Suing Amtrak for Train Accident Deaths
The death of a loved one in a train accident can be especially difficult. Trains have been around for close to two centuries and are generally considered safe. Unfortunately, in recent years, there have been some horrible tragedies involving passenger trains as well as some hazardous waste spills resulting from train accidents.
Suing for wrongful death may help you get some closure. You can fight for the rights of your loved one and ensure that those who have been left behind have the financial means to continue with their lives. Compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit can help to pay hospital bills, funeral expenses, as well as living expenses for the departed party’s dependents.
Common carrier liability
Trains, buses, and planes are sometimes referred to as common carriers. A common carrier is any means of transport that requires people to pay a fee for its services. They therefore have a higher duty of care to their passengers or the goods they are transporting. The carrier is required to do what it can to ensure the safety of the passengers and the goods.
Common carriers hauling many people should take the extra caution and be more careful to avoid accidents or injuries. Because of the increased duty of care, if your loved one dies while on a common carrier such as a train, you can sue the train operator for wrongful death.
What is Amtrak Liable For?
Victims of train accidents often suffer severe injuries. Those who succumb to their injuries often do so after racking up large medical bills. They leave behind dependents who not only have lost a loved one, but in many cases, they also have lost a source of family income. Their loved ones have to foot the funeral expenses and they may never be able to replace the income. This can be a great burden on family members.
Although Amtrak receives government funds to support its operations, it is liable for its torts just like many other government entities. However, Amtrak’s liability was capped at $298 million by Congress. This isn’t a lot considering that many train accidents result in injuries and deaths of numerous passengers.
Amtrak made the news in 2017 following the derailment of one of its trains in Washington State. The Accident resulted in the death of three passengers and injuries to dozens more. Only two survivors have filed lawsuits against the carrier so far. However, many more are expected to do so.
If you or someone you love was injured or died in an Amtrak accident, you can get justice. The first step is to get in touch with an experienced injury attorney to evaluate your claim.