How Much Does It Cost for a Train Accident Lawyer

A train accident can be terrifying and tragic, especially if you or a loved one was hurt. In the aftermath of such a disaster, people need answers. Each train accident case is unique and all differ in terms of severity, responsibility, and what kind of compensation you can recover for your injuries. 

This is why it’s so important to find an experienced attorney who can handle your situation. Many people believe that finding a good lawyer can be difficult because they all tend to charge a lot for their services. It’s normal to be concerned about the cost of a train accident lawyer. Fortunately, this isn’t always the case. 

Many reputable personal injury and wrongful death attorneys experienced in train accident cases will take your case on a contingency fee basis. At Morgan & Morgan, you never pay us anything until we win your case, so you don’t have to worry about paying anything upfront. For a free case consultation, contact Morgan & Morgan today.

Cost of A Train Accident Lawyer

The cost of a train accident lawyer will vary depending upon who you hire. Some lawyers require that you pay them upfront, which could cost hundreds of dollars per hour. However, most reputable train accident lawyers will charge on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t ever pay anything upfront. If you are awarded compensation as a result of the trial or from a settlement, your attorneys will get paid a percentage of that money. You will usually receive the balance of the available funds, depending on the agreement you have with your lawyer. This is ideal because if you don’t win anything, you don’t pay anything. 
Most states have laws regarding the amount of money an attorney is permitted to charge in a contingency fee basis case. The standard percentage is usually anywhere from 33 percent to 45 percent of the awarded compensation. While this might sound like a steep price, the attorney essentially takes on all of the risks when filing the lawsuit. They’re the ones who spend money upfront to file the case, hire experts, and gather all of the necessary evidence for the trial. So if your case is not successful, they will be the ones losing money. It can be expensive to file a train accident lawsuit due to all the costs involved in preparing for the case to settle or go to trial.
Additionally, working on a contingency fee basis is ideal for clients because it assures them that the lawyers will work as hard as possible to get an appropriate settlement or win in court. If a lawyer charges you hourly, while it’s required that they do everything they can to be successful in your case, they get paid no matter what. Therefore, there’s less risk and therefore less incentive for them to win your case. If you hire an attorney who works on an hourly basis, it’s normal to be more concerned about the cost of a train accident lawyer than if you find one who works on a contingency fee basis.
Further, almost all personal injury and wrongful death attorneys will offer free case evaluations. During this case evaluation, you can explain the facts of your case, and the lawyer and their firm can determine if they believe you have the opportunity for a positive outcome or not. If they take your case on a contingency fee basis, this means they believe your case will be successful. Otherwise, they wouldn’t take it because they don’t get paid unless you win.

Contingency Fee Agreements

When a firm takes your case on a contingency fee basis, you’ll have to sign a contract. This contract will state all the information about the cost of the train accident lawyer that you are hiring, including the percentage that they receive if your case settles or they win at trial. Additionally, other fees need to be determined as well. This includes the costs of any expert witnesses, court fees, costs for certified records, such as hospital records or insurance information, and more. The fee agreement will outline who is responsible for these charges. Does the lawyer pay these out of their percentage, or will it come out of the award? It’s important to discuss these issues up front so you aren’t surprised at the end of the case by the total compensation you receive. If you ever have questions, ask. Don’t hesitate to speak up. A reputable firm will be happy to discuss these issues with you, as they want all of their clients to be successful and satisfied with the outcome of a case.

Factors That Can Affect The Contingency Fee

While there are usually laws regarding the maximum percentage an attorney can charge, that doesn’t mean they will automatically charge that amount. For some cases, a lawyer might be happy to accept 30 percent, but for another case, they might insist on 45 percent. Several factors could affect this decision.

Time and Effort

If a lawyer looks at a case and can tell right off the bat that it will take a significant amount of time, effort, and research, they may decide to ask for a higher percentage. Of course, there’s no way to know definitively how much research and time a case will take, but more experienced attorneys will have an idea of the time that will be needed during the initial consultation. For example, a case that has a lot of supporting documents and evidence corroborating the claim may not be as time-consuming and research-heavy as a case where it’s solely based on a victim’s testimony. While cases can be won based on testimony alone, it’s much more difficult.

