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NYC Passengers Hurt in Manhattan Train Derailment

/ Train Accidents /

NEW YORK – A pair of subway trains derailed Tuesday morning in Manhattan. It is the latest incident that has affected New York commuters this year.

Authorities said a southbound train scraped against the tunnel wall shortly before 10 a.m., causing the two cars to shift off the tracks in Harlem. According to CBS New York, at least seven passengers suffered injuries.

An MTA spokesperson downplayed the injuries as ‘minor,’ but similar incidents have resulted in long lasting pain and frustration for passengers.

An experienced train accident lawyer said a legal investigation could help many passengers recover costs to help pay for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Future medical care
  • Lost Wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • And other associated costs

In many cases, passengers may not experience pain associated with an injury for days – even weeks following a New York City train derailment. Attorneys say the collisions and sudden jolts can often cause injuries to the head, neck and spine.

One passenger told CBS2 that the accident felt like “a runaway roller coaster — like a bucking horse.”

“I don’t want to get back on the train – for a long time,” Michelle Ayoub told CBS reporter Emily Smith.

Another passenger added that the derailment was the “worst experience of my whole life.”

It is unclear how fast the train was going, or what caused it to scrape against the side of the tunnel, but these are facts that could be answered with an extensive legal investigation.

A New York train accident lawyer says there are often a variety of factors that lead to a derailment, and every possible piece of evidence should be examined to help injured passengers recover the best results possible.

  • Pieces of evidence attorneys will be looking at include:
  • Potential flaws in the track
  • Structural faults with the tunnel
  • Operator error
  • Mechanical malfunctions on the train
  • History of accidents along this line
  • Maintenance records
  • Engineer experience and qualifications
  • Eye-witness statements, and photo/video evidence

New York train derailment attorneys say when an injured passenger files a claim, it can also place pressure on the railroad companies to make structural or mechanical changes that can improve the safety of future passengers.

Cellino & Barnes (800) 888-8888

Subway Trains Collide, Cause Derailment

/ News, Train Accidents /

Subway Trains Collide, Cause DerailmentPHILADELPHIA – A pair of SEPTA Market Frankford Line trains collided at the 69th Street Terminal on Tuesday morning, pushing several cars off the track and sending several people to area hospitals.

The accident happened on a turnaround loop at the end of the line at around 8:30 a.m. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority reported the trains were not in service at the time of the crash, and few were on board.

Four people were hospitalized, including the train operator and a man who was asleep on one of the trains, Upper Darby Police reported. Officers tweeted that none of the injuries appeared to be life threatening, and no one was trapped on the derailed trains.

An experienced train accident attorney said a full legal investigation could look into all the factors that may have led to the accident.

Some of these factors could include:

  • Potential track flaws
  • Mechanical issues with the train itself
  • Structural faults in train design
  • Operator error

A train accident lawyer will also look into the history of train derailments and accidents at the terminus and turn-around.

It is not clear how fast the train was going at the time of the crash, but an experienced legal investigator can use these facts and to help train accident victims get compensation for their injuries and hospital bills.

This compensation can help pay for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Future medical costs
  • …and more

Other pieces of evidence that could help accident victims include:

  • Surveillance video
  • History of incidents at the station
  • Eye-witness statements, recordings, photos, and other media
  • Maintenance records
  • Train engineer experience records and qualifications
  • Train accident records
  • Records of mechanical flaws and malfunctions

When an injured passenger files a claim, their claim can also pressure railroad companies into making meaningful changes that could help prevent future accidents.

Cellino & Barnes 800-888-8888

Injury Count Over 100 In Brooklyn Train Derailment

/ News, Train Accidents /

Injury Count Over 100 In Brooklyn Train DerailmentNEW YORK – A Long Island Rail Road train struck a bumping block in Brooklyn Wednesday morning, causing the train to jump of the tracks during the morning rush hour.

According to the FDNY, at least 103 people were injured in the train accident. Fortunately, none of those injuries are considered life threatening. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the worst injury is a possible broken leg.

Although officials are calling the accident “minor,” passengers said the scene was chaotic for dozens of commuters.

Passenger Rebecca Bazzey told PIX11 News she suffered a head injury during the sudden jolt.

Rider Natasha Mosley told CBS New York she also hit her head in the Brooklyn train accident. Natasha Mosley said she was sitting in the first car when the train lurched off its tracks.

“People were just crying,” Natasha Mosley told reporters. “Another person fractured their arm.”

