If you or someone you know has been involved in a Los Angeles Metrolink accident you may be able to recover much-needed compensation for your injuries. Contact Los Angeles Metrolink accident attorney Joshua W. Glotzer today to learn more about how you can hold negligent train operators and service providers responsible for the harm you have suffered. Mr. Glotzer has been an advocate for thousands of injured accident victims in the greater Los Angeles area for more than two decades. In that time he has helped his clients to recover millions in compensation from at-fault and negligent parties. He understands that the damages a personal injury lawsuit can provide can offer much-needed financial relief to accident victims who are struggling with an injury. Contact his office today to schedule your free, no-commitment consultation and find out how he may be able to help you, too.
Los Angeles Metrolink Injury Statistics
When roads are congested and traffic is heavy, many Los Angeles commuters choose to use public transportation. The Metrolink, Los Angeles’s regional rail system, is a popular choice for commuters traveling between Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County. It is one of the most heavily-traveled regional rail systems in the country. In 2016, more than 111 million Californians traveled more than 640 million miles on the Los Angeles Metrolink rail system.
Public transportation is a great way to travel around the Los Angeles metro area. Many Californians choose public transportation to avoid the dangers that congested Los Angeles freeways pose to drivers. However, over the past two decades, traveling by commuter rail has also proven to be potentially dangerous for passengers. While the Metrolink has the 7th largest ridership in the country it actually has the 3rd highest number of passenger fatalities. According to the Federal Railroad Administration, in a 6-year span, there were 61 railroad passenger fatalities in the United States. 39 of those deaths were linked to the Los Angeles Metrolink railway. Most of these deaths were the result of two catastrophic train accidents: the Glendale Metrolink collision in 2005 and the Chatsworth Metrolink collision in 2008.
Causes of Los Angeles Metrolink Rail Accidents
Los Angeles commuters use the Metrolink regional rail to avoid congestion on the freeway and the threat of harm posed by the rising rate of car accidents. Metrolink riders, however, are also at a risk of harm when they board the train. Most riders will expect that the train will take them safely from Point A to Point B. What happens, though, to cause the train to crash, derail, or malfunction? There are many factors that can lead to a Metrolink rail accident. These can range from driver negligence to mechanical problems to a host of other causes. Potential causes of Los Angeles Metrolink rail accidents include:
- Fatigued train operators;
- Distracted train operators;
- Improper train operator training;
- Excessive speed;
- Improper maintenance of the train, tracks, and/or signals;
- Collisions with other commuter trains;
- Failure to comply with safety standards;
- Car derailment;
- Intoxication; and more.
Negligence and Los Angeles Metrolink Rail Accidents
The legal cause of Los Angeles Metrolink rail accidents is generally negligence. Negligence is the failure to fulfill a duty to another person. A train operator has a duty to drive the train in a way that will not put passengers at a risk of harm. Therefore, a train operator may be negligent if he or she operates the train while overly fatigued or under the influence of drugs. A train company has a duty to provide safe railcars to its passengers. Therefore, a train company may be negligent if they do not properly maintain and service their trains. Generally, anyone who is responsible for ensuring that Metrolink trains are safe could potentially be negligent if they contribute to an accident.
In California, trains have a heightened standard of care because they transport so many passengers. This means that they must exercise the “utmost care and diligence” when transporting train passengers. This standard of care extends to all actions that are necessary to ensure safe transportation – including design, manufacture, maintenance, and operation. Failure to exercise the utmost care and diligence can result in liability on the basis of negligence.
Establishing Liability for a Los Angeles Metrolink Accident
When you are injured in a Metrolink accident you may wonder who can be held responsible in a personal injury lawsuit. Generally, anyone who may be have contributed to the cause of the accident could potentially be held accountable. The best way to ensure that you maximize the compensation you recover is by hiring an experienced Los Angeles Metrolink accident attorney to handle your claim. Joshua W. Glotzer has spent the past two decades helping thousands of injured clients recover millions in damages from liable parties.
When he takes a case, Mr. Glotzer conducts a thorough investigation into the cause of an accident. In his investigation, Mr. Glotzer may review information gathered in state and federal investigations, interview witnesses, consult with commuter train and engineering experts, and perform extensive legal research for other similar cases. This investigation helps to determine (1) the technical reason for the Metrolink accident, and (2) who may be responsible for the accident. These are important factors in determining who should be named as a defendant in your case.
Recovering Damages After a Metrolink Accident Injury
Train accidents can cause severe and debilitating injuries. Many times, these injuries require extensive medical care and force victims to take time away from work to recover. Fortunately, California Metrolink accident victims are entitled to seek damages from whoever is determined to be responsible for the accident. Damages can help to cover the costs associated with extensive and costly medical care, rehabilitation, nursing care, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, disfigurement, embarrassment, and even loss of enjoyment of life.
However, a federal regulation limits the damages that can be awarded following a train accident in the United States. This federal regulation has come under fire in recent years as the number of commuter rail train accidents has increased. One Los Angeles Metrolink accident was a major reason for the call to review the liability cap. In 2008, a train engineer was texting while operating a Metrolink regional rail train in Chatsworth. His failure to pay attention resulted in a train collision that ended up costing 24 people their lives and injuring more than 100 others. A California state court calculated that the total damages resulting from the accident were more than $264 million. However, the federal train accident liability cap prohibited the California court from awarding more than $200 million (in total) to the accident victims.
Experienced Los Angeles Metrolink Accident Attorney
Have you been injured in a Los Angeles Metrolink accident? If so, you should not hesitate to contact Joshua W. Glotzer, a skilled Los Angeles personal injury attorney, today. Mr. Glotzer understands the hardships you can face after a Metrolink accident and wants to help you hold negligent parties accountable for their actions. Metrolink, its employees, and its contractors have a heightened duty to provide passengers like you with safe passage around the greater Los Angeles area. When Metrolink does not meet this heightened duty, Mr. Glotzer can help you hold them accountable.The first step to recovering the compensation you need and deserve is hiring the right attorney. Contact Joshua W. Glotzer today to schedule your free, no-commitment consultation.