Lawsuit Filed After Amtrak Crash Kills Woman
A lawsuit has been filed against Amtrak after a derailment that occurred at a crossing. The train struck a dump truck that was sitting on the tracks. Now the family of a woman who died in the accident has filed a lawsuit accusing the dump truck driver and the company of wrongful death. They claim that the dump truck driver should have known the crossing was dangerous due to the angle of the tracks. The railway company responsible for the tracks has also been named in the lawsuit. The death toll for the derailment is up to four.
Amtrak derailments are investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board. They are currently focusing on the angle of the tracks, the incline of the tracks, and whether the dump truck driver was able to see the danger as he approached.
Analyzing the lawsuit
In order to win a wrongful death lawsuit, you must have a reasonable theory of negligence to pin on the defendant. In other words, the defendant must have done something wrong or failed to do something right to be responsible for your injuries. The plaintiffs will allege that the dump truck driver failed to navigate an obvious danger. They will further allege that the danger was obvious to the rail company responsible for the tracks. In this case, the Amtrak conductor was going the speed limit at the time of the crash. There were no mechanical failures that contributed to the derailment. Further, the crossing was passive meaning that there were no barriers or flashing red lights to prevent drivers from traversing the tracks as a train was coming.
While the lawsuit makes allegations against two companies, the company responsible for the maintenance of the railway and the company that employed the dump truck driver, everything rests on whether or not the driver could see the danger from his vantage. If not, then the truck driver may join three others in a lawsuit against the rail maintenance company. For once, Amtrak is not being blamed for the derailment.
If the danger was visible from the truck driver’s vantage, then the liability squarely falls on the truck driver and his company. If the truck driver could not see the danger, then the crossing could be ruled intrinsically dangerous in which case the rail maintenance company could have taken more steps to warn drivers of the danger. Meanwhile, it is likely that the two companies will blame each other for the accident clouding liability for the plaintiffs. Thankfully, we have the NTSB to step in and make a ruling on the cause of the accident. The plaintiffs will be waiting for the results of that investigation before they move forward. Their attorney has named both companies in the lawsuit until the matter is fully sorted out.
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Gillette Law files wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits on behalf of Jacksonville residents who have been injured or killed due to the negligence of another party. Call our Jacksonville personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and we can begin discussing trial strategy today.