Another rider, Robert Fried, described the accident as a sudden jolt that left passengers confused and many others injured.

“Everybody in front of me was actually doing a head jerk and falling,” Robert Fried told CBS New York. “It was pretty intense and pretty scary.”

Passenger Michelle Reed told reporters that, despite the injuries, the incident could’ve been much worse.

“I’m just shaken and sore right now,” Michelle Reed said. “Thanking God that I’m walking away.”

Many other passengers echoed the same sentiments but just three months after a similar crash in Hoboken, N.J., riders are left wondering: how could something like this happen again?

A Brooklyn train accident attorney says a detailed legal investigation will look at all the factors that may have contributed to the accident.

These factors could include:

  • Operator error
  • Potential track flaws
  • Mechanical issues
  • Structural faults

In addition to investigating what specifically caused the derailment, an experienced Brooklyn train accident lawyer will look at the history of train derailments like this and a detail-oriented analysis will look into the train operator’s records to determine whether they had a history of other accidents or an illness like sleep apnea that may have played a role in the accident.

Gov. Cuomo said the train didn’t stop when it was supposed to. Although it is currently unclear how fast the train was moving at the time of the derailment, an experienced legal team could obtain the facts and use them to help accident victims get compensation for their injuries.

This compensation can help pay for:

  • Hospital expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Future medical costs
  • …and more

Passengers Natasha Mosley, Robert Fried and Michelle Reed all described the Brooklyn train accident scene as ‘chaotic’ and dozens of other riders were taken to New York hospitals for treatments. Although the official injury tally stands at 103, doctors are prepared to treat other passengers since some injuries – especially whiplash injuries – can manifest hours, days or even weeks after an accident.

An experienced train accident attorney will gather all the evidence these victims need to get the best result possible. A solid legal team will not only look at accident reports – they will also look for other pieces of evidence that could help accident victims. This evidence could include:

  • Train accident records
  • History of incidents at the station
  • Surveillance video
  • Eye-witness statements, recordings, photos, and other media
  • Maintenance records
  • Train engineer experience records and qualifications
  • Records of mechanical flaws and malfunctions

When an injured victim files a claim, their legal team can also put pressure on the railroad companies to make their trains, tracks and stations safer for everyone.

Cellino & Barnes 800-888-8888

Train Safety Varies Coast-to-Coast

/ Train Accidents /

Train Safety Varies Coast-to-CoastNEW YORK – If you live in the northeast, chances are you’ve taken the train once or twice. Around 1 million people ride commuter trains in the New York City area each day and some of the busiest railroads operate in the northeast… but there’s a problem.

The northeast rails continue to lag behind their West Coast counterparts in terms of safety. Federal regulators said many railroads along the Pacific coast have installed – or begun installing – sophisticated ‘positive train control’ technology or PTC. Safety experts say PTC will reduce the number of train crashes involving speed or other human factors but the northeastern rail lines are still far behind when it comes to implementing this life-saving tech.

According to records filed with the Federal Railroad Administration, the Long Island Rail Road, NJ Transit and Metro-North Railroad have all made little progress on installing the GPS-based PTC. Records show that none of the railroads have implemented the technology although several employees have been trained to use it.

The New York Metropolitan Transit Authority told the AP that the data doesn’t accurately reflect the progress they’ve made and all of the railroads are on track to meet a December 2018 deadline; a deadline Congress has already pushed back before.

A New York Train accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says PTC is already being used in places like the west coast, where Metrolink has been using the technology for over two years.

“This safety feature can use satellites and global positioning systems to track and monitor train speeds in New York,” train accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “If a train is moving too fast, the system can slow down or stop a train almost instantaneously, so it can reduce and possibly eliminate the human error which is a common factor in most train crashes.”

Investigators have said that PTC could have prevented at least 25 major train crashes over the past two decades, including deadly crashes in New York City and Philadelphia that claimed 12 lives and injured dozens.

In both crashes (2013 and 2015, respectively), the trains traveled along sharp curves in the track at more than double the area speed limit. Investigators in New Jersey are also looking at the possibility that PTC may have prevented a destructive crash at a Hoboken, New Jersey train station, where a commuter train plowed into a wall at speeds that were well above the speed limit.

On the West Coast, the busiest rail line is Caltrain – but it doesn’t carry nearly many daily riders as the massive train companies in the northeast. Caltrain and Metrolink have roughly 100,000 riders each day – combined. Positive Train Control is implemented on almost every mile of track that the rail companies own and West Coast railroads that don’t have the technology completely in place are still leaps and bounds closer than the big northeast railroads.

