Public transportation should be safe. We as the public trust in our various forms of public transportation to get us to and from work, school and our leisure activities. So when you hear about horrible accidents involving public transportation it is frightening.
Train Accidents In California
In 2005 and 2008 California’s MetroLink system had two such accidents. In 2005 a MetroLink train traveling through Glendale collided with a car parked on the tracks and caused the death of 11 people and left 100-200 more injured. In 2008 a MetroLink train traveling through Chatsworth collided head on with a Union Pacific freight train causing the deaths of 26 people and injuring another 135. Metrolink officials accepted responsibility for the worst Southern California train wreck in more than 50 years.
These are just two stories that alert the public to the dangers of traveling on trains. Whether these tragedies were caused by a car left on the tracks or operator error, trains are not foolproof. To honor the memories of the victims of these two tragedies we who are left behind must ensure that this does not happen again.
Train Accidents and Compensation for the Victims
Unfortunately, when you are discussing something with as many moving parts and as much room for error as a passenger train many questions come to mind. How did these accidents occur? Who is responsible for these tragedies? If someone is injured or killed in a train accident, how does their family receive compensation for their loss?
Fortunately the law allows for these types of lawsuits. Civil lawsuits may be filed using an inference of negligence based on the fact that there was an accident. Under negligence law, if a company operates a complex machine like a train they are held to a higher standard when it comes to ensuring the public’s safety. Not only are organizations like MetroLink expected to ensure that all parts of their trains are mechanically sound, they are also expected to ensure that the people hired to drive, maintain or repair these machines are dependable and trustworthy. Provided that the victim of one of these accidents had no hand in causing their injury the court will allow them to seek damages by filing a lawsuit based in negligence.
What Can We Do To Prevent Future Tragedies Like These?
As members of the public we must ensure that these sorts of accidents are acknowledged by organizations like MetroLink so they never occur again. We owe that to the people who have already suffered injuries or death from a lack of care on the part of their transportation provider.
BE AWARE! The law limits the time that you can file suit for injuries resulting from a train accident. If you miss this deadline you may lose the chance to file suit in the future.