In our previous post, we briefly discussed a recent fatal Amtrak crash here in Pennsylvania. As we noted, investigation of the crash is ongoing and it remains to be seen what will be found in terms of the causes of the crash.
When railroad crashes occur, a lot of harm can occur as a result, both in terms of property damage and harm to human life. Railroad workers are at risk, of course, but passengers are as well. Those who are unfortunate enough to be involved in a railroad crash have the right, as any other accident victims, to seek recovery from responsible parties
Given that railroad trains are relatively isolated in their travel, as opposed to motor vehicles travelling on busy highways, it would seem that determining liability should be relatively easy, at least in most cases. As with motor vehicle accident, however, the cause of train accidents is not always immediately clear, and it can take a thorough investigation by safety authorities to clarify the underlying cause or causes and the proper allocation of liability.
Safety violations can play a role in establishing liability in railroad accident cases. The Federal Railroad Administration is the federal agency responsible for regulating safety in the railroad industry, and building a strong claim for negligence in these cases requires that a plaintiff become knowledgeable about industry regulations and the train company’s track record of compliance.
Railroad accident victims should always consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to have their case evaluated and to ensure they prepare the strongest possible claim.