New York train accident lawyers say every day trains operate on tracks without PTC, there’s a bigger risk of another severe accident.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a train accident, the lawyers at Cellino & Barnes can help you get the best result possible. With offices across New York State, our attorneys understand how important rail safety is – and when passenger safety is neglected, our New York train accident attorneys can investigate the crash and use their experience in court to make sure your family receives fair compensation.

Cellino & Barnes 800-888-8888

Aftermath of a Hoboken Train Crash a “Nightmare”

/ Train Accidents /

coreyfuttdesign

NEW YORK – At least one person was killed and dozens more suffered severe injuries when a commuter train crashed into a crowded Hoboken station during the morning rush on Thursday.

The crash caused a portion of the frequently-used terminal to collapse, leaving piles of debris scattered throughout the station.

Fabiola Bittar de Kroon, 34, of Hoboken was standing on the platform and was struck and killed by debris, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said. Fibiola Bittar de Kroon was a native of Brazil.

According to CBS News, she had just dropped off her toddler at day care Thursday morning before leaving for the Hoboken Terminal in a rush. Friends and co-workers told CBS that Fabiola Bittar de Kroon had recently moved to New Jersey from South America.

The Hoboken train crash injured more than 100 others as it collided with the train station.

Passengers Nancy Bido, Steve Mesiano, Bhagyesh Shah, and Jason Danahy told reporters what happened.

“Just felt like it never stopped,” passenger Nancy Bido told NBC New York. “It didn’t slow down. It didn’t brake.”

“You felt like this huge, huge bang,” passenger Steve Mesiano said to reporters. “The lights went off, and then you started to see like – I was in the window seat, so I could see like outside, what was happening, and the roof just collapsed on the first car.”

“The next thing I know, we are plowing through the platform,” passenger Bhagyesh Shah added in the NBC report. “It was for a couple seconds, but it felt like an eternity.”

“From the fifth car, it felt like a major skid,” passenger Jason Danahy told The Times. “A creaking noise and a skid. I was lucky to be on the fifth car.”

Many other passengers tweeted they felt “lucky to be alive.”

Others weren’t so fortunate and many passengers are still asking, why did this happen?

Authorities said the crash on the Pascack Valley Line was either accidental or caused by operator error, according to reports from NBC New York. Reporters said it appeared the train went through a bumper stop on the track, crashing into the building.

With most train accidents, a detailed legal investigation will look at all the possible factors that may have contributed to, or directly caused a crash.

New York train accident lawyers not only investigate operator error and potential track flaws, they also look into mechanical issues and any structural faults with the station itself, all of which may have contributed to the Hoboken train crash.

Many injured passengers suffered a variety of injuries and in most cases, medical care is necessary. It is currently estimated that over 100 people were hurt and the Jersey City Medical Center was expecting to receive roughly 50 patients immediately following the crash, The Times reported. Other injured passengers were taken to Hoboken University Medical Center and to Christ Hospital, less than two-miles from the Hoboken train station.

According to a New York train accident attorney, injured passengers often need legal assistance after a crash. Some passengers and families will be looking for help with paying medical bills or receiving compensation for missing time from work or for pain and suffering.

Passengers Nancy Bido, Steve Mesiano, Jason Danahy, and Bhagyesh Shah told reporters there were many people who were visibly injured. Due to the severity of the crash, doctors anticipate more injuries will be reported in the near future.

Many injuries can manifest hours, days or even weeks after a severe train crash. According to doctors, these injuries can cause severe pain if left untreated.

An experienced train accident attorney can gather all the evidence a victim needs to get the best result possible. An attorney should look for evidence including:

  • Train accident records
  • History of incidents at the station
  • Surveillance video
  • Eye-witness statements, recordings, photos, and other media
  • Maintenance records
  • Train engineer experience records and qualifications
  • Records of mechanical flaws and malfunctions

More than 100,000 people use NJ Transit trains to commute from New Jersey to New York on a daily basis. Hoboken is one of the busiest stations in the tri-state area and records over 15,000 passengers each day.

If investigators discover any flaws with the trains, the engineer or the station itself, the findings will be reported to the Federal Railroad Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, who are logging the accident.

Cellino & Barnes 800-888-8888

“Freak of Nature” Blamed for Train Derailment

/ Train Accidents /

“Freak of Nature” Blamed for Train DerailmentNEW YORK – Another train derailed Monday morning, injuring at least 7 passengers in central Vermont. Officials say the train struck a rockslide about 10 miles south of Montpelier, the state’s capital. At least one person was seriously injured, according to news reports.

