Injury and Death as Commuter Train Derails in Philadelphia

May. 13th, 2015   /   , , ,

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An Amtrak commuter train (#188), carrying 238 passengers and five crew members, derailed and rolled onto its side Tuesday night in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia, PA. As our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Aronberg, Aronberg & Green know, as of early Wednesday morning, at least six people have died and at least 140 have been injured due to the horrific crash. Eight of the injured passengers remain in critical condition, according to area hospitals including Temple University Hospital, Jefferson University Hospital and Hahnemann University Hospital, all of which are among the hospitals treating victims.

The people on this train likely spanned all walks of life – they were daughters and sons, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, grandfathers and grandmothers; they were travelling for business, for pleasure, for school, etc. Now, a number of them have had their lives cut short while others remain in serious condition, doctors uncertain of whether or not they’ll make a recovery. For those likely to recover, as our personal injury lawyers know, life will never be the same again.

So, why does something like this happen? And what can the injured passengers and the families of the deceased passengers do to seek justice? These are two distinct questions, both of which have something to do with the other, yet both equally deserving of answers. We’ll shed some light on these issues in this blog.

According to an early report by CNN, “the area of the crash is known as Frankford Junction. In 1943, it was the site of one of the nation’s deadliest train accidents when The Congressional Limited crashed, killing 79 people.” Given that the train crashed after through a dangerous portion of tracks, and because that section of tracks was known to be dangerous given the role it played in the horrific incident in 1943, we must ask the question: why wasn’t Frankford Junction fixed as to prevent another incident from happening? As we all now know, it was just a matter of time until another train derailed, leading to death, chaos and misery for the victims and their families. It’s quite possible that the lack of sufficient action in changing Frankford Junction to make it safer could play a role in exposing liabilities.

Speaking of which, who is liable? Right off the bat, assuming no foul play was involved (which will be determined during the full investigation); it seems that Amtrak is the responsible entity. Amtrak, known more formally as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, is a railroad service, which is publicly funded but is operated and managed as a for-profit corporation; in other words, its structure is complex, but it is essentially a blend of government and private industry. As our personal injury lawyers know, the intricacy of the structure means that while victims of the accident can’t just sue the U.S. government for the incident, they still certainly have recourse. Injuries, trauma, wrongful death, etc. – these all happened in the crash and they are all legitimate bases for legal claims against Amtrak.

If you have any questions about this or any other commuter rail derailment issue, or any other personal injury issue, or if you’ve been injured due to the wrongdoing or negligence of another individual or a company, please contact our personal injury lawyers at Aronberg, Aronberg & Green by calling 215-229-4545 or by e-mailing us at daronberg@aronberglaw.com. We look forward to assisting you.

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