Most Washington residents remember the 2017 Amtrak derailment, which resulted in the deaths of three passengers and the injury of more than 80 individuals on board. The National Transportation Safety Board found that excessive speed caused the accident. In addition, Sound Transit failed to train the engineer on the new line and properly warn him of the curve where the crash occurred.
If you or a loved one experiences serious injury in a train accident, you may be eligible for legal compensation for your medical bills and other costs.
Get medical attention
After this type of accident, getting the necessary medical care for your injuries is the most important concern. Call 911 and assist with first aid to others if you safely can.
While waiting for help, document the circumstances of the accident if you are able to do so. These details could help determine why the train crash occurred.
Understand railroad negligence
Amtrak and other transportation companies must abide by a federal duty of care. This means that these firms are responsible for maintaining the safe, secure operations of their trains. They must take all reasonable steps to prevent passenger, driver and pedestrian injuries and fatalities.
Amtrak has legal liability for train accidents resulting from negligence, or failure to meet the duty of care. However, Congress has limited the company’s liability for a single accident to $295 million for all victims.
Seek legal remedy
Depending on the circumstances of the train accident, you may be eligible for damages from several parties. You can sue the railroad company, other vehicles involved in the crash or any party whose action or lack of action contributed to the crash. Washington does not limit the available damages in personal injury cases.
You must file a personal injury lawsuit within three years of the train accident to have a valid claim. However, if you plan to sue a government entity or employee for their role in the accident, you must file a formal notice within three years and then must wait 60 days to file a lawsuit.