After Amtrak’s fateful accident on Monday, people in Honolulu and all over the country are wondering if the company is liable for the injuries and deaths that resulted. The derailment took place in the early morning hours, during a busy rush hour. Not only were train passengers affected, but people in vehicles were also involved, whether due to injuries or chaos on the road.
According to the Washington Post, 13 train cars derailed when the train went around a curve at 80 mph. While this rate is normal for the high-speed train, the curve called for a speed of 30 mph, and the high velocity was too much for it to make the course safely. As a result, some of the cars ended up on the highway below, making a mess of traffic and injuring vehicle passengers. The total number of people injured was over 100, many of them critically hurt, and three of the train passengers were killed. NTSB is currently examining whether technology was properly functioning and investigating factors such as human performance, train operations, signal systems and the functionality of the train tracks.
According to FindLaw, Amtrak will probably be liable for the injuries and will likely face wrongful death lawsuits for the fatalities. As a common carrier, Amtrak is held to high safety standards and must follow regulations to keep its passengers out of harm. While investigations are underway to determine the exact cause of the accident, not adhering to a speed limit is in direct violation of safety directives.