Thankfully, railroad accidents are relatively rare, particularly when compared to the number of car, truck and motorcycle accidents which occur every day, but they can have catastrophic consequences when they do occur. Automatic braking systems for trains have been recommended more than once over the past few decades, and were mandated 10 years ago, but Congress heard this week that the installation of the systems could take another two years to complete. This means that, after the original 2015 deadline was missed, and extended to 2018 by Congress, it will be missed once more.
According to National Transportation Safety Board data, in the decade since these upgrades were first mandated, 22 train wrecks could have been prevented had automatic braking systems been in place. That equates to 47 deaths, 648 injured passengers, and over $150 million in damages. It’s not only about the past 10 years either – various upgrades of this type, or similar, have been recommended for more than 50 years.
While the president of the Association of American Railroads advised Congress of further delays, and stated that significant progress had been made, some Congressmen reiterated that it was time to stop thinking in terms of cost and complexity, and focus on the lives that need not have been lost. The NTSB had been advocated the use of a positive train control system for some years, although Congress only passed legislation relating to it after the NTSB confirmed that the 2008 collision between a Metro link commuter train and Union Pacific freight train in California could have been prevented.
Congress heard that two of the four train collisions which happened in the past two months could have been prevented with a PTC system, as could the 2013 Bronx Metro-North crash, and 2015 Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia. A combined total of 12 people died in these incidents, and 246 sustained injuries.
Only 8 of the 37 railroads covered by the legislation have reached the required standard. The remainder are now expected to be completed by 2020.
If you’ve ever lost a loved one, you’ll know how incredibly painful that experience can be. When the death has been caused by the negligence of another person or organisation, you have anger, disbelief and a whole range of other emotions to deal with alongside that grief.
A wrongful death lawsuit can enable you to secure compensation for damages and losses incurred because of an accident or negligence, including medical expenses from time of injury to time of death, funeral expenses, loss of expected future earnings, and loss of companionship. Although Florida law limits compensation for non-financial impacts, such as loss of companionship, to $1 million, there is no cap on the amount of punitive damages.
If you’ve lost a loved and believe you have a wrongful death claim, a Miami wrongful death attorney could help you to secure the best possible outcome from your lawsuit. To arrange a consultation with a Miami wrongful death attorney, call today on 305-931-6666.