On Thursday, September 29th, 2016, a New Jersey Transit commuter train slammed into the passenger concourse of Hoboken Station killing a woman and injuring over a 100 people.  This is the second time New Jersey Transit has had such a crash.  In 2011, over 30 people were injured when a train overran its stop at the very same station.  Sadly, the Tri-State area is no stranger to deadly crashes involving commuter trains having endured the December 2013 Metro-North derailment in the Bronx, and the collision of two Metro-North trains in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  Unfortunately, the investigations into these crashes reveal a common thread: that had positive train control (PTC) been utilized on the trains; these deadly crashes may have been avoided.

Positive Train Control Could Have Slowed Down The Train

Image Credit: www.nbcchicago.com

Image Source

Positive train control (PTC) is a system which combines GPS, wireless radio and computers to monitor trains and stop them from colliding, derailing or speeding.  It is best to think of PTC as a sort of advanced “dead-man switch” which could automatically slow down or brake the train to a stop in the event the train is traveling at excessive speed for its location.  In the event an engineer becomes incapacitated, passengers can have faith that the train simply won’t continue on its deadly path until it collides into something or derails.  Congress mandated the installation of PTC in commuter trains by the end of 2015, but had previously extended the deadline to the end of 2018.  It is early in the investigation of the Hoboken crash, but reports so far indicate New Jersey Transit had not installed PTC in its trains, including the one involved in Thursday’s deadly crash.

High Fares, Crowded Train Cars and Late Service

Hoboken-crash

Image Source

“The average commuter train passenger deals with high prices, crammed train cars, and rarely on-time service,” says Michael S. Lamonsoff, a Tri-State area attorney who has represented many of the victims of the deadly train crashes in the region.  “Passengers put up with all those aggravations with the expectation that at minimum they’ll get to their destination safely.  So long as New Jersey Transit, Metro-North, and others fail to comply with their safety obligations, they are endangering the welfare of all their riders.”  Mr. Lamonsoff sees many similarities between the 2013 Metro-North derailment in the Bronx and the Hoboken crash.  “Simply put, both these incidents could’ve been avoided had positive train control been utilized.  New Jersey Transit and Metro-North relied upon engineers who failed to operate the trains in a safe and reasonable manner.  They failed to have a safeguard in place in the event that those engineers didn’t do their job.  As a result, people have paid for that with their lives.”Mr. Lamonsoff’s firm, The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, PLLC, has numerous ongoing lawsuits related to the previous commuter train crashes in the area.  Mr. Lamonsoff advises those who were involved in the incident to seek medical treatment immediately.  “Time and time again, we’ve seen victims of accidents feel fine initially after a trauma.  But once the adrenaline wears off, it turns out they may have suffered significant injuries.”  Mr. Lamonsoff also advises that victims be aware that frequently claims against commuter rail lines for injuries or property damage must be made within a short period of time after the crash.  “I cannot begin to tell you how many times victims have come to me and the time has lapsed for me to be able to help them.”  Mr. Lamonsoff advises that you should contact an attorney right away to protect your legal rights.

An All Too Familiar Occurrence

Hoboken-train-crash

Image Source

Mr. Lamonsoff’s firm, The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, PLLC, has numerous ongoing lawsuits related to the previous commuter train crashes in the area.  Mr. Lamonsoff advises those who were involved in the incident to seek medical treatment immediately.  “Time and time again, we’ve seen victims of accidents feel fine initially after a trauma.  But once the adrenaline wears off, it turns out they may have suffered significant injuries.”  Mr. Lamonsoff also advises that victims be aware that frequently claims against commuter rail lines for injuries or property damage must be made within a short period of time after the crash.  “I cannot begin to tell you how many times victims have come to me and the time has lapsed for me to be able to help them.”  Mr. Lamonsoff advises that you should contact an attorney right away to protect your legal rights.

The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, PLLC has considerable experience helping victims of deadly train crashes and derailments.  If you, or a loved one, needs legal assistance in the aftermath of this crash contact Mr. Lamonsoff at (212) 962-1020.