Transportation companies carrying passengers across the nation must adhere to federal safety guidelines and regulations. When an employee of a commercial vehicle or train fails to follow the proper safety procedures, the company could find itself liable for any resulting injuries or deaths. To prove negligence, however, you may need to request that the court review an official report compiled from a detailed accident investigation.
In 2017, a major passenger train service derailed while in transit through Washington State. As reported by KING 5 News, the overturned train crashed onto Interstate 5 injuring numerous passengers and killing three individuals.
According to an official report compiled by the National Transportation Safety Board, “extremely lax safety oversight” combined with “poor training” caused the train’s derailment. Reportedly, the engineer did not know his whereabouts and failed to slow down the train while approaching a curve.
The NTSB noted that the company’s management failed to take action to prevent the train’s derailment. Controlling trains approaching curves has allegedly received inadequate oversight for several years. Because of a prior awareness of the issue of track curvature, the company failed to adhere to a duty of care owed to passengers to prevent a foreseeable derailment.
Several parties filed legal actions to recover damages for the injuries suffered or for the wrongful deaths of their loved ones. Juries involved in the suits found that the company could have trained its engineer to maintain better control of the train while it traveled toward curves. Plaintiffs reportedly received awards for damages ranging up to $17 million from their lawsuits.
Everyone’s injuries may vary. If you pursue a legal action, you may need to show medical expenses, pain and suffering along with income losses for a jury to determine an award.