The Danger of Train Accidents

The Hudson line Metro North accident was a tragic accident that left 4 dead and numerous people injured, if you or someone you know has been injured in a train related accident, contact a professional New York Train and Subway Accident Lawyer to help with moving forward with the legal steps necessary to ensuring fair and just compensation for your injuries.

Details Involving the Accident

In the early morning hours of Sunday December 1, 2013, a Hudson line Metro North Train coming from the Poughkeepsie station, derailed in the Bronx. An officer on the scene noted that although the train wreck killed 4 and injured over 67 people, it could have been a lot worse.  This crash took place at time with fewer than usual people on board.  Normally this particular train line transports around 18 million people per year, and on an average workweek could transport over a thousand people in a day.

Emergency workers were looking for survivors throughout the day and into early Monday morning. The cause of wreck is still under investigation, however, it is clear that the train was moving too fast for the turn [according to the NHTSA, 82 mph in a 30 mph zone], and this was the reason for the derailment. Why the train was moving almost 3 times the speed limit, in a location with prior accidents, is under investigation.

William Rockefeller, Jr., the engineer driving the train, recognizes his responsibility in the incident, as per Anthony Bottalico, the union representative for the engineer. According to the union representative, the engineer was apparently “nodding off and caught himself too late” before the tragic accident. Rockefeller’s lawyer, Jeffrey Chartier, stated that what happened was the result of “highway hypnosis.”  Chartier said the engineer had a full night’s sleep before the crash, and that Rockefeller had no disciplinary record.

In a conversation with investigators, Rockefeller said that moments before the derailment of the Hudson Line train he was “going along and I’m in a daze. I don’t know what happened”.

“White line fever” is a common hazard among truck drivers, and is a known danger for train operators as well.  What, if anything, the MTA did to prevent this known danger remains to be seen.

Railroad safety officials have long pushed for a system known as positive train control technology, which combines GPS, wireless radio and computers to monitor trains and stop them from colliding or derailing. But the railroad industry has opposed the technology because of the cost.

Rockefeller also told investigators that the brakes had failed.  Whether it was human negligence or mechanical negligence or a combination of the two will be decided by a jury. But one thing is certain: it will take an unimaginable amount of money to truly compensate those families that lost loved ones or to the injured persons for their pain and suffering.

Determining what acts of negligence were substantial contributing factors to needlessly cause these deaths and injuries will require skilled lawyers.  Was it the unsafe brakes or unsafe train tracks? Did the train lack necessary safety devices? Did the MTA choose to fail to prevent highway hypnosis?  Was the operator the sole cause of negligence or were there other causes and responsible parties?  The injured as well as the family members of those that were killed will need experienced and knowledgeable lawyers to identify all of the guilty parties and obtain full compensation for their injuries or their terrible losses.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration’s Office in 2007, there were a total of 13,067 avoidable accidents, most caused by human negligence or unsafe track defects; these factors combined represented more than 73 percent of the causes of an accident.  Equipment defects caused another 12 percent of the crashes.

Avoidable injuries and preventable deaths should not be allowed to recur, and when negligence is quietly swept under the rug, we are doomed to repeat the past, and bury more innocent victims.

After the mourning is over, the healing process for all of us starts on the road to justice.   Without justice, there cannot be closure for the families that have been harmed. We all need a public determination of what went wrong, for the benefit of the families and for the community.  We need those responsible to be held accountable. Without accountability, there is no safety.  We do not want something like this to ever happen again.

Whether all of the unnecessary causes of this needless tragedy are brought to light, and fixed so that this type of tragedy does not recur, and whether those that have suffered harms and losses get the help and full compensation they deserve, will depend on whether the injured families hire top lawyers.

Contact A Knowledgeable Bronx Personal Injury Lawyer

Insurance companies are businesses that remain highly profitable by charging high premiums but not paying claims.  Railroad companies have gotten away with harming others for centuries by handsomely paying their defense lawyers, litigation experts, investigators, adjusters, who all are well trained on how to avoid, evade and side step blame and place the responsibility on anyone, even the injured party, instead of their client.  And they are exceptionally skilled at belittling the value of human life, of pain and suffering, and of the loss of enjoyment of life.   Without a qualified train accident attorney to represent you, your chances of obtaining real and complete justice and the full and fair compensation you deserve are not good.

Bob Genis and Sherri Sonin, Bronx personal injury attorneys, are skilled and knowledgeable lawyers with experience taking on the MTA. MetroNorth and other companies, and obtaining just compensation to those that have been harmed by trains.   The law firm of Sonin & Genis, Esqs., is experienced in all aspects of personal injury law and obtained one of the largest verdicts in an accident case in N.Y. State ( $21,980,000  for the victims of a car crash) in 2012. As an accomplished trial attorney and lecturer on personal injury law, Bob Genis is well qualified to protect the rights of injured persons. Along with his partner, Sherri Sonin they have a passion for obtaining justice and a commitment to always fighting for the full and fair compensation their clients’ injuries deserve.  Sonin & Genis has dedicated their professional lives to representing those that have been wrongfully harmed.  Let our family help your family.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving an MTA train or bus and need professional legal help from a Bronx Personal Injury lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Sonin & Genis at 718-561-4444 to schedule a free consultation. The attorneys at Sonin & Genis have more than 100 years of combined personal injury law experience and will work hard to obtain full and just compensation that will give the victim the best chance of regaining some quality of life and closure. Their office is located at 1 Fordham Plaza Suite 907 in the Bronx. They are only paid if they recover money in your case. If you are injured and cannot come to their office, they can visit you at your home or hospital.

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