Articles Posted in Mass Transit Accidents

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According to a recent news article from ABC 7 News, a 31-year-old man was killed in a horrific and confusing accident in which he was pinned between a commuter rail train and the station.  The accident happened during the evening rush hour when the victim was on his way home from work.

xrayAuthorities have said the victim, who worked as a mechanic nearby the commuter rail station, was waiting for a train, and, as it was approaching the station, he managed to slip off the edge or the platform and get his waist pinned between the train car and the platform.   While his injuries ultimately proved fatal, he was conscious and talking to firefighters as they worked to free him from the train. Continue reading

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Another horrific mass transit accident has been reported, this time just outside of Philadelphia, where a passenger train was catapulted off the tracks.
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On Tuesday, May 12 around 9 p.m., an Amtrak train carrying 238 passengers and five crew members from Washington D.C. to New York City derailed, careening off the tracks, causing the seven cars to spin, flip and rip apart. The wreck happened on the busy New York-to-Philadelphia corridor.

In the initial aftermath, authorities are reporting at least six people are dead and 144 are known to be injured. Although most of the others are not seriously hurt, authorities have ominously revealed not all passengers are accounted for. That’s why emergency crews have been toiling away to search for anyone who may still be trapped in the gnarled mess of metal wreckage that remains.
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Massachusetts State Police are investigating a fatal train accident that occurred recently in Chester, a rural area about two hours west of Boston in Hampden County. Sparse information was offered by officials regarding the circumstances of the crash, in which a 23-year-old male pedestrian was killed on the tracks, but Boston train accident lawyers know that incidents like this are on the rise.
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A recent USA Today analysis of federal rail data revealed that on average, a train accident occurs in the U.S. once every other day – and those figures only involve passenger and commuter trains.

Fatalities on all railroads in 2013 were reported to be around 730, representing an overall increase of 9 percent in a single year – 11 percent in railroad trespassing deaths and 8 percent in accident deaths.
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The media has been reporting lots of bad news about distracted driving incidents lately, including tragic accidents where buses and trains were involved in serious or fatal collisions due to a driver who failed to pay careful attention. railway-tracks-1428076-m.jpg

Our injury lawyers in Massachusetts know that this wave of bad news has led to added scrutiny of bus and train drivers, with transit agencies taking new approaches to promote safety in order to reduce the risk to passengers and others on the roads.
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The days of seat belt-free buses will soon be a thing of the past. Recently, officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a final rule to require lap and shoulder seat belts for each individual passenger on new motorcoaches and other similar large buses. Officials believe this will improve the safety of these vehicles by significantly reducing the risks of serious injury or death in the event of an accidents, including the risk of occupants being ejected during rollover accidents.
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“Today’s rule is a significant step forward in our efforts to improve motorcoach safety,” said Anthony Foxx, U.S. Transportation Secretary.

Our bus accident attorneys in Massachusetts understand that there is, on average, about 21 people who are killed and another 8,000 injured in large bus accidents in the U.S. each year. Officials believe that by requiring seat belts, they can reduce the risks of serious injury and death by close to 45 percent. Although motorcoach travel is considered to be one of the safest forms of transportation, accidents still happen. And when these accidents happen, there is a serious risk for death and injury because of the speeds at which these vehicles travel and because of the large number of occupants on these buses.
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Bus companies are increasingly scrutinized in the wake of a number of accidents along the East Coast, which have resulted in serious injuries and death. The accidents have been caused by fatigued drivers, negligent maintenance, and other acts of negligence on behalf of drivers and bus companies. Last February, 35 teenagers and chaperones were injured after visiting Harvard University. Now the Philadelphia driver accused in the crash has pled not-guilty to the criminal charges stemming from the accident.

Our Boston bus accident attorneys routinely work with accident reconstructionists and other experts to determine the cause of the accident and identify all of the parties responsible for injuries or fatalities. In this case, our legal team would take a comprehensive approach, using witness statements, police records, and other reports to determine the cause of the accident and preserve necessary evidence for a civil case.

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Public and private schools, churches, and other organizations will often hire private bus companies to transport students and members to activities and events. In this case, the group of traveling teenagers was from a non-profit called Destined for a Dream Foundation based out of Bristol, Pennsylvania. Recent fatal accidents have raised awareness regarding the safety of these busing companies and the level of scrutiny faced by drivers. Sadly, it can take multiple accidents, injuries and deaths to raise the awareness of legislators and to improve safety regulations for these companies.

In this case, a 67-year-old driver was charged with misdemeanor negligent operation of a motor vehicle. He also faces two civil infractions for traffic violations. Evidence shows that older drivers may have slower reaction times or reduced vision. It is unclear whether the bus company properly screened the driver to ensure that he was capable of operating the bus.

