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First Lawsuits Filed Over Amtrak Train Derailment

On Behalf of | May 27, 2015 | Blog

Amtrak train 188 derailed north of Philadelphia on May 12, resulting in the deaths of eight people and causing serious injuries to at least 200 other passengers and Amtrak employees. The Amtrak tragedy has cast a dark cloud over the state of transportation services in the U.S. and resulted in more than one exasperated editorial about the country’s crumbling infrastructure.

Now several people involved in the crash have begun to file personal injury lawsuits against the Amtrak rail service. One of the first people to file a lawsuit was a conductor of the train that crashed. Emilio Fonesca, who is from New Jersey, suffered significant injuries in the derailment. According to Fonesca’s attorney, the conductor is still recovering in the hospital after receiving urgent medical treatment for broken bones.

Additionally, four passengers on the Amtrak train filed a civil lawsuit against Amtrak. One of the plaintiffs lives in New Jersey, while another plaintiff lives in New York. They will almost certainly not be the only passengers to seek damages via a federal lawsuit against the rail service.

If you or someone you love was injured in the Amtrak 188 derailment or any other accident involving a car, motorcycle, train or bus, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer right away. Joel Garber has been fighting for the rights of injured clients for decades and he will put his knowledge of catastrophic accident law to work for your family.

The named defendants in the lawsuit include Amtrak and the train’s engineer. The injured parties are seeking unspecified damages for negligence and recklessness. At this time, investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have yet to determine the exact cause of the derailment. When the train left the tracks, it was reportedly traveling at more than 100 miles per hour, or twice the 50-mile-per-hour speed limit. Investigators are currently considering all possibilities, including mechanical problems, conductor error or even a projectile striking the train’s windshield. The findings of the NTSB investigators could affect the outcome of personal injury lawsuits in the case.

It is worth noting that the potential payouts for the people who were injured as a result of the Amtrak derailment could be capped under federal law. In accordance with federal regulations, the total payment for all victims of a single train crash is capped at $200 million. While this might seem like a high figure, it isn’t that much when factoring in the likely high number of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits stemming from a crash that caused injuries to hundreds of people.

One effect of the cap on payouts is that as more injured people, and loved ones of people killed in the crash, file lawsuits, the potential compensation for each person will decrease. That’s why it is important for anyone seeking damages in a mass transportation accident lawsuit to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.

Contact the Law Office of Joel Garber today for a free consultation about your accident and injuries. He takes all personal injury cases on contingency. If he doesn’t win on your behalf, you pay nothing. Mr. Garber will fight for you in court and help you secure maximum compensation in your personal injury claim. Contact us today for a free consultation.