register of Preeminent Lawyers.
Contact us at (855) 948-5098 if you or a loved one was seriously injured
or killed in a train wreck. We take cases nationwide.
Our Train Accident Investigation Process
In all accidents involving trains, it is vital that prompt measures be
taken by mass disaster accident attorneys to perform a proper accident
and train investigation. At Baum Hedlund, we use comprehensive programs
to ensure no stone is left unturned. It is our job to obtain best possible
results for our clients by using effective train investigation, litigation,
and resolution strategies.
Among the many steps we take to precisely prepare a train investigation
and litigate a train accident case:
- Preserve all evidence throughout the train investigation
- Obtain reports of local governmental agencies
- Photograph scene, cars, undamaged equipment
- Obtain scale models of equipment
- Survey track area
- Obtain the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report
- Obtain the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), and any other government
- Obtain witness statements
- Acquire coroner reports and records
- Obtain the black box data if the train was equipped with an ECM (Electronic
- Obtain the defendants’ safety record
- Get the full background and history on the conductor, rail switch operators, etc.
- Secure a train accident reconstruction expert
- Communicate with prosecuting attorney if any criminal proceedings are involved
- Determine the best legal venue determined by substantive law and choice
of law issues
- Identify any governmental entities involved
- Prepare and file claim forms against governmental entities, if necessary
- Prepare and file the lawsuit
Our Past Experience in Train Accident Cases
Leading Litigators in the Glendale Metrolink Train Tragedy
A Baum Hedlund senior partner,
Paul J. Hedlund, who is also a mechanical engineer, testified about passenger car crashworthiness
and the dangers of pushing passenger trains at the state hearing conducted
by the California State Assembly, looking into the causes of the Glendale
Metrolink train tragedy. It was our law firm’s opinion that the
“pushing” of passenger cars was likely responsible for the
deaths and injuries which resulted from the southbound Metrolink train’s
collision with the Jeep left on the tracks. As deranged as the action
of parking a vehicle on the railroad tracks was, Metrolink’s unsafe
procedure led to the tragic consequences in this case.
Paul Hedlund also testified before the State Assembly hearing on California
commuter rail safety as a result of the Metrolink derailment. He showed
two independently produced train crash test videos exposing the vulnerability
of cab cars. The videos stunned the Committee members when it revealed
the cab car with shock absorbers suffered very little damage compared
to the cab car without. Mr. Hedlund also discussed push versus pull in
general terms and the inherent dangers in pushing passenger cars with
a locomotive and why pulling passenger cars with a locomotive is safer.
In December of 2005, almost a year after the Metrolink derailment, and
after months of public pressure, Metrolink finally announced that it would
install shock absorbers on their trains. On several occasions our firm
organized meetings for our clients to personally meet with the state assemblyman
and his transportation staff spearheading the push-pull ban legislation.
We also organized our clients to meet with the U.S. Representative for
the district where the crash occurred, seeking his involvement in improving
passenger rail safety in the state of California.
Baum Hedlund Organizes March on State Capitol to Rally Support for Bill
Baum Hedlund clients and the firm’s public relations director joined
Assembly Majority Leader Dario Frommer (Glendale) at the Burbank airport
for a press conference just before taking off for Sacramento. After landing,
the Baum Hedlund group spent the rest of that day and the next day lobbying
12 of the 13 senators who sit on the Senate Transportation and Housing
Committee, to vote yes on the Assembly bill that would ban the pushing
Our Clients Testify Before the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee
Three Baum Hedlund Metrolink crash clients testified before the California
Senate Transportation and Housing Committee in favor of the Assembly bill
that, if passed, would ban the pushing of passengers in California and
make passenger trains safer. Each one of these victims, a widow and two
severely injured passengers, offered excellent testimony, and made it
very clear that if their Metrolink train was being pulled that tragic
morning, rather than being pushed, the injured would have walked away
with much less severe, if any injuries, and no one would have died.
Representing Victims in the 1993 Amtrak Sunset Limited Crash
The crash remained Amtrak’s worst until September 22, 1993, when
47 passengers and crew died when Amtrak’s Sunset Limited plunged
off a bridge into a muddy bayou near Saraland, Alabama. Baum Hedlund represented
22 victims from this train derailment which was initiated by the mishandling
of a barge that struck the bridge just before the wreck.
Maryland was again, the site of a fatal Amtrak crash on February 16, 1996,
when 12 people were killed when one of the company’s passenger trains,
the Capitol Limited, smashed into a MARC Maryland Rail Commuter train
in Silver Spring. Baum Hedlund represented six families in the MARC train
crash that also involved a locomotive engine pushing the passenger cars
ahead of it.
Taking on the 1987 Conrail Train Collision in Chase
The firm handled its very first train disaster in 1987. This was the case
of the Amtrak – Conrail train collision in Chase, Maryland on January
4, 1987. In that incident, an Amtrak train, carrying 600 people, on its
way to Boston from Washington, D.C., crashed into a set of Conrail freight
locomotives bound for Pennsylvania. At the time of the collision it was
reported the Amtrak train was traveling at an estimated speed of 108 mph.
Train cars were stacked three high from the force of the impact.
The collision caused the deaths of 16 people, including the Amtrak engineer,
and 175 people were also injured, making it, at that time, Amtrak’s
deadliest wreck in its history.
The Baum Hedlund clients suggested to the committee, the many changes needed
to make passenger trains safer. Some of their proposals included banning
pushing of trains, installing automatic gates at all rail crossings, installing
sensors, radar and/or cameras to warn of obstructions, train turnarounds,
passenger car crashworthiness improvements, seat belts, better rail disaster
training and alerting of passengers before a crash.
Contact our train accident attorneys at (855) 948-5098.