A speeding Metro-North train carrying 100 passengers derailed in the Bronx on Sunday December 1, killing four people and injuring dozens more. At least 11 passengers remain in critical condition. However uncommon, tragic accidents like these can change people’s lives forever — and the people and/or company responsible must be held accountable.
In legal terms, the at-fault party would be deemed the negligent party. Negligence refers to when a person’s conduct falls below the standards established by law to protect others from unreasonable harm. In other words, when a person’s carelessness or recklessness causes harm to another individual or group, negligence has occurred.
Preliminary reports indicate the conductor took the following negligent actions, which led to the Metro-North crash:
- Speeding: The train was reportedly going 82 mph, more than 50 miles over the speed limit, prior to derailment.
- Failing to brake: The conductor did not hit the brakes for the sharp turn on the tracks until just a few seconds before the crash.
- Falling asleep: Admittedly, Rockefeller was dozing off before the accident occurred.
In addition, mechanical failures may be partially responsible. Some indication exists that certain safety mechanisms were not activating, so they failed to sound a warning when the engineer became unresponsive. However, it is still unclear whether the mechanism was activated.
Two surviving passengers have begun taking steps toward filing lawsuits against the MTA. If successful, the petitioners could obtain compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other damages incurred. Surviving relatives of those killed in the crash may be entitled to wrongful death benefits from the MTA, the conductor or other parties that may be involved.
If you or someone you love was injured in the Metro-North train crash, or another type of accident, consult a personal injury attorney today to learn your rights.