In 1997, Congress passed the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act, which
capped the amount of compensation available to those injured while riding
on Amtrak trains. Only $200 million will be offered per incident. That
means that the May 2015 Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia will, by law,
only be able to pay out the $200 million to divide among the over 200
injured and at least eight who were killed in the crash.
Without a doubt, the claims will certainly exceed this cap, and can leave
Amtrak in hot water. Multiple lawsuits have already been filed against
the train company, from both passengers as well as employees. One lawsuit
involving four individuals alleged that Amtrak failed to install automatic
brakes in case of derailment or other types of crashes.
Speeding Reportedly Caused the Accident
Investigation into the moments before the derailment found that the train
was moving at about 106 miles per hour in an area that had a speed limit
of 80 miles per hour. As the train was nearing a curve, the speed limit
was significantly lower, only 50 miles per hour. The engineer slowed the
train to 102 miles per hour and also applied the emergency brake. Then,
in a few mere seconds, the train lifted from its tracks, and derailed,
leaving several cars turned on its side.
Because of how quickly the train was traveling, the derailment and eventual
crashing led to some very serious injuries. Many of the victims were rushed
to local area hospitals to be treated quickly, many of whom remain in
These are some of the injuries that have been reported:
One of the passengers is reportedly seeking $150, 000 in compensation in
his lawsuit. With over 200 on board that fateful train ride, the concern
is over whether or not there will be enough for each claimant to be fairly
Was the accident preventable?
At the heart of any type of personal injury claim or lawsuit, it must be
proven that there was an element of negligence. Investigation into the
incident is still underway, but because it was discovered that the train
had been traveling at twice the posted speed limit, there is clear evidence
that the rules of safety were ignored. Each injury claim will come with
its own unique set of circumstances and challenges, and there will not
be a cut and dry process for settling the cases. It is our hope that each
claimant has their case heard and receives a fair outcome.
Our Alexandria personal injury attorneys have over 30 years of experience.
If you would like assistance with any claims due to accident or negligence,
contact us for a
free case evaluation.