Amtrak Implementing New Speed Recommendations a Month After Deadly Accident

Pictured above: A scene from the Amtrak accident that left several dead and injured in Philadelphia 

Four weeks after the deadly Amtrak crash in Philadelphia, the Federal Railroad Administration is taking steps to prevent future accidents. Today, the FRA issued new recommendations that focus on controlling excessive train speeds. Considering that the Amtrak train 188 was traveling at more than 100 miles per hour, these new recommendations are an obvious attempt at preventing future derailments. The FRA is also suggesting other changes, including adjustments to Automatic Train Control systems at curves, more speed warning signs and adding another crew member in the cabin. 

Although these suggestions are already in place for Amtrak trains, these changes will now affect commuter lines as well. Rail workers have called for an extra person in the locomotive for some time now and although these federal suggestions will not necessarily add more crew members, it will require that crew members be trained to know curves and be in constant contact with engineers. Hopefully these initiatives, coming a week after a Congressional hearing on the Amtrak accident, will be a positive step toward less train accidents. 

About the Author:
Majed Nachawati is a preeminent wrongful death lawyer with a focus on representing victims and families involved in work accidents, 18 -wheeler accidents, and product liability claims. Mr. Nachawati is a former judicial law clerk who has settled and tried numerous lawsuits to verdict, resulting in large recoveries for his personal injury clients. That's why Mr. Nachawati has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and Top Lawyer in wrongful death and serious personal injury cases across the nation and has clients in every state. To discuss your case with Mr. Nachawati, contact him by email at mn@fnlawfirm.com or by telephone at 1.866.705.7584. His legal background is featured at his Super Lawyers Profile.
 

 

Update: Amtrak Will Install Video Cameras After Deadly Crash

Pictured above: Emergency personnel at the scene of the accident 

After the May 13th Amtrak train accident that left 8 dead and several seriously injured, Amtrak is taking steps to prevent future accidents. Today, Amtrak announced that it would install video cameras inside locomotive cabs in order to record the actions of train engineers. The engineer of this month's deadly crashed suffered a head injury during the accident and had no recollection of what happened during the accident. Additionally, the "black box" inside the cab and an outward-facing camera that were in the train that derailed did not provide any clues into what was happening inside the cab. 

Amtrak, as well as the National Transportation Safety Board, is hopeful that these new requirements will prevent more accidents. The NTSB has recommended that the Federal Railroad Administration require audio recorders in passenger and freight train cabs for quite some time now. They have also pushed for inward-facing sound and video recorders. The most recent accident has spurred action by these different groups. Amtrak will begin installing cameras in 70 new Amtrak locomotives and has set out a plan to install more.  

About the Author:
Majed Nachawati is a preeminent wrongful death lawyer with a focus on representing victims and families involved in work accidents, 18 -wheeler accidents, and product liability claims. Mr. Nachawati is a former judicial law clerk who has settled and tried numerous lawsuits to verdict, resulting in large recoveries for his personal injury clients. That's why Mr. Nachawati has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and Top Lawyer in wrongful death and serious personal injury cases across the nation and has clients in every state. To discuss your case with Mr. Nachawati, contact him by email at mn@fnlawfirm.com or by telephone at 1.866.705.7584. His legal background is featured at his Super Lawyers Profile.

Amtrak Train Crash in Philadelphia Kills 8, Injures Hundreds

Pictured above: A scene from the Amtrak train crash in Philadelphia  

On Tuesday night, a devastating Amtrak train derailment killed eight people and injured hundreds more that were on the train that night. The train was traveling to New York when it derailed at around 9:30pm. At the time of the accident, the train was traveling on a curve 106 miles per hour, twice the stated speed limit. The train's engineer applied the emergency brakes when the train derailed. At least 200 people were rushed to nearby hospitals and 8 are now listed in critical condition. It's still unclear why the train was going so fast on this particular stretch. 

The crash has made national headlines and has raised numerous questions about Amtrak and the safety of their trains. The National Transportation Safety Board is taking lead of the investigation and has begun addressing the lack of safety systems that could have prevented the accident. Robert Sumwalt, the head of the organization, states that the Northeast Corridor, the stretch where the accident happened, did not have a signal system called a positive train control that would have prevented the crash. However, even without this particular system, Amtrak trains have multiple systems that alert them to excess speed. The investigation will look into whether or not those systems were working adequately or were being properly used. They will also interview the engineer who pulled the emergency brake to see if proper protocols were being followed.  

