In 2005 a speeding Metra train derailed and crashed in the Chicago area. After six years of litigation, Metra has finally agreed to pay $1.45 million to a Joliet woman who was injured and suffered a broken leg that will require knee replacement surgery as a result of the accident.
The woman was aboard a Rock Island Line Metra train when it sped through a 10 M.P.H. track crossing at an amazing 69 M.P.H. and derailed near 47th Street.
The National Transportation Safety Board blamed now-fired engineer Michael Smith for failing to heed signals and slow the train. The NTSB also faulted Metra for the lack of an automatic system to override human error.
Because of Metra's careless employee, two passengers were killed and 117 were injured. The families of the two passengers that were killed reached an $11 million settlement with Metra in November 2008.
Since there is little a train passenger can do to prevent a train crash, those responsible for safety should be held to the highest standards for their equipment and the employees that they hire. Six years is a long time to wait for justice, unfortunately, these types of cases can be a long process, if the at-fault companies and their insurers make it so, for an already beleaguered injured victim. Our injury lawyers are nationally recognized in the field of railroad accident injury law and know how to handle these cases.
With light rail becoming a reality in many places such as in Norfolk , Virginia (VA) we may soon see a rise in commuter train accidents, railroad derailments, and railroad crossing wrecks that can affect rail passengers as well as cars and pedestrians near the tracks.