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Railroad accident victims deserve justice

Posted in Train Accident on Thursday, June 8, 2017.

Of all types of accidents, train accidents are among the most deadly and catastrophic. Victims of train accidents deserve to receive full compensation for their injuries and losses.

Felony Charges for a Serious Tragedy

According to KTLA article, the engineer responsible for a serious Amtrak accident in 2015 will be facing multiple criminal charges, including felony charges of causing or risking a catastrophe. The felony charge could result in up to 10 years of prison time.

On May 12, 2015, an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia, en route from Washington, D.C., to New York, killing eight people and injuring hundreds.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducted an investigation in 2016 that concluded that no drugs or alcohol were involved in the accident, but the operator was distracted by radio conversations about other trains being barraged with projectiles and the train was traveling 106 miles per hour a the time of the accident.

Delayed Response

Although the accident happened two years ago, it seems like the ensuing case is finally on target for justice for the victims. Initially, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office decided not to press charges, because there was no evidence of intent or criminal knowledge, according to the article.

However, the attorney general added the felony charges. Further, individuals who have been injured or lost loved ones in the accident can bring civil claims.

For whatever reason, it has taken two years to get this case underway in any meaningful way, and only since the accident did Amtrak install the safety mechanisms in the tracks that would have stopped the accident in the first place.

The Importance of Civil Litigation

Although the implementation of safety features is too often too little too late, and the criminal system can take far too long to bring guilty parties to justice, do not count out the importance of civil litigation.

In addition to helping victims obtain compensation for their losses, successful civil claims can send a message to the parties at fault and make the world a safer place.