Jim is quoted by Gina Passarella on the $200 million damage cap imposed on a single railroad accident by the Amtrak Reform and and Accountability Act of 1997. Almost 20 years old, it hasn’t been adjusted for inflation yet.
McEldrew has personally fought to have state agencies such as NJ Transit assume responsibility for central roles in train accidents, despite their protection under law. His advocacy has also championed railroad workers — McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt has even hosted holiday parties for rail workers.
What Causes Train Accidents?
Many train-car collisions come about due to a basic misunderstanding of physics, with vehicles attempting to unsafely make their way across railway crossings — not knowing that it will take a 150-car freight train going at 50 miles per hour over a mile to stop!
Other times, train accidents come down to driver and equipment error. The implementation of PTC, the remote tracking and control system that has made train travel safer for rail lines in Europe and Japan, has been delayed since the National Transportation Safety Board first advised feasibility studies on the subject in 1970. Unfortunately, such improvements seem to be held back from U.S. railroads due to the costs involved.
The most common causes of train accidents include:
- Equipment failure: The big worry is for malfunctioning brakes, but communication system errors can be just as damaging.
- Conductor negligence: Conductor distraction also accounts for a big chunk of the accident puzzle — one that would be eliminated by the adoption of PTC.
- Poorly marked or malfunctioning crossings: According to some estimates, inadequately marked crossings are the sites for nearly half of nighttime train-car collisions. The Federal Railroad Administration says that 80 percent of railroad crossings don’t have adequate warning devices.
- Improper maintenance of train tracks: This is the most frequent cause of train derailment, the most catastrophic of all train accidents.
The Types of Cases We Take On
Our practice area of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York is in the middle of the busiest rail line in the U.S., the Northeast Corridor, which sees 2,200 trains and 750,000 passengers per day. In addition, Philadelphia is home to SEPTA, the 5th-largest U.S. transit system, which sees 300 million passengers per year.
Cases we have successfully litigated in the past include:
- Train-train collisions
- Train-car collisions
- Train-person collisions
- Damage to property
- On-the-job accidents
Source: Peakpx.com, shared under Creative Commons Zero license
Consult with an Experienced Train Accident Attorney
At McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt, we have over 30 years of experience in litigating train accident cases. We take all train accident injury claims on a contingency basis, and will only charge you attorney fees if we are able to obtain financial compensation for your losses.
McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt welcomes clients from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania communities near and far. To schedule a meeting for a free consultation, fill out our form or call us directly at 1-800-590-4116.