Rail travel has long been considered one of the safer modes of transportation available in the United States. Recently, however, there has been a disturbing rash of passenger train accidents across the country. These have caused serious injury and even death among passengers. If you or a loved one has been injured in a train accident in the Alexandria area, you do have rights. Your case, however, may be subject to special legal rules and constraints.
It is important to consult with an attorney who understands the unique nature of train accident litigation. For many Virginia residents, the 2009 Fort Totten METRO subway crash that killed nine passengers is still a fresh memory. Tom Curcio had the privilege and responsibility of representing one of the more seriously injured passengers in that crash. More recently, Curcio Law had the privilege of representing seven METRO passengers trapped on a smoke-filled Yellow Line train in 2014 due to short-circuiting in the aged and poorly maintained power system. As the national infrastructure continues to age, these accidents will only become more common.
Fortunately, the law in its practical wisdom requires common carriers to provide passengers the highest degree of care and foresight for their safety. This degree of care is to encourage common carriers to ensure safe transport and recognizes the fact that the passengers are paying for a service.
Given the higher standard of care required of common carriers, they are liable for conduct that would not be considered negligent under the circumstances involving non-common carriers. Common carriers include various types of mass transportation such as:
In addition to the higher duty of care owed by common carriers, it is essential to know that common carrier cases often involve governmental or quasi-governmental agencies which own or manage common carriers such as buses, trains, and subways. Pursuing claims against governmental agencies are extraordinarily complicated and are subject to particular statutes and laws, such as the Virginia Tort Claims. You should consult lawyers experienced in handling claims against governmental agencies such as those of us at Curcio Law.
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