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Amtrak Train Accident Attorney

Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have decades of experience representing victims and families who have been harmed in serious train accidents – including incidents involving Amtrak. Train accidents frequently result in serious and even fatal injuries. Our Amtrak train accident lawyers are committed to helping passengers, motorists, families, and others who’ve suffered from these incidents as they repair their lives and fight for justice.

If you have been harmed in an accident involving an Amtrak train – or if you have lost a loved one in a fatal Amtrak crash – our award-winning personal injury attorneys are prepared to evaluate your case during a FREE consultation, explain your rights, and discuss how we can fight for the compensation you deserve.

Woman using smartphone at train station

Common Causes of Amtrak Train Accidents

Many different factors can contribute to an Amtrak train accident. Some of the most common include:

  • Operator error
  • Mechanical problems
  • Design flaws
  • Poor track maintenance
  • Inadequate security procedures

If you were injured in a train accident, it is important to understand what caused the accident. This can help you determine who is liable for your injuries. An experienced Washington DC Amtrak accident lawyer at our law firm can help you investigate the cause of your accident and hold the responsible parties accountable.

Types of Train Accidents

There are many different types of train accidents. Some of the most common include:

  • Train derailments – This is one of the most common train accidents. It can be caused by several factors, including mechanical problems, operator error, and poor track maintenance.
  • Collisions – This type of accident can occur when a train collides with another train or an object on the tracks. It can also happen if a train hits a vehicle or pedestrian at a crossing.
  • Railroad crossing Accidents – These accidents can occur when a train hits a vehicle or pedestrian at a crossing. They can also happen if a train derailment causes the train to cross into oncoming traffic.
  • Stationary train accidents – These accidents can occur when passengers are injured while boarding or disembarking a train. They can also occur if a train is stationary and is hit by another train or an object on the tracks.
  • Coupling or decoupling accidents – These accidents can occur when two trains are being coupled or decoupled. They can also occur if a train car is accidentally detached from the rest of the train.

If you were injured in an Amtrak accident, it is important to speak with an experienced train accident attorney as soon as possible.

commuter train on railway platform.

Your Rights After a Washington DC Train Accident

Victims injured due to others’ negligence have the right to pursue financial compensation for the damages they suffer. Train accidents have the potential to cause serious and widespread harm.

These damages can be extensive and may include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost work wages and future earning potential
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional injuries to loved ones who died (victims’ families)

Although cases are always unique, common factors can cause train accidents, such as derailment, equipment malfunction, or operator error. When it can be shown that the cause of an accident could or should have been prevented, victims and families deserve the right to be compensated for damages they would not otherwise have suffered.

Extensive Train Accident Experience

Our train accident lawyers have substantial experience handling train accident cases and have represented victims from nearly every major train incident in the DC metro area over the past decade.

Below are examples of train accident cases we have handled:

  • Our firm filed a wrongful death claim on behalf of the family of one of the victims killed in a June 22, 2009 crash involving two Red Line Metro trains. The incident occurred near the Fort Totten Metro station. This crash was the deadliest train accident in Washington Metro’s history. Partners Joseph Cammarata and Allan M. Siegel served on the multi-party litigation steering committee in the accident’s aftermath. They were key contributors to advancing the case toward trial.
  • CSCS represented 8 individuals involved in the yellow line Metro incident when the train filled with smoke as it left the L’Enfant Plaza station.  Partner Allan M. Siegel served on the multi-party steering committee and was an active participant in getting these cases resolved.  
  • CSCS secured a successful resolution for a victim who suffered serious injuries in a 2004 Metro train crash that occurred in the Woodley Park Metro station. The incident involved a high-speed collision between two trains that resulted in the striking train removing the aluminum casing of the other train. The crash ultimately resulted in a federal recommendation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to improve the crashworthiness of railcars. Despite these recommendations, the improvements were never made by Metro. The failure to make these improvements was a significant issue in the June 22, 2009 crash, as the Plaintiffs alleged in that case that many of the injuries and deaths could have been prevented had the recommended improvements been made.
  • Our train accident attorneys represented an individual who suffered serious injuries in a 2002 incident involving an Amtrak derailment in Kensington, Maryland. We successfully secured compensation for both our client’s physical and emotional injuries.
  • We successfully resolved a case for a victim injured in 1996 when a MARC train in Silver Spring, Maryland, derailed. It was later determined that the crew’s negligence caused the incident, which led to new railcar design rules and operating regulations.

The Dangers of Riding the Amtrak Train

Train derailment

On May 12, 2015, Amtrak’s Northeast Regional Train 188 derailed and overturned in the Port Richmond neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while headed to New York from Washington, D.C. The train was carrying more than 240 people at the time of the incident. Seven passengers were killed in the crash, and over 200 were taken to local hospitals to be evaluated or treated.

Our personal injury and wrongful death lawyers have handled similar derailment cases. They have the knowledge and expertise to litigate these cases successfully and obtain our clients’ maximum compensation they are entitled to under the law.

You can learn more about this incident on our blog.

Is There a Time Limit For Filing a Train Accident Claim?

Yes, there is a time limit for filing a train accident claim. The statute of limitations can vary in an Amtrak train accident, depending on the state where the incident happened.   Maryland and Washington, D.C. generally have a three-year statute of limitations for injury claims, while Virginia generally has a two-year statute for injury claims. However, there are exceptions to these general rules and differences for different kinds of claims (e.g., a wrongful death claim in Washington, DC., must be filed within two years). 

Accordingly, it is important that you talk to an experienced Washington, DC train accident lawyer as soon as possible to ensure attorneys have the necessary time to build a case and file it within the statute of limitations.  If you do not file a claim within the statute of limitations, you may be barred from recovering compensation for your injuries.

Contact a DC Train Accident Lawyer Today For a Free Consultation

Given the serious nature of train accidents – and because corporations like Amtrak have massive legal teams and resources to defend themselves – working with experienced and proven lawyers can make the difference in your case. By filing a civil personal injury or wrongful death claim with the help of our legal team, you can place yourself in a position to secure justice and full compensation.

Contact our firm for a FREE consultation to discuss your case and learn more about your rights. We are available to help victims and families throughout the DC Metro area and beyond.

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