Immediately after a highway bus accident, a private investigation on behalf of any victim can preserve evidence and help to support a claim. According to police, the accident occurred when the driver was following GPS directions but did not see warning signs that indicated a low overpass. The bus struck the overpass on the night of February 2.

While most passengers were not seriously injured, one of the teenage victims suffered a serious spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injuries often require significant medical attention and long-term care needs. Any serious permanent injury warrants a comprehensive financial recovery for medical expenses, long-term care needs, rehabilitative care as well as compensation for pain and suffering.

After a bus accident involving a private company, the driver, as well as the bus company can be held liable for injuries. If a victim can prove that the bus company failed in a duty to screen drivers, maintain vehicles, or follow safety regulations, that victim or the victim’s family may be entitled to significant compensation for their losses.

In cases involving negligence, a driver may face additional penalties and criminal charges. Evidence of criminal negligence can also be used in a civil personal injury case. The driver in this case pled not-guilty to charges and will return to court on July 24.
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Officials with the Massachusetts State Police will charge a tour bus operator that recently slammed his bus into an overpass back in February on Boston’s Soldiers Field Road. According to the State of Massachusetts, the charges are the result of an investigation by state police officers who found that the driver was operating negligently to endanger. Because of the investigation, he’s also being charged with a number of civil violations for neglecting to follow instructions on a Department of Conservation and Recreation roadway as well as driving his bus on a DCR roadway.
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Our Boston bus accident lawyers understand that the investigation discovered that the driving didn’t listen to warning signs that prohibited buses from driving on that part of the road. At the time of the accident, he was driving a Calvary Coach bus that was carrying teens from Pennsylvania to Harvard for a school visit. The accident happened just before 8:00 p.m. when the driver entered the tunnel that travels under Allston’s Western Avenue bridge. As you can imagine, the bus was too tall for the tunnel, which had a 10 foot height limit.

Upon completing the investigation, officials determined that the bus driver didn’t even attempt to slow down as the bus went into the tunnel. The accident caused some serious damage to the top and front of the bus. Investigators looked at all of the evidence and talked to witnesses. They determined that the signs should have warned the driver of the height of the upcoming bridge.

The bus driver contends he had no knowledge about the road restrictions. Officials argue otherwise, saying signs were clearly visible in the area.

A number of the young bus riders were injured in the accident.

Each and every year, there are thousands of people who are injured of killed on our country’s roadways. Many find these bus accident fatality statistics alarming because these buses are supposed to provide a safe means of travel. According to national bus accident statistics, there were nearly 13,000 buses that were involved in traffic accidents in 2010. In these accidents, more than 225 people were killed.

Officials with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) continue their journey in helping to make these buses safer for everyone by improving safety regulations. But unfortunately compliance is not always a guarantee.

As a passenger, you have rights. You use these busing companies and assume that they’re equipped with safe vehicles and qualified drivers — but that’s not always the case. Do your homework before choosing a bus company. Check their accident reports, their safety history and their safety rating. It’s important to remember that the cheapest fare doesn’t always mean the safest ride, and you can’t put a price tag on your safety.
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There were 35 people who were injured in a recent bus accident in Massachusetts. According to the Boston Globe, the bus was leaving Harvard when is slammed right into an overpass. The bus was heading back to Philadelphia as the bus’ driver was trying to navigate his way through some of our busiest roadways.

Reports indicate that the man looked down at his GPS, looked back up and slammed into the overpass.
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According to Massachusetts State Police, one person is still in the hospital in critical condition from this accident. Four were hospitalized in stable conditions, one was listen under serious condition and one was scheduled to be discharged over the weekend. Some of the passengers were trapped inside the bus for over an hour.

Our Boston bus accident attorneys understand that the bus did not belong on the road it was traveling on — Soldier’s Field Road. As you may know, this is a major crosstown street where there are signs posted regarding the 10-foot height limit. Over-sized, heavy vehicles are prohibited from traveling along this street, but this didn’t stop the Calvary Coach.

Officers are saying that the drivers will likely receive an over-height violation. Massachusetts State Police officers are also looking into how long he was driving that day to see if he was driving longer than allowed under federal law. That might just determine if there will be more serious charges in the case.

The Calvary Coach driver also drives a school bus in Pennsylvania.

Transit officials sent backup buses to the scene of the accident to rescue the passengers and to get them out of the wickedly cold weather.In the collision, there was cosmetic damage done to the bridge and to the road, according to state police. The bus sustained significant damage in the wreck.

You might remember the accident that happened in Syracuse back in 2010. This accident was alarmingly similar as that driver also looked down at the GPS and slammed his bus into an overpass. Four people were killed. The driver was acquitted of homicide charges. He was also accused of being overly sleepy behind the wheel when that accident happened.