About the Author:
Majed Nachawati is a preeminent wrongful death lawyer with a focus on representing victims and families involved in work accidents, 18 -wheeler accidents, and product liability claims. Mr. Nachawati is a former judicial law clerk who has settled and tried numerous lawsuits to verdict, resulting in large recoveries for his personal injury clients. That's why Mr. Nachawati has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and Top Lawyer in wrongful death and serious personal injury cases across the nation and has clients in every state. To discuss your case with Mr. Nachawati, contact him by email at mn@fnlawfirm.com or by telephone at 1.866.705.7584. His legal background is featured at his Super Lawyers Profile.

Train Crash Kills Mother, Leaves Son and Companion in Critical Condition

Image courtesy of Fox34 

Over the Fourth of July weekend, a car accident left a mother dead and her son and companion in critical condition. The accident happened in York, Pennsylvania near the 1100 block of Cly Road, according to police. The male driver, now identified as Akim S. Jones-Williams, was driving the family’s SUV when the train hit the car on the passenger side, dragging it for about 45 yards and then pushing it off the tracks. The mother, Core E. Sisti, was pronounced dead at the scene and her son was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

The accident is currently under investigation. According to officials, the train crossing is on private property and as such, there were no gates or warning lights. Although there was a crossing sign, officials are not sure if Sisti and her family did not hear the train in time. A York Haven resident who saw the accident and helped emergency crews stated that there had been many collisions on train tracks in the area in the past few years. If that’s the case, it might behoove property owners, both public and private, to install more adequate safeguards at train crossings for residents.

The approximate location of the accident can be seen below: 

Legal Commentary 
When it comes to train collisions and train accidents, it is difficult to understand why such an accident occurred in the first place. The first thing an observer would ask would be if the guard rails were working properly. If we assume that the driver was not trying to beat the train, why weren't the proper precautions taken at this particular intersection? Even though the train was crossing through private property, if any driver could drive through the intersection, then more stringent precautions need to be taken at the intersection. 

The family of Mrs. Sisti and other individuals and families involved in train accidents may feel that they have no recourse after such a loss, but that is not true. It is important that those involved immediately find legal counsel to represent them in any potential claims. Both the city and the train company have an obligation and a responsibility to ensure that proper safety precautions are taken and put into place, especially at busy intersections.


Drivers and pedestrians should never feel that they are ever in danger at a train intersection. An attorney will be able to step in and make sure that the proper investigation is conducted and that the party at fault is held responsible for their negligent actions now and for implementing the proper precautions in the future. Mrs. Sisti's family may seek compensation from either entity for her unnecessary death and the severe injuries suffered by her son. While a monetary compensation cannot make up for the loss of a loved one, it may provide her son with a sense of security for the future.

About the Author:
Majed Nachawati is a preeminent wrongful death lawyer with a focus on representing victims and families involved in work accidents, 18 -wheeler accidents, and product liability claims. Mr. Nachawati is a former judicial law clerk who has settled and tried numerous lawsuits to verdict, resulting in large recoveries for his personal injury clients. That's why Mr. Nachawati has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and Top Lawyer in wrongful death and serious personal injury cases across the nation and has clients in every state. To discuss your case with Mr. Nachawati, contact him by email at mn@fnlawfirm.com or by telephone at 1.866.705.7584. His legal background is featured at his Super Lawyers Profile.

 

Rodney Bolin Dies After Being Struck By Train in Cawood, Kentucky

Robert Bolin of Evarts, Kentucky died yesterday morning(July 2, 2013) after a CSX train struck his pick up truck on the driver side at a crossing near Cawood, Kentucky. The accident occurred at around 10:30am on Sunday morning when the 44-year-old Bolin was attempting to drive across the train tracks located off KY 987 between the cities of Smith and Cawood. Bolin's 9-year-old son, Braxton, was in the passenger side of the truck. Both father and son were airlifted to a level 1 trauma center in Tennessee. Braxton Bolin remains in critical but stable condition. Eyewitness accounts claimed that no visible safety equipment was readily available at the crash cite. An investigation is underway, but no new details have been released. 

Location of the Accident:

 


View Larger Map

 

Legal Commentary - Majed Nachawati - Author

When it comes to train collisions and train accidents, it is difficult to understand why such an accident occurred in the first place. The first thing an observer would ask would be if the guard rails were working properly. If we assume that the driver was not trying to beat the train, why weren't the proper precautions taken at this particular intersection? Eyewitnesses claim that the intersection did not appear safe. Where the safety arms, flashing, or bells not working? If eyewitnesses are correct, this could have been an easily preventable accident and both father and son would be safe at home.