The train named the “Vermonter” travels between St. Albans City in Vermont to Washington D.C. with stops in Connecticut, Manhattan and New Jersey.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Railroad Administration sent investigators to the site of the crash, one of several train derailments being investigated this year.

Manhattan train crash attorneys at Cellino & Barnes say passengers could have died in a crash like this and the scenario may have been prevented with adequate safety features.

“These crashes happen too often on trains heading to or going through Manhattan,” train crash attorney Ross Cellino said. “Train companies have promised safety but we still see dozens of derailments and more injuries each year.”

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin blamed the Vermonter’s crash on a “freak of nature,” saying rocks above the tracks broke off and tumbled into the path of the train, owned and operated by Amtrak. The tracks are owned and maintained by the New England Central Railroad.

A total of five cars fell off the tracks.

While an investigation will officially determine the cause of the crash and if anything could have prevented it, Manhattan train crash attorneys say the area is known for rock slides.

“Many mountainous highways have nets along the side of the road to trap rocks from falling into the paths of oncoming cars,” Cellino said. “The same principle could be applied to train tracks.”

Passengers on the Vermonter said the crash was like ‘severe turbulence;’ as people and luggage were tossed around in the cabin. Some of the luggage reportedly hit passengers and some of the seats came loose.

Seat belts are not a practical option to improve passenger safety, according to a 2006 study by the Transit Cooperative Research Program. Experts say most injury crashes can be blamed on broken rails, which the Federal Railroad Administration is responsible for inspecting.

A new technology called Positive Train Control (PTC) would reduce the number of accidents, officials said. Congress signed legislation that would mandate all trains to be equipped with PTC, which uses satellites to monitor and control certain aspects of a locomotive. However, many train companies have not installed the safety feature and have asked Congress to extend the deadline, which is slated to expire at the end of the year.

Monday’s derailment happened along a stretch of track that will be exempt from the December 31 congressional deadline to install PTC.

As part of the 2008 Rail Safety Improvement Act, the Federal Railroad Administration determined what rail lines would need positive train control, putting the highest priority on routes carrying passengers and toxic chemicals. Congress gave the agency freedom to exclude rail lines it determined did not carry a significant amount of traffic. New England Central rail lines were among those that met the criteria for exemption.

The Nation’s Busiest Rail Corridor is Falling Apart

/ Train Accidents /

Nation’s Busiest Rail Corridor is Falling ApartNEW YORK – From Washington to Boston, over 700,000 people commute and travel via train in the Northeast Corridor, the nation’s busiest rail sector. Many trains make their way through New York but the trek through the Big Apple is a dangerous one.

Delays and a string of recent train crashes have headlined some of the problems with the Northeast Corridor but those headlines only scratch the surface. Over the last three decades, the number of riders has doubled but there have been few upgrades and changes to one of the oldest rail sectors in the nation.

Bridges are increasingly becoming unsafe. Power lines and electrical wires have stalled commuters for days. In some areas, tunnels are on the verge of collapsing.

New York train accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes said another train accident could happen at any moment.

“Trains are becoming more high-tech and safer for riders in New York,” train accident attorney Ross Cellino said. “These high-tech trains however, are traveling on decades-old infrastructure.”

Ridership along the Northeast Corridor is at an all-time high but the infrastructure in the area is notorious for delays. Weather like rain storms, snow fall or even a hot summer day have been known to affect the old infrastructure and cause delays.

“Some tunnels and bridges needed emergency repairs last year,” Cellino said. “One of those tunnels was built just a few years after the Civil War and today, we have high-tech trains rumbling through it.”

Just seven months into 2015, almost 1,000 Long Island Rail Road trains pushed their schedules back due to problems or congestion. According to a report from a congressional advisory commission, train delays resulted in over $100 million in lost productivity and added traffic, among other effects.

The good news is that trains won’t run if there’s a safety concern. The bad news is that delays are a common, usually daily occurrence.

When the Crossing Gates Fail, Bad Things Happen

/ Train Accidents /

Crossing Gates Fail, Bad Things HappenNEW YORK – Have you ever been stuck on the railroad tracks? Helpless, with nowhere to turn, it can quite possibly be one of the scariest moments in anyone’s life. In many train accidents, the railroad and its insurance company are quick to blame the driver for an accident but sometimes it’s not the driver’s fault.

