Although travel by rail is thought to be the safest form of transportation you can choose, an accident involving a train occurs every three hours in the United States. Many of these are catastrophic because of the size of the vehicles and the speed at which they travel, such as last year’s Amtrak Train 188 derailment in Philadelphia that killed eight people and left some 200 injured. A subsequent accident involving Amtrak Train 89 resulted in two deaths and 35 injures, while the recent New Jersey Transit train accident in Hoboken killed one woman and injured more than 100 others.

Kline & Specter has represented victims of several highly publicized train crashes, including two people who were killed and 16 injured in the Amtrak 188 derailment as well as those who died in the Amtrak 89 and Hoboken incidents. Tom Kline recently led the effort that produced a $265 million settlement for victims of the Amtrak 188 accident. (See Amtrak 188 news coverage)
 
“We believe it is important to go to the federal courts to establish a claim. We hope to be able to help many people who have been hurt,” Kline said at an Amtrak 188 news conference, adding, “We have spoken to numerous people who tell of the horror that occurred on that train. It was unreal. They’re lives fell apart in a split second.”

If you or a loved one suffered a severe injury or death in a train accident, you should contact Kline & Specter, PC today. Our attorneys have experience with litigation involving mass transit agencies and will ensure that you receive a fair resolution of your case. Get a free evaluation of your train accident case.

Statistics show that train accidents are on the rise, with increased rail travel and freight transportation and greater use of modern devices such as smart phones, GPS and headphones contributing to the problem.

Increased Rail Transportation

With the increase of U.S. oil production through hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” the use of trains to move the product across the country has also increased. U.S. railroads now ship about 400,000 carloads of crude oil, compared to just 9,500 in 2008. This boom has brought more train-related disasters. In 2013, for instance, a train derailed in Canada near the Maine border, causing a fire and explosion that killed 47 people.

Train accidents involving collisions between vehicles or pedestrians at train crossings have also been on the rise, with a 15 percent increase in fatalaties 2014.  Among the states with the most pedestrian-train collisions were Pennsylvania and New York.

SEPTA Accidents

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) transports millions of passengers annually on over 1.45 billion miles of bus routes, subways tracks, trolleys and regional rails. With so much ground covered and so many different forms of transportation involved, it is not a question of if an incident will occur, but when. Kline & Specter has been involved in several lawsuits against SEPTA, one involving a defective escalator which resulted in a $51 million verdict for a boy whose foot was amputated. Another case against SEPTA ended with a large settlement for a boy who was killed due to faulty train equipment.

PATCO Accidents

The Port Authority Transit Corporation, or PATCO, is another railway that accommodates millions of commuters each year, transporting more than 10 million people annually. PATCO, a partner of the Delaware River Port Authority, has been plagued for years by maintenance issues and aging rail cars. Harsh weather has damaged many cars, forcing some to short out or overheat. These incidents have caused mass evacuations and in some recent cases required hospitalization of passengers.

Train accidents are over in minutes, but the recovery effort and complex litigation that follows can often last for years. If you have been a victim of a train accident, you should call an attorney at Kline & Specter at 1-800-243-1100 for a free evaluation of your case. The law firm has offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware and has more than 35 attorneys, five of whom are also doctors.

 

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