The family of Mr. Bolin and other individuals and families involved in train accidents may feel that they have no recourse after such a loss, but that is not true. It is important that those involved immediately find legal counsel to represent them in any potential claims. Both the city and the train company have an obligation and a responsibility to ensure that proper safety precautions are taken and put into place, especially at busy intersections.

Drivers and pedestrians should never feel that they are ever in danger at a train intersection. An attorney will be able to step in and make sure that the proper investigation is conducted and that the party at fault is held responsible for their negligent actions now and for implementing the proper precautions in the future. Mr. Bolin and his family may seek compensation from either entity for his unnecessary death and the severe injuries suffered by his son Braxton. While a monetary compensation cannot make up for the loss of a loved one, it may provide Braxton a sense of security for the future.

 

About the Author: 

Majed Nachawati is a preeminent wrongful death lawyer with a focus on representing victims and families involved in work accidents, 18 -wheeler accidents, and product liability claims.  Mr. Nachawati is a former judicial law clerk who has settled and tried numerous lawsuits to verdict, resulting in large recoveries for his personal injury clients. That's why Mr. Nachawati has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and Top Lawyer in wrongful death and serious personal injury cases across the nation and has clients in every state. To discuss your case with Mr. Nachawati, contact him by email at mn@fnlawfirm.com or by telephone at 1.866.705.7584. His legal background is featured at his Super Lawyers Profile. 

Hiring the Best Personal Injury Lawyer

People often do not know where to turn when it comes to dealing with a serious personal injury case or finding the best or top injury lawyers.  Here are some factors you should consider when it comes to hiring a personal injury lawyer:

Factors important in hiring the Best Personal Injury Lawyer:

1.  Has the lawyer or law firm your are considering hiring ever tried a lawsuit?  If so, when was their last trial and what was the outcome? 

2.  Has the lawyer you are considering hiring ever been disciplined by the State Bar of Texas? (check www.texasbar.com)

3.  Has the lawyer ever completed a judicial clerkship--a prestiguous honor bestowed on only approximately 2% of lawyers in the nation?

4. Does the lawyer you are considering hiring sound well-informed and knowledgeable regarding personal injury law?

5. Has the lawyer ever settled a case or tried a case and obtained a significant recovery?

6.  Does your lawyer have the necessary resources to prosecute your case?

7.  Can you relate to the lawyer and does your intuition tell you that the lawyer is trustworthy?

8.  Where did the lawyer go to law school, and more importantly, what has the lawyer's practical experience been since law school?  Remember, years of experience does not necessarily mean a more competent lawyer.

This list of factors is non-exclusive.  The author of this article, attorney, Majed Nachawati, is frequently quoted by newspapers, media, and has been recognized as a top lawyer.  Mr. Nachawati is a former judicial law clerk and has settled and tried numerous lawsuits to verdict resulting in large recoveries for his personal injury clients. Questions or comments can be emailed to mn@fnlawfirm.com or by telephone - 1.866.705.7584.

Personal Injury Mediation - What should I expect?

Mediation in personal injury cases typically occurs after a lawsuit is filed, but before a trial before a jury or judge takes place.  Once an injury suit is filed, mediation is usually your last chance to resolve your case, absent a full-blown trial, and , many cases in fact settle at mediation.  During mediation, the mediator is a neutral arbiter between the parties and their goal is to try and resolve the injury claim in a manner that all parties can live with.  Your lawyer should explain to you how mediation works well in advance.  Typically, mediation lasts a half day or a full day, depending on the complexity of the case.  At the beginning of mediation, parties meet in one conference room where your lawyer makes a short presentation to the mediator and the party being sued concerning the facts of your injury case.  Sometimes, the attorney for the party being sued responds with a brief statement and the parties then break into separate rooms.  The mediator typically goes back and forth into separate conference rooms with monetary offers.  If the parties to the injury suit can come together on a settlement, the mediator drafts a short settlement agreement and the injury claim is finalized usually within 30 days following mediation.  If however, the parties are unable to come together on a fair settlement, the case will go to trial.  It is important to ensure your lawyer is willing to go the distance and take your case to trial if necessary.  Lawyers at my firm, Fears | Nachawati, attend mediation frequently, and more importantly, will absolutely take a case to trial if the negligent party (at fault party) is unwilling to pay a fair and reasonable settlement amount. If you have an injury claim and need legal help or advice, contact me at mn@fnlawfirm.com or by phone - 1.866.705.7584.

