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Amtrak Liability for Train Accident Deaths

Your legal rights don't expire when you die. Wrongful death lawsuits allow surviving family members to sue train operators for these damages and to hold them accountable. So what's Amtrak's liability for train accident deaths? Well, it's clear but complicated. Trains Are Common Carriers Trains, planes, and automobiles are what lawyers call common carriers. A common carrier is anything that transports people or goods for a fee owes passengers a higher duty of care in ensuring their safety. Common carrier liability is an old but sensible legal concept. A driver of a car is responsible for his accidents; anyone hauling many people should be even more careful. It's common for wrongful death lawsuits against train operators to cite common carrier liability (among other grounds) when suing. Amtrak's Liability It's common for train accident related deaths to rack up huge medical bills, lost income to family and dependents, funeral costs, possible property damage, and more. These costs can be prohibitive for family members and don't go away. Amtrak, despite receiving government funds, is liable for its torts like most government entities. However, there's a catch. Congress has capped Amtrak's liability at $295 million. That may sound like a lot, but when you're talking about over eighty people's hospital costs, lost income from missing work, continuing health needs and rehab bills, and more -- it adds up pretty fast. Amtrak Train Accident Lawsuits Amtrak's issues have made recent news, including a derailment in Washington State in December 2017. Two survivors of that crash have already sued for personal injuries sustained in the crash, the first of what's expected to be many similar lawsuits. Related Resources Find a personal injury attorney near you (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory) What Laws Govern The Amtrak Crash? (FindLaw's Injured) Common Carrier Liability in Light of Amtrak Crash in PA (FindLaw's Injured)
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Top 5 Travel Injury Legal Issues

It’s almost summertime, so time to hit the road, see the sights, and travel the high seas. But with travels come trouble sometimes, accidents and injuries, which could be costly. Here is some advice for travelers, whatever your mode of transport, be it trains, planes, automobiles, boats, or a combo. Find out how to handle travel accident recovery. Travel Accident Recovery 1. Injured on an Airplane: How Can You Recover? You probably don’t realize just how treacherous being on a plane is, and that is apart from the hazard of hurtling through the skies. Injuries on airplanes can happen due to fallen luggage from overhead compartments, turbulence, airline employee error and more. Airlines owe passengers a high duty of care and passengers do recover when they are proven negligent. 2. Injured in a Bus Crash: How Much Is My Case Worth? It is never a good idea to guess at what a case is worth without knowing all the details, and even then it’s probably best not to assume. But bus crash injuries can be severe and you can certainly sue if you are hurt while traveling on this type of common carrier. 3. Can I Sue for a Railroad Crossing Accident? If you’re on a train that crashes or are injured in some way while traveling Orient Express style, you can certainly sue to recover for your expenses and pain and suffering. As for drivers injured in a railroad crossing accident, that too is an unfortunately common occurrence and a basis for recovery. 4. Cruise Ship Injury: Can I Sue? Traveling on a cruise ship combines the fun of staying at a hotel with the thrill of being on the high seas and a dash of the old-fashioned. But cruise ships are also a prime place to get injured — not only are there activities of all kinds but there’s the risk of accidents in restaurants, on decks, and with the movement of the ship itself. If your vacation ends in a sea of sorrows due to the negligence of the cruise ship company, you can sue. 5. Road Trip Safety Tips: How to Not Get Injured The most American vacation of them all is the road trip, a journey great artists have paid tribute to in books, film, music, and more. But before you hit the road, know the score on staying safe. Traveling in a car for long hours can be dangerous. Talk to a Lawyer If you are injured during your travels or at any other time and you believe it is due to the negligence of another, speak to a lawyer. Tell your story. Many attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to assess your case. Related Resources: Have an injury claim? Get your claim reviewed for free. (Consumer Injury) Cruise Ship Sickness: Can Passengers Sue? (FindLaw’s Injured) Cruise Ship Injuries: What Are Your Rights? (FindLaw’s Injured) Top Ten Road Trip Legal Tips (FindLaw’s Law and Daily Life)
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O’Hare Shuttle Bus Crash Injures 14; 1st Lawsuit Filed