Settlement vs. Trial

If an attorney believes they will be able to quickly and easily receive an adequate settlement, they might be willing to take on your case at a lower percentage. Again, there is always risk involved because there’s no way to know for sure what the outcome will be. In this situation, it should mean the cost of a train accident lawyer is a bit lower than what you might typically expect. However, if an attorney knows that a particular defendant is generally unwilling to make reasonable settlement offers, they can anticipate that a trial will occur, which almost always means more time and research will go into the case. In this situation, the lawyer may negotiate a higher fee.

More answers to commonly asked questions

In most states, you can file a lawsuit against anyone who was responsible for your accident. This could include the railroad company, the conductor, a company that was supposed to keep up the train tracks but failed to do so, or even a person on the train if they contributed to the injury. 


Some of the most common types of train accidents include derailments, crashes with other trains, crashes into vehicles, and trains hitting pedestrians. Accidents are often caused by conductor negligence or error, railway negligence, mechanical failure, negligent motor vehicle operators, distracted pedestrians, etc. 

Passenger Injury
Injuries can occur without a train actually being involved in a crash. For example, if a train brakes unexpectedly or is traveling too fast, passengers can be injured if they fall as a result, or even if bags, luggage, or other heavy items are moved around in the train and fall on people injuring them. 
Bystander Injury
Bystanders are often injured or killed as a result of unprotected railroad crossings, which means they aren’t always adequately warned of the imminent existence of a train. For instance, there might not be any lights indicating that a train is coming, or there might not be anything stopping someone from crossing the train tracks when a train is approaching.

When you or a loved one is the victim of a train accident, you’ll likely file a personal injury or a wrongful death claim. While it’s possible that there are other issues, such as defective equipment, these are the most common. An experienced attorney will be able to assist you in determining what type of case you have.
In order to be successful in a personal injury claim, you will usually need to show that the party you are attempting to hold responsible was negligent. In some circumstances, there might be more than negligence, but that’s the most typical situation. To show negligence, you must prove the following elements:

  1. The defendant owed the victim a duty;
  2. The defendant breached that duty;
  3. The accident occurred as a result of the breach; and
  4. The victim suffered injuries as a result of the accident.

To show wrongful death, you must prove similar elements to a negligence claim - you usually need to prove the following

  1. The defendant owed a duty to the victim- the duty to operate in a safe manner;
  2. The defendant breached that duty;
  3. The breach caused the death of the victim; and
  4. The victim’s death caused losses to the claimants.

If you are an employee who was injured as a result of a railway accident at work, you may have options other than a workers’ compensation claim. It’s normal to be concerned about the cost of a train accident lawyer in this case as well. Fortunately, the Federal Employer’s Liability Act can help you recover what you deserve.
Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA)
It’s common for railway workers to become injured as a result of a train accident, not just passengers or pedestrians. In addition to workers’ compensation laws, FELA protects railway workers and requires that the workers demonstrate that an action or a failure to act by the railroad contributed to their injury. This can be more difficult to prove than what is required for a workers’ compensation claim, but it may help railway workers receive more compensation than normally expected.  
If a railway worker is able to show that they were injured in the scope of their employment, the railroad is engaged in interstate commerce between two or more states, and the railroad contributed to the injuries, the worker may be entitled to past and future pain and suffering, past and future lost earnings, past and future medical expenses, and mental injures, such as emotional distress. It will also be necessary to show that the railway failed to provide a safe place to work.

Train accidents occur often, and can horribly injure, maim, and kill innocent people. If you want to have the best chance of winning a train accident case, you should consult with an experienced train accident lawyer that can help guide you through this process. While we understand finances are always a concern and you might be wondering about the cost of a train accident lawyer, it’s also essential to find the most qualified attorney who will give you all of the time and attention you deserve. At Morgan & Morgan, we can do that for you. 

Additionally, we take all cases on a contingency fee basis, so you will never have to pay us upfront. You won’t pay anything until we win your case. We have been handling these types of cases for clients for decades. In our time practicing law, we have recovered more than $20 billion dollars in compensation for our clients. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free case evaluation.