Train Accidents & Victims' Rights

On Tuesday May 12th, an Amtrak train traveling from Washington, D.C. to New York derailed and crashed in Northeast Philadelphia. The crash resulted in incredible wreckage, at least 8 deaths, and over 200 passenger injuries. At the time of the incident - shortly before 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday evening - Amtrak Train 188 was carrying 238 passengers and 5 crew members.

Since the accident occurred, state and federal investigations - including officials from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) - have been working around the clock to determine the cause of the tragic crash.

According to preliminary investigations and data from the train's black box recorder, the train was traveling over 106 mph before it entered the curve where it derailed - a curve where the speed limit drops to 50 mph. Investigators are still looking into whether human performance or operator contributed to the accident.

Tuesday's fatal Amtrak accident is nothing short of a tragedy for the many victims and families involved. As investigators piece together what happen, their findings will become crucial in the fight for justice and fair compensation. Consider the following about what the accident means legally to victims and Amtrak:

  • Train companies are required to take reasonable measures to keep riders safe. If it is discovered that Amtrak was negligent in any way or failed to keep riders safe when they could or should have, they could potentially be held liable for damages victims suffered. The same holds true for equipment manufacturers if it is discovered that a defective train part contributed to the accident.
  • Victims who suffered injuries and damages in the crash - as well as families who lost loved ones - may be able to pursue financial compensation by filing personal injury or wrongful death claims.
  • Civil claims filed against the party responsible for the accident - which may be Amtrak, a train part manufacturer, or some other party - can allow victims and families to recover damages that include: medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional injuries, and more.

At Lessem Newstate & Tooson, LLP, we are hopeful that investigators can shed light on what caused this incident - not only because victims have the right to know, but also to ensure that the accountable party is held responsible and that similar accidents can be prevented in the future.

If you have questions about your rights after an accident, our team of Ventura personal injury lawyers is available to help. Contact our firm for a free consultation.