(619) 295-0035
call for a free consultation

Rail Accidents

What to do if you or loved ones are hurt in San Diego County rail accidents

San Diego County’s rail services consist of 50 light rail stations on 47 miles of track and 8 regional rail stations on 41 miles of track. Annual light rail ridership as of 2003 was 25.4 million, and regional rail’s annual ridership was 1.3 million in 2002. Ridership in the North County region has been growing of late, with Sprinter boardings rising 3.5% reach 646,955, and Coaster boardings rising 0.6% to reach 355,245 as of 2013.

San Diego County Rail Transit Operators

San Diego County’s rail transit operators include:

  • San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), which operates:
     San Diego Trolley, a light rail system servicing the San Diego metropolitan area (average weekday ridership 119,800)
  • Southern California Regional Rail Authority, which operates:
     Metrolink, a commuter rail service serving Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego Counties, consisting of seven lines, 55 stations, and almost 400 miles of track (with almost 42,000 daily riders in the fourth quarter of 2014)
  • North County Transit District (NCTD), which operates:
     The Coaster, a heavy commuter rail service between the North County community of Oceanside and San Diego proper (average weekday ridership 5,600)
     The Sprinter, a light rail service between the North County communities of Oceanside and Escondido (average weekday ridership 7,800)
  • Amtrak, which operates:
     The Pacific Surfliner, a heavy intercity rail service between San Diego and San Luis Obispo (with 2.7 million boardings in fiscal year 2013)

San Diego County Rail Accidents in the News

Though San Diego County rail accidents are rare, they do sometimes take place. One of the most notable San Diego County rail accidents took place in 2008, when a Metrolink train collided head-on with a Union Pacific freight train in the Chatsworth neighborhood of Los Angeles. Twenty-five people were killed and 135 were injured. For whatever reason, the northbound Metrolink train did not follow protocol and pull onto a siding to allow the southbound Union Pacific train to pass.

As recently as March 2016, a bicyclist was killed crossing a trolley track in Barrio Logan. The 27-year-old victim bypassed the barrier and ventured onto the train tracks at about 5:45 AM, where he was struck by an oncoming trolley. Witnesses attempted to revive him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. The man was wearing earphones and may not have heard the approaching train as it came.

While liability in the second example clearly lies with the decedent, other cases of San Diego County rail accidents may be the fault of the train driver or transit operator’s negligence. If you are injured in San Diego County rail accidents and you can prove that the transit company or driver was guilty of negligence or deliberate misconduct, then you have adequate grounds for a complaint.

Liability in San Diego County Rail Accidents

The key word to remember when you’re trying to decide whether to file a lawsuit against a San Diego County rail transit authority is negligence. Negligence occurs when transit companies such as MTS or the NCTD, which have an unspoken duty to protect passengers, fail somehow in that duty. As a passenger, you rightfully believe that you may travel on trains in San Diego County with danger or injury. Yet perhaps shoddy maintenance led to an electrical fire, and you or relatives are hurt or killed by smoke inhalation. Perhaps a train operator became intoxicated and crashed a train. Perhaps critical safety systems failed, and pedestrians or cars were struck and killed at train crossings without adequate warning. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you and other victims may be within your rights to file personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits against the transit authority.

To determine liability in San Diego County rail accidents, the following conditions must be proven to a jury:

  • A relationship existed between you (the passenger) and the transit company (the service provider)
  • The transit company failed to live up to the standard of service expected of it
  • That failure led to you or your loved ones getting hurt or killed

Hire a Lawyer if You or Loved Ones are Hurt in San Diego County Rail Accidents

To successfully prove the above conditions, it’s a smart idea to hire a San Diego County rail accidents lawyer. A smart, aggressive attorney can help you present your case to a jury of your peers and win you the financial settlement you need to properly cope with your injuries and/or anguish.

One of the foremost reasons you should hire a lawyer is this: you’ll gain a powerful ally in the investigation. Estey Bomberger spares no expense when it comes to investigating an accident and obtaining expert testimony. To conclusively prove that a transit company did not live up to the standard of service which was expected of it, you will often need to produce expert witnesses to testify in court: transportation authorities, accident investigators, and other competent individuals. Estey Bomberger spends every dime necessary to retain these people so that their testimony can help secure a victory and a record-setting verdict.

The Law Firm of Estey Bomberger Can Help You Today

Estey Bomberger has decades of experience representing victims in transportation accident and personal injury cases. We have the legal knowledge and skill to take cases even other lawyers deem “unwinnable” to trial and succeed. We take only a few cases per year so that we can focus the maximum amount of attention on the cases we do take, and we frequently obtain multimillion-dollar settlements for our clients. Don’t let transit companies get away with shoddy maintenance and safety procedures. Obtain the necessary financial resources you need for your ongoing mental and physical healthcare. Get in touch with us today at 1.800.925.0723 or go to ebtrialattorneys.com.


Start your recovery today

If you are hesitant to contact us about your claim, it may help you to gain an understanding of what personal injury law is, and what is is not. We are ready to help you. Whether you prefer talking on the phone, coming into our office in San Diego, or you need us to come to where you are, please give us a call today at (619) 295-0035 to schedule an appointment.

No fees unless we win

Free Case Evaluation

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Estey & Bomberger, LLP

2019 Undergraduate Scholarship

At Estey & Bomberger, LLP we understand the importance of a college education, while at the same time knowing how expensive college can be. We are proud to announce the Estey & Bomberger, LLP 2019 Undergraduate Scholarship. The cost of college tuition is now higher than ever and our goal is to take some of the financial burden off of dedicated and hard working students.


We are offering $2,000 to one student whom is in the final year of high school or currently enrolled as undergraduates at an accredited college or university in the United States. Applicants must be 17 years of age or older. There is no restriction on your field of study.


Help us to make the world safer! To apply, please write an essay (minimum 750 words) explaining a current public safety issue in our society, and your proposed solution to the problem. Be creative :)

The issue can be either public or consumer safety. We will then select a winner from the submissions we receive.


$2,000 awarded one time.


  • The deadline to apply for this scholarship is March 31, 2019.
  • Winner will be announced by April 30, 2019.

We will notify the scholarship winner by either phone or email and the winner will be announced on our firms social media accounts.

To Apply

Please fill out the form on this page as completely as possible. Please upload your essay using the submission button with the form. Also please submit a digital copy of the acceptance letter from your college or graduate school. The accepted file types: doc, docx and pdf. Do not include additional material not asked for in the application. Good luck!

Undergraduate Scholarship Form

Please Fill Out the Form Below (*Required fields)

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf.
    Please upload both College Acceptance Evidence & Scholarship Application Essay