Our Chicago Train Accident and Injury Attorneys are amongst the many residents that remain in astonishment following the recent CTA derailment, which many say mirrors the type of event that you would see only in movies. With more than 30 victims transported to area hospitals, and the operator’s recent admission that she “dozed-off” prior to the collision, in addition to doing so on a previous occasion, multiple lawsuits are expected to be filed as a result of this horrendous incident.
The accident occurred in the early morning hours on Monday, March 24, 2014. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, a CTA Blue Line Train was pulling into O’Hare International Airport, when it jumped the platform, causing the front car to derail and travel up onto an escalator at the station. Officials estimate the train was traveling approximately 25 mph prior to the derailment, but it is unclear at this time how fast train was traveling upon reaching the end of the platform. It is also unclear why the train’s automatic braking system failed to stop the train.
While no individuals on the platform or escalator were injured, more than thirty passengers aboard the train, ranging in age from 38 to 72, sustained varying degrees of injury , including whiplash, headache, bruising, knee injuries, as well as emotional trauma. Victims were transported to four area hospitals for medical treatment.
The Personal Injury Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. take note of several key factors associated with liability, damages, injuries, and evidence, to name a few, that are expected to play a role in claims filed by accident victims.
Upon a preliminary assessment of liability, we are immediately drawn to several inquiries. First, to what extent did the operator of the train contribute to the cause of the wreck? Second, was the CTA negligent in scheduling the employee operator for too many hours during the 7-day period prior to the accident? Third, was the CTA negligent in allowing the employee to continue working following a prior instance where the employee admitted to ‘dozing-off’? Fourth, was the CTA negligent in the hiring, screening, or training of its employee? Lastly, why did the train’s automatic braking system prevent the train from coming to a complete stop?
In addition to liability, this incident also presents unique circumstances concerning injuries and damages. With regard to injuries, the time of the incident was said to have contributed to both the quantity of victims, as well as the extent of injury suffered. Because the accident occurred just prior to 3 a.m., many of the passengers were sleeping, or otherwise completely unprepared for the sudden impact. With regard to damages, although most of the victims suffered only minor injuries, the nature of the accident may very well result in multiple claims seeking compensation for damages associated with emotional and psychological trauma.
The Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. also take note of the extent and availability of evidence associated with this accident. In addition to video cameras upon the actual train itself, there were 41 surveillance cameras documenting the accident, due to its occurrence at an international airport. There are also videos and pictures taken by several individuals following the incident, which may play a role in subsequent claims filed.
If you or a loved one were a victim in this awful train wreck, we encourage you to contact the Accident Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. to ensure that necessary measures are taken to protect your legal rights. Contact us today to discuss your legal options during a FREE CONSULTATION, at 773-516-4100, or online at www.zneimerlaw.com.