A report issued following the recent fatal Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) accident reveals that the driver was still a trainee and not certified to drive the train. According to an investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, the man who was operating the train that killed two workers inspecting a section of track, was taking a “training and maintenance run” when the accident occurred. Sources say that unions for the striking workers had warned that it would be dangerous for inexperienced operators to drive the trains after a representative of BART had stated it would train drivers to provide shuttle services during the railroad workers strike. This finding will likely lead to additional questions such as whether the railroad was negligent or could be held liable in a California wrongful death action.
Whenever a serious personal injury accident occurs, several questions concerning liability, negligence and cause arise. While major transportation accidents often involve the NTSB, it is also important for an injured party or their family members to consult with an experienced Sacramento personal injury attorney who can begin an investigation into the incident on their behalf. A skilled California accident attorney can look at all of the factors that cause or contributed to a particular incident and help you determine your next steps.
For example in this instance one issue that may arise is whether the railroad was negligent in allowing the trainee to drive the train and whether this negligence was the cause of the workers’ deaths. If so, the railroad may be liable and responsible for damages. Further, railroad workers are one of the few types of employees not covered by traditional state worker’s compensation. However, the workers and their families may receive workers’ compensation benefits through different systems such as the Federal Employers’ Liability Act, also called the Railroad Workers Act. This act permits railroad workers not covered by their state’s workers’ compensation system to sue their employer for their industrial accidents and recover damages such as medical treatment and lost wages, and can also include pain and suffering damages. Many issues are raised whenever an individual suffers a serious personal injury or dies as the result of another’s negligence.
For more information or if you or a loved one has been injured in a California accident, please contact the top Sacramento personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Frederick J. Sette for an immediate consultation.