Girardi | Keese

Los Angeles victims of train wreck, serious injuries seek change

Four years ago, a deadly Los Angeles train accident devastated many California families. The train had failed to stop at a red signal light and slammed into a freight train, leaving 25 people dead and dozens of other individuals with serious injuries. A fund to compensate the victims and their families was established in 2011, but now many of them feel this compensation was inadequate.

In 1997, the cap on compensation for victims and families of victims in these sorts of railroad accident was set at $200 million for each incident. After several lawsuits, the total sum of $200 million was agreed to be set aside by a contractor and the transit agency to settle these lawsuits and compensate the victims and their families. However, this month the victims are pushing lawmakers to raise the limit on the amount of damages permissible from a railroad accident.

Such an uncommon and devastating accident can permanently alter the lives of victims and the families of those who were lost. The effects of an accident like this can be long lasting, and it might not be readily known whether the compensation received in the wake of the accident is sufficient to carry these victims through recovery or adequately compensate them for the pain and suffering caused. While the compensation fund may or may not fully assist these victims, they hope that future victims of similar accidents might see greater assistance.

When an individual suffers serious injuries, or a family loses a loved one to an accident clearly due to the fault of another party, they have the right to seek compensation for their pain and suffering. When compensation caps place artificial limits, it may simply add an economic burden to the emotional ones already there. It is hoped by the victims of this Los Angeles accident that their pursuits may not only help the victims of this train accident, but future victims as well.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Victims of CA train crash seek help from Congress," July 29, 2012

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