The Tacoma Train Accident of December 2017

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on February 6, 2018

On December 18, 2017, Amtrak passengers faced disaster in Tacoma.

Amtrak Cascades train 501 was on its inaugural run between Seattle and Portland when, at around 7:45 a.m., the train derailed and left several of the cars dangling from an overpass over I-5. The train held 78 passengers and five crew members. Around one hundred passengers and people in vehicles below were injured as a result of the crash. At least three people onboard died.

Possible Causes of the Train Derailment

The exact cause of the crash is still being investigated, and likely will be for several months. However, speed was a factor. In that corridor, trains were recommended to drop their speed to 30 miles per hour. Early reports from the investigation showed the train was traveling around 80 miles per hour—78, to be exact. Sound Transit, the company that owns the tracks, stated that this is a major reason for the crash.

Amtrak has stated that the train was not using technology onboard that helps it slow down when approaching curves in the road. With this system, sensors are placed on the side of the train, but they hadn’t been installed at the time of crash. They were not even scheduled to be installed until sometime in 2018.

Liability in a Train Derailment

Amtrak is a publicly owned company, which means it is a government entity. Congress has approved a $295 million cap per public transportation accident to be given as compensation to all victims. But that may not cover all the victims’ damages. In addition to the wrongful deaths and personal injuries that were sustained, many vehicles – two of them tractor-trailers – were damaged on the highway below after the train cars came crashing over the overpass.

A lawyer may be able to make a good argument that the caps provided by Congress aren’t enough. While filing a personal injury lawsuit against a government entity is certainly possible, it’s not an easy case to win. Getting compensation, in the amount greater than the government originally provides, may be possible. It’s for this reason that anyone wishing to file a lawsuit against the at-fault parties should hire a Washington personal injury lawyer. Big, powerful interests are very difficult to fight in court, but that doesn’t mean that victims are not entitled to compensation.

If you’ve been injured in a train accident, we know for certain that you aren’t to blame. For a free consultation about your legal rights and options, feel free to speak to the Seattle personal injury attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.

Related Articles:

Posted in: Speeding Accident

Our Case Results

Degloving Injury$2,400,000
Degloving Injury
from defective power winch.
Wrongful Death$1,925,000
Wrongful Death
from head-on van accident.
Rollover Accident$1,925,000
Rollover Accident
resulting in wrongful death.
Wrongful Death$1,625,000
Wrongful Death
from highway design defect.
Car Accident$595,000
Car Accident
injuries to 47-year-old woman.
Wrongful Death$460,695
Wrongful Death
oncoming traffic accident.
Rear-End Collision$450,000
Rear-End Collision
resulting in lower back injury.
Car Accident$390,000
Car Accident
resulting in fractured leg.
Car Sideswipe$390,000
Car Sideswipe
resulting in injured back.
Head-On Collision$372,000
Head-On Collision
resulting in fractured pelvis.
Car Accident$360,000
Car Accident
resulting in lower back injury.
Car Accident$275,000
Car Accident
resulting in jaw fracture.
Overturned Truck$230,000
Overturned Truck
resulting in broken ribs.
Head-On Collision$230,000
Head-On Collision
resulting in shoulder injury.
Motorcycle Accident$225,000
Motorcycle Accident
resulting in leg fracture.

Written by Joseph Pendergast, this book is designed to help people who have suffered a personal injury understand their rights and the steps to take to be sure they get the compensation they deserve.

Connect With Us

Share This Page

Our Office

Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.
555 South Renton Village Pl. Suite 640
Renton, WA 98057
(888) 228-3860
(425) 228-3860 / (253) 445-3860

From Our Blog

All About Public Transit Accidents (and Liability)

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S.

Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. Please contact an attorney for a consultation on your particular traffic accident matter. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Washington.

© 2018 Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. - All rights reserved. Serving the communities throughout Washington, including Bellevue, Renton and Seattle.

Website Design, SEO and Legal Internet Marketing by: SLS ConsultingSLS Consulting | Privacy | Disclaimer |Blog Sitemap |Blog Archives