Personal Injury Claims - How long do I have to file suit?

In Texas, the amount of time a person has to file their claim or case with the courts varies according to the type of lawsuit or claim that is filed.  While there are limited exceptions to when limitations expires, a lawsuit or claim should be filed well ahead of the expiration of the applicable limitations statute.  The reasoning for filing well in advance is that many complications could arise in computing the time line, and once the limitations date expires, you generally lose your right to sue forever--something you do not want to happen.  General legal information on some Texas statute of limitations is listed below:

- Personal Injury - 2 years from date of injury

- Injury to Property - 2 years from date of injury

- Product Liability - 2 years

- Wrongful Death - 2 years from date of death

- Minors - does not begin to run until minor reaches age 18

Call the lawyers at Fears | Nachawati Law Firm if you have questions about your potential case and the proper calculation or the statute of limitations. 1.866.705-7584 or info@fnlawfirm.com

 

 

Why Handling Your Own Personal Injury Claim is a Terrible Idea

Potential clients involved in an accident or injury claim that seek legal help or free advice from my law firm frequently ask this question--If I hire a lawyer and have to pay attorneys' fees, won't I end up getting less money in the end?

Nothing is guaranteed--however, I cannot remember a time when I had a client who, at first, was handling a claim on their own or was just about to settle with the insurance when they came to me with many questions and reservations about hiring a lawyer.  They trusted our law firm, and it proved to be worth it in the end.

A couple of questions should come to your mind (1) if you were in need of surgery, would you try to do the surgery yourself ? , (2) do you really have what it takes to take on Big Insurance and an insurance claims adjuster who handles thousands of claims a year?

Remember, the insurance adjuster is not under oath when they are dealing with you and they are frequently trained to do absolutely everything in their power to deny your injury claim or pay you as little as possible.  If you are thinking if it does not work out, I can always hire a lawyer later--think again. Commonly, people come in after trying to handle their injury claim with the "do it yourself" approach by giving the insurance company a statement unfavorable to their claim and missing crucial damages they are entitled to under the law. 

If you have an injury lawyer or law firm who works your claim diligently and aggressively, your decision to hire a lawyer is more often than not worth the time.  While most people are concerned about their property damage, I remind potential clients that vehicles can always be replaced, but you only get one body during your lifetime, if you do not look out for your health, who will?

Abraham Lincoln once said, "A man who represents himself has a fool for a client."  If you have legal questions or need help or need legal advice with your personal injury claim, feel free to email or call me - mn@fnlawfirm.com or 1.866.705-7584. 

 

NTSB official sees threat in cell phone use

If a family member has been injured because of negligence by a train operator, contact our law firm immediately for a free consultation and case analysis at 214-890-0711 or MN@fnlawfirm.com.  The Personal injury attorneys of Fears & Nachawati are standing by to assist you through this difficult time.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The numerous safety violations that contributed to a deadly train crash in California last year have some federal officials asking whether the crash was an isolated incident or part of a more widespread problem, particularly with cell phone use by crew members.

A National Transportation Safety Board panel held a second day of hearings Wednesday concerning the crash that killed 25 people and injured at least 130. The crash occurred when a Metrolink passenger train failed to heed a red traffic signal and ended up on the same shared track with a Union Pacific freight train, officials said. The two trains collided head-on.

Federal investigators on Tuesday released the transcript of 43 text messages sent and received by the engineer of the Metrolink train, Robert Sanchez. The engineer also made four phone calls the day of the collision, federal records show.

Sanchez was killed in the crash.

Kitty Higgins, an NTSB board member, said that rules in place should have stopped Sanchez from using his cell phone while on duty. But inspections designed to deter cell phone use didn't seem to have much effect because people change their behavior when they know they're being watched.

"I think it's very widespread," Higgins said of cell phone use by train crews. "And I was not very impressed with the answer 'we don't know how to enforce this' (ban). We know it's an issue with the industry."

She said that cell phone use has become part of everyday life, so dealing with the problem won't be easy.

"It's ubiquitous. It's everywhere," she said. As she spoke, a cell phone rang in the hearing room, underscoring her point.