The truth of the matter is that there are no excuses for these kinds of accidents.

It’s important that travelers who turn to busing companies do their research before choosing a company. You can do this easily by checking out the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration‘s (FMCSA) SaferBus app. Don’t risk your life or the lives of others by making an uninformed decision. Through this app, you can get immediate information on a busing company’s safety ratings complaint records and performance records. It’s available all day every day so there’s no excuse not to use it. Safety should be your number one priority when choosing a company. And remember, the cheapest bus ticket might not always be your safest choice — and you can’t put a price on your life.
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For those in Boston, it should come as no surprise that the recent weather has been uncomfortably cold. Unfortunately, going to work, running errands or going to school is still necessary despite the frigid temperatures. Many people take advantage of the services of MBTA in order to get to their destination, but unfortunately the cold weather can put commuters at risk.

Our Boston injury attorneys want to warn everyone of the serious dangers of the cold weather commute. We also urge MBTA to make every effort to protect its passengers from the extreme cold. Unfortunately, two recent news articles suggest that MBTA is trying to take steps to protect commuters but efforts may be falling short. 1391226_from_the_train.jpg

MBTA Puts Commuters at Risk for Injuries Due to Extreme Cold

According to 7 News Boston, commuters heading to work on the Green Line on Wednesday were left out into the cold on the coldest day of the year. The problem developed shortly before 8:00 A.M. when electrical cables in a manhole panel caught fire near the MBTA Station on Arlington Street. Because of the fire, MBTA turned commuters out into the cold where they were left trying to find buses or alternative routes to their destination.

Service did not resume until 11:00 A.M. and commuters expressed frustration with being left out into the cold. While 7 News Boston reported that no one was injured as a result of the whole incident, the fact is that winter presents a risk to MBTA riders. Those who take the mass transit are in danger of developing frostbite or hypothermia as they wait for extended periods in the cold. Other winter weather dangers also exist including the potential for slipping and falling or being hit by vehicles.

On the same day as their report about the Green Line incident, 7 News Boston also reported the MBTA was going to start monitoring trains in light of the bitter cold weather.

This article indicated that the extreme cold in Boston affects the trains, which in turn adversely affect commuters. As of the January 23 article, temperatures were not expected to go above 17 degrees with a wind chill making it feel more like five degrees below. In 2011, when temperatures fell to similarly freezing levels, many trains were down and there were long delays. The delays and problems with the trains caused by the cold compound the risk of injury to commuters who are left in the freezing cold waiting for a train that is slow to arrive.
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A large truck was the cause of canceled train trips after the driver ran his vehicle into an overhead power system near New Haven, Connecticut. The collision caused Amtrak to suspend all trains traveling between Boston and New York for more than three hours last week, according to The Wall Street Journal. Trains between New York and Boston were the only ones affected in the accident.
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Our Boston personal injury lawyers urge all residents and visitors to take advantage of the convenient public transportation options that are offered throughout our state. We would also like to take this time to raise awareness about the importance of passenger safety on these rides. This goes out to those traveling near these modes of mass transit as well. Transportation companies are responsible for providing safe transportation for residents and visitors of our city. A number of injuries that occur within mass transit accidents can be easily prevented by taking a few precautionary steps.

As we recently reported on our Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, the MBTA witnesses nearly 2,500 accidents each year that are caused by motor-vehicle drivers. The MBTA believes that roughly 500 of these accidents could be prevented.

New Haven police are investigating the AmTrak accident from earlier this week. No train passengers were hurt in the accident, according to Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari.

Amtrak crews have already made repairs to the damaged tracks and to the overhead power system. Service between New York and Boston has been restored.

There are more than 600 railroads in the United States. About 200,000 miles of track help these trains navigate throughout the country. There have been about 12,000 train accidents annually since 2002. Unfortunately, these accidents took the lives of about 1,000 people. Train accidents can be caused by a number of factors, including the negligence of the train operator, lack of safety provisions by train companies, locomotives, trolleys and even motor-vehicle operators.

These companies are required by law to effectively protect all passengers and operators of their vehicles. These accidents can occur in any number of places, including at railroad crossings where light is dim and where signals fail to notify passenger vehicle occupants that a train is approaching.

Trains are also able to derail. This can happen because of mechanical failures or improper track and equipment maintenance. Speedy or fatigued drivers also contribute to these accidents. Oftentimes cargo can become loose or unsecured in the event of an accident, resulting in spills of hazardous waste or other dangerous objects.

Determining the cause and the fault of a train accident, or any other mass transit accident, can be a complicated and lengthy process. You are urged to seek an attorney if you’ve been involved in one of these accidents as they can help you determine fault and proper compensation.
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