NJ Transit Line Accident Lawyer
The New Jersey Transit Line has been in the crosshairs of public officials and federal safety officers for nearly a decade now. As the single most dangerous commuter train, the NJ Transit has had over 150 accidents over the past five years. This has resulted in over $4.8 million in property damage and $500,000 in fines. These violations ranged from drug and alcohol abuse of Transit Line employees to inadequate safety measures and equipment that had violated federal safety standards. The Transit Line was also cited for violating basic safety procedures. This has resulted in the most abysmal safety record among all commuter trains in the United States.
The situation came to a head in 2016 after what is now known as the Hoboken train crash. The crash killed one person and injured 114 more. The crash was caused by an engineer who fell asleep on the job. The engineer was suffering from sleep apnea but wasn’t aware of the problem. The condition causes those who fall asleep at night to wake up intermittently due to an obstruction in their breathing passageway. Oftentimes they have no idea that they’re suffering from the illness. They just feel tired all the time.
While the engineer’s situation was understandable, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) had imposed a number of citations on the NJ Transit Line prior to the fatal accident. These included a recommendation to test employees for sleep apnea.
Injured Passengers Pile Up as Equipment Falls into Disrepair
For transit line passengers this represents a major threat to their health and safety. Those who rely on the train daily are putting their lives at risk amid a culture of indifference. When the Transit Line or its employees are negligent for a train accident, injured passengers are entitled to collect damages for their injuries.
Negligence can include instances of:
- Poorly screened employees,
- Insufficient staff,
- Unrepaired tracks,
- Outdated equipment,
- Lack of safety equipment,
- And employee violations of safety rules.
While this is not an exhaustive list of actions or inactions that constitute Transit Line negligence, it does encompass some of the most common causes of preventable accidents.
In 2016, the New York Times outlined the fall of the New Jersey Transit Line which had once been the envy of commuter trains all across the country. In 2007, the decline began amid inadequate leadership and a lack of accountability. Tracks fell into disrepair as well as essential equipment. Employee safety standards lapsed resulting in intoxicated or otherwise compromised engineers operating trains.
This resulted in a rate of accidents that saw passenger injuries that far outstripped any of the other major commuter passenger lines in the country.
What to Do if You are Injured in an NJ Transit Line Accident
Like many transit systems across the country, the NJ Transit Line is operated by the government. Suing the government in a personal injury lawsuit is a bit different than suing a private company. While the statute of limitations is generally much longer in personal injury lawsuits, those injured on the NJ line only have 90 days to file their complaint. In certain instances, the statute of limitations can be “tolled.” One such example is when an individual is a minor. Their 90 days begins ticking down on their 18th birthday.
It is therefore imperative that you contact a skilled train accident lawyer immediately after sustaining injuries. This means a finding a law firm that has a history of success and the expertise that you need to file a train accident lawsuit.
What Damages Can I Collect if I am Injured on the NJ Transit Line?
You are entitled to be compensated for any medical bills that result from your accident. This includes pain and suffering and emotional trauma. If your loved one was killed in an NJ Transit Line accident, you are allowed to sue the Transit Line on their behalf.
In addition, you are entitled to collect damages for:
- Lost time from work,
- Loss of employability,
- Loss of enjoyment,
- Future medical expenses.
These numbers will rise dramatically if you have sustained a permanent impairment or disfigurement.
Understanding the Role of Negligence in Transit Line Accidents
In order to prove your case in a lawsuit against the NJ Transit Line, you will need to show that the Transit Line’s negligence was the proximate cause of your injuries. In other words, if it can be shown that someone else’s or your own negligence caused the injuries, then this will reduce or eliminate the Transit Line’s liability in your lawsuit.
Contact an NJ Transit Line Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been injured on the NJ Transit Line, chances are it is not your fault. You need an attorney who specializes in train accidents in order to hold the Transit Line responsible for your injuries. The attorneys at the Pottroff & Karlin Law Firm have successfully litigated numerous lawsuits against negligent railroad companies. Give us a call at (785) 539-4656 or contact us online and we can begin discussing your case immediately.