Trains are essential to modern travel. They ferry large amounts of goods across the country and assist commuters in getting to and from and around major metropolitan areas. There is, however, a downside to relying on trains for transportation: most trains carry hundreds of passengers at a time, meaning that an accident or collision can cause injuries to many people. Negligent and careless acts involving trains can thus lead too frequently to serious injury or even death. Every year, about 1,000 people die in train accidents in Massachusetts alone. If a train accident personal injury is brought about by a conductor’s or other person’s negligence, then the injured victim may have a meritorious personal injury lawsuit to bring.
One of the most severe train accidents in recent history was the 2015 Amtrak Philadelphia crash, which injured dozens and killed eight. The train was ferrying over 240 commuters when it entered a curve at more than twice the recommended 50 miles-per-hour speed limit; as a result, the train derailed, mangling one car and knocking two others on their sides.
The victims and their families came together and filed a class-action lawsuit against Amtrak, arguing that its negligence caused the death and injuries of dozens of passengers. Most likely fearing the outcome of a jury trial, Amtrak agreed to settle the lawsuit out of court. In December 2015, following the Philadelphia Amtrak crash, Congress raised the damages cap for a single rail accident from $200 million to $295 million. In order to settle all claims, Amtrak agreed to pay the crash victims and their families a total of $265 million, one of the highest civil awards of its type in US history.
Common carriers, such as trains, subways and trolleys, owe a heightened duty of care to their passengers under applicable state and federal law. Therefore, if you are injured due to the negligence of a railway company or operator of a common carrier, you may be entitled to receive money damages for their breach of care. You owe it to yourself to learn more about your legal options and rights. Call us 24/7 at 617-787-3700 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with one of our train accident injury lawyer specialists. Your initial consultation is free and private, so contact us today!