For ambulance chasers, Robert Evans, 46, is a perpetual motion machine of torts. He started the day by being hit by a hit-and-run driver in Boulder, Colorado and finished the day by being hit by a train. (He appears to have run out of time on adding a plane accident). He appears fine, though required hospitalization for being clipped by the coal train.
His two-tort day offers an interesting example of rivaling tort claims. In the case of the car accident, he could well recover and the driver is most likely to be charged criminally, if found. It will depend on where in the road he was struck, he could sue for recovery of damages (though the court would have to isolate the injuries from the car as opposed to the coal train). The question will be whether he was contributory or comparatively negligent in the accident.
In the case of the train, he was trespassing on a bridge that was not designed for foot traffic. He was returning to his camp (he appears to be a transient). There is generally no duty to trespassers, though Burlington Northern Santa Fe may have a duty to anticipated or discovered trespassers. He will have a harder time recovering against the company unless he can show a type of easement or knowledge by the company (which failed to take steps to block off the passageway). He was found in a creek ten feet under the bridge, which might suggest that it was a common crossing point. If the train company is aware that this bridge is routinely used as a crossing, it could face a claim for not taking steps to prevent dangerous crossings or properly warn those crossing of the dangers (usually such crossings have warning signs).
What is clear is that, on days like this, it is better to stay in camp.
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