New York train accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes say it’s not uncommon for railroad crossing arms and signals to malfunction, putting everyone in danger.

“Statistics show some railroad crossings are more dangerous than others in New York,” train accident attorney Ross Cellino said. “In some of these cases, we find the gates never came down to prevent traffic from entering the tracks.”

Earlier this month, a New York truck driver discovered a malfunction at the gates of a railroad crossing in Queens, which resulted in a fiery collision. Luckily, no one was seriously hurt but members of the New York media investigated the incident. ABC 7 found out the crossing gates never dropped, apparent in dashcam video obtained from a tractor trailer on the opposite side of the tracks.

“When gates don’t drop, it puts the driver in danger, it puts the train conductor in danger, and it can put every passenger in danger,” Cellino said. “The gates and signals at a railroad crossing should always be functioning properly or there could be some liability.”

In the past decade, more than 12 crashes have been recorded at the accident site in Queens, according to Federal Railroad Administration records.

Although repair crews were on-site repairing the crossing gates, eyewitness reports state trains were spotted passing the same intersection with the gates up.

“This can happen anywhere,” Cellino said. “One malfunction, one power outage, can put your life in danger.”

New York train accident attorneys suggest calling 911 immediately following any train crash. After first responders have arrived on scene, they say it may also be in your best interest to contact an experienced train accident attorney.

Amtrak Urged to Monitor Engineers with Cameras

/ Train Accidents /

Amtrak Urged to Monitor Engineers with CamerasNEW YORK – The National Transportation Safety Board made an overture on Wednesday, telling Amtrak to install video cameras to monitor the actions of its train engineers.

The recommendation is part of the Board’s response to a May train crash that killed eight and injured 200. The crash happened while an Amtrak train was traveling from Washington to New York City but derailed in Philadelphia. Investigators with the NTSB discovered the train was going more than 100 miles per hour around a curve, double the speed limit for that area.

New York train accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes said any action that could increase train safety would be an improvement.

“Installing a recording device in a train’s cab will be a constant reminder for operators in New York,” train accident attorney Ross Cellino said. “If an engineer knows he or she is on camera, they’re more likely to make an effort to stay awake and pay attention while operating.”

New York train accident attorneys said the recordings could also serve as training videos for future engineers. The NTSB listed several accidents in which cameras assisted investigators as well.

Advocates for train engineers are opposing the proposed action, citing an ‘invasion of privacy.’ An Amtrak spokesman said, “Amtrak is reviewing the NTSB recommendations and will incorporate them, as appropriate, into our plan to install inward-facing cameras in the locomotive fleet.”

Train Company Funding Slashed Hours after Crash

/ Train Accidents /

Train Company Funding SlashedWASHINGTON – As federal investigators were sifting through the wreckage of a deadly Philadelphia train crash, members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted to cut funding to the passenger rail service.

Investigators determined the train, owned by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (also known as Amtrak), was speeding around a curve at 106 miles per hour. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it was traveling at more than twice the speed limit for that area.

Meanwhile in Washington, the House approved an appropriations bill that cut Amtrak funding by $260 million.

A report issued by the Amtrak Inspector General in 2012 concluded the railway would need funding like this to meet a late-2015 federal safety deadline. Amtrak is required to complete installation of Positive Train Control by the end of the year.

Train accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Cellino & Barnes said the plan to implement Positive Train Control could be a safety feature that would save lives.

“Positive Train Control would use a complex network of computers and GPS to safely navigate the railways,” train accident attorney Ross Cellino said. “These safety features could automatically apply the brakes if the computers detect a train is going too fast before going around a curve.”

A top transportation official told CNN Positive Train Control would have prevented the crash of Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188.

In a 2013 NTSB hearing, the Federal Railroad Administration said acquisition and installation of Positive Train Control would cost Amtrak an estimated $875 million and billions of dollars in additional expenses for the next 20 years.

“Nearly half of all train accidents are due to human error,” Cellino said. “Without additional safety features, every train could be just human error away from another accident.”

Amtrak has said it is “committed to meeting the requirement of positive train control” and will have it completely installed in the Northeast Corridor “by the end of this year.” The commuter train business recently planned to install the safety feature on 1,200 more miles of track from Washington, D.C. to New Rochelle, N.Y. and from Harrisburg, Penn. to Philadelphia.

Some lawmakers have proposed extending the deadline to completely install the safety feature to as late as 2020.

 

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