Injuries are much less common on the trains and train lines than they used to be as stricter health and safety legislation and minimum standards of safety have decreased the number of train accidents, injuries and deaths on the rail network substantially. The UK now ranks second in Europe for the number of accidents on the network, after Ireland.
The picture of rail safety in the UK looks much better, but accidents and injuries do still happen on the rail network.
Most injuries on the rail network happen when alighting a train or on an escalator, and are usually slips, trips and falls.
Eligibility for Compensation
To establish whether you are eligible for compensation, you need to establish who was at fault for your injury.
If you tripped over your shoelaces, that’s your fault and there would be no compensation from the rail service provider, even if you were seriously injured.
If your shoelace were to get caught in an escalator and that escalator did not stop, causing you injury, then there could be a case for compensation. You would need to consult a personal injury solicitor for advice on this matter.
If a large piece of metal fell off a train and hit you on the head, you would almost certainly be eligible for compensation as it was not your fault, you could not have reasonably avoided it, and the rail service provider was clearly operating a faulty and dangerous piece of machinery.
For minor injuries, the rail network might pay out a small sum and that would be that. For a serious injury it is advised you instruct a personal injury solicitor to take up the case.
With any injury on the rail network, you should report it to the service provider who is responsible for that part of the network, regardless of whether it was your fault or not. This is both to cover your own back and to provide a paper trail your insurer can follow to establish the correct amount of compensation you are entitled to under their scheme.
When you think that an injury you have suffered is the responsibility of the rail network or its employees, you should contact them immediately with all the relevant details.
When applying for injury compensation, you should do this in consultation with your insurer and, where necessary, a solicitor.
You should have at minimum the following details to back up any claim for compensation:
- Evidence of travel – ticket and receipt for the journey on which the injury occurred
- Details of injury – where, when, how, what happened
- Your account of the injury (if possible)
- Witnesses (if possible)
All or none of the above can be relevant in the train accident claim. The rail network is replete with cameras, staff and other passengers, there should be enough corroborating evidence to back up or counter your account of the injury.
Rejected Train Accident Claims
If you have been injured in a train accident, applied for compensation and been rebuffed, you can take matters further by instructing a personal injury solicitor to instigate legal proceedings against the rail service provider in question.
You will be responsible for most or all of the costs of this proceeding if it is found in court that you were responsible, not the rail network.
Upheld Compensation Claims
Should the court uphold your compensation claim, you should be entitled to your costs being paid and a level of compensation decided in court. For injuries, the amounts payable can vary but range up to unlimited compensation.
If you threaten legal action, the rail service provider might decide to settle out of court, in which they will offer you a sum of money not to drag them through the legal system. You might have to sign a non-disclosure agreement as well.
There are a large number of legal precedents when it comes to injury on the rail network, so finding a prior judgement that supports your claim or rejects it based on legal reasoning is possible through the courts records system. A personal injury solicitor can guide you as to whether your claim is eligible or not. Certainly a solicitor isn’t a necessity but they will know all of the ins and outs required to make a strong case for compensation.
None of the above advice and information is legal advice. For proper legal advice you should contact a solicitor who will help you with your injury claim.
Train accident claims information – https://www.claimsaction.co.uk/train-accident-claims/
Network Rail Workforce Injury Rate – https://www.networkrail.co.uk/who-we-are/how-we-work/performance/safety-performance/workforce-safety/