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Train Crash Victims Seek Legal Help While on Long, Costly Road to Recovery

Dec 4, 2013

Four people were killed and dozens more were seriously injured over the weekend following a train derailment in the Bronx borough of New York.

The Metro-North passenger train derailed on Sunday. About 20 people are still recovering from injuries sustained in the crash, as well as corrective surgeries that occurred immediately after the derailment. Fifty or so passengers aboard that train have already been released from hospitals, and funeral arrangements have been made for four others, the Wall Street Journal reports.

It's likely to be found that—based on the initial investigation—the Metro-North train derailment could have been avoided if Positive Train Control had been employed.

Initial reports from the Wall Street Journal suggest that crew members in charge of the train were not intoxicated at the time of the crash and that the train's brakes were in working order. Positive Train Control is a system by which freight trains and passenger trains' movements and speeds are tracked to avoid collisions and other mishaps on the rails.

A few days after the crash, and some victims of the derailment have already sought legal representation. At least two notices of legal claims have been filed against the Mass Transit Authority (MTA) and Metro-North, according to the Wall Street Journal report.

Many victims who survived the crash are in for a long, painful recovery from their injuries. Some will require extensive medical treatment to attain even partial recovery from some injuries. The Wall Street Journal reports that at least one victim has suffered a significant spinal fracture, though that person seems to be recovering and is alert, even interacting with hospital staff.

Many other victims will need at least some rehabilitative care—which will come at a significant cost. Some passengers on that ill-fated train will likely miss long stretches of work, which means suffering financial hardship while they try to recover, the Wall Street Journal adds.

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