Eight people died in the recent Amtrak train crash that took place two weeks ago, and more than 200 victims suffered varying degrees of injury. Seconds before the fatal derailment, an engineer hit the emergency brakes to round a sharp curve; however, the New York Times reports that the train was travelling at 106 miles per hour–more than double the speed limit–when it approached the bend.
Heavy freight train on the railway track[/caption] The investigation remains focused on the train’s speed, but the government’s reluctance to spend money on rail infrastructure makes this yet another warning to commuters. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries because of the negligent actions of another person or organization, call Jaroslawicz & Jaros, PLLC today at 212-227-2780. A highly experienced personal-injury lawyer in New York City can assess the legitimacy of your claim. In the meantime, read on for more information regarding the most recent Amtrak accident. The Derailed Train Injured Hundreds of Passengers Amtrak train 188, en route to New York, hurtled off the tracks near Philadelphia and smashed into several cars, causing billions of dollars in damage. Passengers described the scene as chaotic after the collision tossed them against furniture, walls and other travelers. The investigation is still underway, and it is too early to attribute the crash solely to speed. Investigators are examining other elements, such as throttle and brake settings, track conditions and alarms within the engineer’s cab. The train did have a camera, which may provide useful, especially considering the engineer has no recollection of the crash and cannot offer any pertinent details leading up to it. Speed May Not Have Been the Only Factor Decelerating a train takes a long time, and engineers should hit the brakes miles before entering a curve. In this case, the train was already inside the curve when the engineer started braking, giving it insufficient time to slow down and pass around the curve safely. This raises questions of equipment malfunction because several alerts should have given the engineer fair warning to start slowing down. The train was passing through a stretch of the Northeast Corridor when it derailed, and this area does not yet have positive train control, a signal system that dictates speeds and automatically slows trains before they enter curves. Such a system may have prevented the derailment. Experts claim that positive train control could have saved lives and prevented such devastating injuries. Amtrak trains have multiple systems to alert engineers of excess speed, including sound alarms and warning lights. Teams are currently investigating whether these systems were functioning properly at the time of the crash. The accident shut down locomotive services between Philadelphia and New York, creating extensive delays for commuters and sparking a debate in Washington about America’s rail infrastructure. Ironically, the accident occurred on the same day the House Appropriations Committee officially rejected further funding for Amtrak. Personal injuries are often catastrophic in train wrecks. Derailed trains can leave miles of destruction in their wake, crushing everything in their path. You have a right to seek damages for your injuries, and Jaroslawicz and Jaros, PLLC can guide you through the process. Call 212-227-2780 to discuss your situation with a personal-injury attorney today.