Before the accident, most rail companies had their own policies restricting cell phone use by crew members. Shortly after the wreck, the Federal Railroad Administration issued an emergency order banning use of cell phones and other electronic devices by rail workers on duty. Since then, agency inspectors have found six people who violated the rule, agency spokesman Rob Kulat said Wednesday.

The NTSB panel also heard from union officials who recommended that all passenger, freight and commuter trains employ two workers in the cab. Often an engineer works alone in the locomotive cab while the conductor is performing other duties.

"There are occasions where something's going to happen. A second set of eyes, in our opinion, would go a long way in preventing accidents," said William Walpert of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen.

But Higgins expressed doubts about the union's recommendation. She pointed out that an accident involving another Metrolink train occurred weeks after the deadly September crash and the implementation of the new policy that put a second worker in the cab.

"I can understand from the unions' standpoint why they would like more employees driving these trains, but from a safety standpoint, I think the jury's still out as to whether that's the formula for solving this problem," Higgins said.

The United Transportation Union, which represents railroad, bus and mass transit workers, says it supports adding a second person and a camera so long as the cameras are "not used to arbitrarily impose discipline on the workers," said union spokesman Frank Wilner.

With a second person in the cab, "the probability of an accident goes down with that sort of peer pressure and the monitoring of each other," Wilner said in an interview.

Witnesses representing the California Public Utilities Commission said the commission conducted an audit of the Metrolink system in January 2009. The audit showed numerous reporting and record-keeping mistakes, which led the commission to recommend fines by the Federal Railroad Administration.

Of the 189 train collisions that occurred nationwide last year 163, or 86 percent, were caused by "human factors," according to Federal Railroad Administration statistics.

Rescue workers handle SUV-train accident

by Matt Mabe/The Star-Ledger
Monday January 19, 2009, 11:20 AM

A passenger train collided with a car this morning at a railroad crossing in Sea Girt, injuring the driver of the vehicle, a New Jersey Transit spokesman said.

The incident took place at 9:10 a.m. at the Washington Avenue crossing near the Manasquan border. New Jersey Coast Line train 4321 was on its way from Long Branch to Bay Head when it struck the 1997 Nissan Pathfinder, NJ Transit spokesman Dan Stessel said.

Rescue personnel from Manasquan and Sea Girt work to extricate the driver of a Nissan Pathfinder whose SUV was struck by a southbound NJ Transit train at the Sea Girt Avenue crossing as the train traveled from Spring Lake to Manasquan stations at about 9:15 a,m.

 

The sole occupant of the vehicle, William Nixon, 51, of Sea Girt, sustained head and leg injuries and was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, Stessel said. The severity of his injuries was not immediately known.

About 75 passengers were aboard the train, but there were no injuries reported. The passengers were able to board the next train headed south and continue to their destinations. The total delay lasted about an hour.

Stessel said the gates were working properly, but the car crashed through them for an unknown reason.

At Least 18 Killed in Train Collision in Los Angeles

Recently, the AP reported a tragic train wreck that killed 18 people. According to early reports, a commuter train hit a freight train head on. It is often difficult to tell early on what the cause of the collision may have been. However, one of the most important things to keep in mind is the importance of an early, thorough investigation into the crash. Inevitably, lawsuits will be filed in response to this deadly wreck. Any time suit is filed, liability is often a hotly contested issue. If the evidentiary state of the crash site is left in tact, it tends to shed more light on what actually happened. If you or a loved one has been involved in a train wreck or train collision, our lawyers would be happy to provide you with a consultation and explain the legal nuances involved in the aftermath of a deadly train crash. Fears | Nachawati Law Firm, Toll Free Phone 1 (866) 705-7584.
 

At Least 18 Killed in Train Collision in Los Angeles, California

Recently, the AP reported a tragic train wreck that killed 18 people. According to early reports, a commuter train hit a freight train head on. It is often difficult to tell early on what the cause of the collision may have been. However, one of the most important things to keep in mind is the importance of an early, thorough investigation into the crash. Inevitably, lawsuits will be filed in response to this deadly wreck. Any time suit is filed, liability is often a hotly contested issue. If the evidentiary state of the crash site is left in tact, it tends to shed more light on what actually happened. If you or a loved one has been involved in a train wreck or train collision, our lawyers would be happy to provide you with a consultation and explain the legal nuances involved in the aftermath of a deadly train crash. Fears | Nachawati Law Firm, Toll Free Phone 1 (866) 705-7584.