Federal legislation has made certain reforms with regards to train accident recovery. In 1997 the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act set limits on recovery for injuries from a train accident. According to this legislation the limits were set at $200 million dollars.
This figure represents the total amount of liability for each accident. While this number is staggering it fails to take into consideration that train accidents generally involve injuries to hundreds of people, and are likely to cause death or serious injury.
If you been in a railroad accident contact our state wide California Train Accident Attorneys
Serious Injuries from Train Accidents
Train accidents have been known to cause serious injuries. This can include serious head injuries, like the one suffered in the 2008 crash or death. These types of injuries including permanent disfigurement, serious burns and amputations often require life-long care. Victims and their families are often left with little compensation for their injuries.
Take for example the 2008 accident in Chatsworth. The claims of a single injured party resulted in $7 million dollars for serious head injuries. However, after taking into account medical bills, time and attorney fees, the victim was left with very little. Considering the long term cost of care with traumatic head injuries or brain injuries, resulting from these accidents, $7 million was an insufficient sum.
However, due to tort reform that limits the recovery to a maximum of $200 million dollars for the aggregate value of all claims, it is unlikely for injured parties to receive just compensation.
Federal Regulations Protecting Foreign Companies
In the case of the 2008 Chatsworth accident, the entity at fault was deemed to be a foreign company. Yet, they were still able to take advantage of the aforementioned reform act and avoid liability in excess of $200 million dollars.
In this case the benefits of a foreign corporation, outweighed the benefits of the citizens. While there are obvious benefits to these reforms, the real question is whether they benefit society or corporations. It is likely that cost of railway services are reduced by these types of protections, but it also likely that they may not feel compelled to keep in line the conduct of their employees. When corporate entities know that their liability will be limited, then they may not take more rigorous steps to prevent injury.
However, if there was a no recovery cap for these types of injuries, these corporations may act differently, not only to protect their bottom line, but to protect their passengers as well.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
Downtown L.A. Law personal injury attorneys deals with a variety of personal injury accidents daily. Injuries resulting in traumatic brain injuries, head injuries, brain damage, car accidents and slip and falls. If you have been in a automobile accident or any type of accident resulting in injury, contact our offices today for a free case evaluation.