Brightline Train Accident
Residents in Miami-Dade County have a new way to get around. Brightline is a diesel-electric combination higher speed train. On May 19, 2018, Brightline train service started in Miami, after beginning in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in January 2018. In Miami, commuters can easily transfer back and forth to the Metrorail and Metromover. Initially, the commuter train connects only the three cities. However, it is set to reach the Orlando Airport in the future.
While the new train system is a boon for commuters and travelers in the region, it also increases the potential for pedestrian and vehicle-train accidents. Brightline’s top speed is approximately 120 mph, and is running at about 80 mph during this initial phase. It will not always travel at top speed, yet accidents with a higher speed train are likely to be deadly. At 80 mph, Brightline runs significantly faster than the typical freight train in the region.
The rail line has already experienced a number of accidents. Within its first week of operation, two individuals were killed at railroad crossings in separate incidents. Within the first three months, Brightline accidents were connect to a total of four deaths and three other injured individuals.
If you were hurt in an accident with Brightline, or lost a loved one in a Miami railroad accident, contact a Brightline train accident attorney at Gerson & Schwartz P.A.Common Causes of Railroad Accidents
Train accidents can be devastating, and they are almost always avoidable. When everyone at the railroad company performs their duties well, and when the railroad company implements adequate safety features, everyone steers clear from pedestrian or vehicle-train accidents. Unfortunately, the top cause of train accidents is human error. When someone does not behave the way they should, they put themselves and other lives in danger.
Many train accidents take place because of:
- Inadequate or defective warning devices
- Conductor distraction
- Conductor fatigue
- Other conductor negligence
- Conductor inexperience or negligent training
- Crossing gate malfunctions
- Miscommunication between railroad employees
- Improper track maintenance
- Broken rails
- Defective train equipment
- Mechanical or electrical failure
- Object, person, or vehicle on the tracks
It can be difficult to immediately determine the cause of a railroad accident. Finding the underlying cause can take weeks or months of an investigation by local, state, and federal authorities. If you were injured in a train accident, or lost a loved one in a crash, then you should contact a lawyer. You may need a legal team to conduct an independent investigation and find out the truth regarding what happened and who is responsible.
If your family has been effected by a railroad accident and needs legal representation, contact Gerson & Schwartz P.C. to speak with a train accident attorney for Brightline trains in Miami.Who Is Responsible for a Brightline Railroad Accident in Miami Dade or Broward County?
After a train accident in Florida, you want to know who is responsible. You want to know why the accident occurred and why you are suffering. However, learning the cause of the railroad accident and who was directly at fault may not be enough. If you are interested in pursuing compensation for your injuries, then you need to speak with an attorney about legal liability. In many situations, the person directly at fault for a train accident is not the liable party. For instance, if a conductor’s negligence caused the crash, then the conductor’s employer may be responsible for compensating you. If the train accident was the result of a track defect, then the businesses that owns the railroad track may be liable.
Potentially liable parties include:
- A railroad employee
- The rail company that owns and operates the train
- The company that owns and operates the track
- The train or parts manufacturer
- A municipality or government entity
Currently, Brightline is the only privately owned and operated passenger rail in the U.S. It is owned by All Aboard Florida, a wholly owned subsidiary of Florida East Coast Industries.
For help in determining who is at fault and liable for a railroad accident that caused your injuries or loss, call a Brightline train accident lawyer in Miami today.Compensation for a Train Accident
If you are injured in a train accident that is another party’s fault, then you may pursue compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Reduced quality of life
If you lost your parent, spouse, or child in a railroad accident that was caused by someone else, then you may have the right to seek compensation through a wrongful death claim, including:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of decedent’s income
- Loss of decedent’s services
- Loss of future inheritance
- Loss of decedent’s guidance
- Loss of decedent’s society and companionship
- Pain and suffering
After being injured or suffering a loss in a train accident involving Brightline, Metrorail, Metromover, or another rail line in Florida, the best thing you can do is contact an attorney. Our team at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. has years of experience in handling railroad accident cases. We will thoroughly investigate what happened and determine who is liable. We will also discuss with you the theory of comparative negligence in Florida. If you or your loved one were partially at fault for the accident, your compensation may be reduced.
To learn more about your rights after a train accident, contact Gerson & Schwartz P.A. online or by calling (877) 475-2905. You can also reach us at our Miami office by calling (305) 371-6000.