One of the 14 people injured in a shuttle bus crash at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has filed a lawsuit against the bus driver and the company that owns the bus. Talipha Charles suffered broken bones, contusions, and other injuries in the crash, the Daily Herald reports. According to Charles' lawyer, the bus driver was speeding at the time of the collision and failed to stay in the proper lane, causing the bus to crash into a concrete median. How will these allegations affect both the driver's and the bus company's potential liability for the crash? Bus Accident Lawsuits Lawsuits arising from bus accidents may be somewhat different than lawsuits involving ordinary automobile accidents. That's because buses are typically considered common carriers under both federal and state law, meaning that they are held to a higher standard of safe operation than other vehicles on the road. Generally, common carriers must use the utmost care in transporting their passengers. In addition to proving that the carrier breached its duty to keep passengers safe, a plaintiff in a bus accident case must also generally prove that the carrier's breach was the cause of her injuries. Negligence Per Se If Charles can prove that the driver of the bus was violating traffic laws at the time of the accident, then she may be able to hold the driver and the bus company liable for her injuries under the legal theory of negligence per se. If a plaintiff alleging negligence can show that the defendant violated a statute that involves safety, and that statute was meant to protect those in the plaintiff's position against the type of harm suffered by the plaintiff in the accident, then the defendant can be found liable for the plaintiff's injuries by negligence per se. In this case, the traffic laws allegedly violated by the bus driver were meant to protect others on the road, such as passengers, from being injured in auto accidents, so negligence per se may apply. Whenever an employee of a business is found negligent while performing a job related duty, the employer may also be vicariously liable for their employee's negligence through the doctrine of respondeat superior. In addition, the bus company may be found liable through negligence of their own, such as negligent training or negligent supervision of the driver.As for the defendants, local news sources have been unable to reach them for comment. Related Resources: Passenger Files Lawsuit Following O'Hare Shuttle Bus Crash (Chicago's WBBM Newsradio) Greyhound Bus Crash in Ohio Injures 34 (FindLaw's Injured) FedEx, Bus Company Sued Over Crash That Killed 10 (FindLaw's Injured) Missouri School Bus Crash Kills 2, Injures More (FindLaw's Injured)
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Bus Accident at Burning Man Claims Woman’s Life

A woman attending this year's Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert has reportedly been killed in a bus accident. The woman, who has not been identified pending notification of her next of kin, fell under a bus carrying festival attendees, reports the Burning Man Blog. What are some of the legal options the woman's family may have following this tragic incident? Wrongful Death Lawsuit When a person's death may be caused by the intentional or negligent actions of another, the deceased person's family may decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Injured? Exercise your legal rights. Get in touch with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in your area today. Wrongful death lawsuits generally require the survival of family members who are suffering financial harm as a result of their family member's death. The wrongful death lawsuit seeks to compensate surviving family members for this financial loss, by awarding them damages in the amount of lost support, services, and income the deceased may have provided as well as medical and funeral expenses. Liability of Festival Organizers One possible avenue of legal recourse would be to bring suit against the organizers of the festival for negligence. Negligence generally requires that a person or business have a duty to act reasonably, and that by failing to do so, they caused injury or death. In this case, the woman's family could claim that the festival organizers had a duty to make the festival grounds reasonably safe and that their failure to do so caused the woman's death. Liability of Bus Driver, Owner The woman's family could also allege negligence on the part of the bus driver, as well as the owner of the bus or bus company. Buses are generally considered to be common carriers, which makes them subject to a higher standard of safety. This may mean that even a minor breach of the bus driver's duty to act safely may be sufficient for liability for negligence. However, this typically only applies to injuries to passengers. If the bus was being driven by someone other than the owner who was being compensated for doing so, the owner of the bus or bus company may also be liable for any negligence on the part of the driver under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior. The owner of a vehicle may also be held liable for the negligent acts of the driver if it was found they had a reason to know the person was a bad driver or was otherwise unfit to operate the vehicle. Related Resources: Woman Dies In Bus Accident At Burning Man (SFist) Play Legally on the Playa: 5 Legal Issues at Burning Man (FindLaw's Legally Weird) Burning Man Lawsuit Filed, Show May be in Jeopardy (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life) Injured on a Bus? 5 Legal Points to Consider (FindLaw's Injured)
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