Tragic Metro North Accident In Valhalla
Shortly before 6:00 p.m., a Metro North Railroad train which was heading northbound train from Grand Central struck a Jeep Cherokee In the Westchester County town of Valhalla, New York. The incident is being called a mass tragedy with at least six fatalities and many more people were injured. The driver of the jeep was killed as were five of the train’s passenger’s. Upon impact, there was an explosion which ignited both the car and the train. Victims of the tragedy were brought to the nearby Westchester Medical Center, which is a trauma 1 facility, with a renowned burn unit. Less seriously injured passengers were taken to a temporary triage site, which was set up at Cliffs, a nearby sporting facility
Initial reports indicate that the gates came down on top of the vehicle which trapped it and kept it in the train’s path. So far it is unclear whether the driver tried to beat the gates which were closing or whether the gates closed prematurely. However, there are some reports that five hours before the crash, there was a warning that the gates were not working properly, which certainly indicates that the MTA was negligent in the maintenance and repair of its equipment. Time will tell as the investigation is sure to reveal more facts about this tragedy. Either way, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority most likely will have liability because the conductor should have seen that there was an obstruction on the track ahead and slowed down immediately.
The first question that any family member affected by this tragedy will ask is “What should I do”. Anyone who was injured in this accident and the family members of those who were killed should consult with a qualified Westchester wrongful death attorney immediately.because the MTA is a public authority and New York Public Authority law requires that a notice of claim be filed within 90 days of the occurrence.If a notice of claim is not filed within 90 days, then an application must be made to the Court for permission to file a late notice of claim. This law is incredibly unfair because it forces families who are grieving to worry about protecting their legal rights, when they should be in mourning. Likewise this law forces often seriously injured people to worry about protecting their legal rights when they should be focusing their energy on healing.
Also, any cause of action for wrongful death must be brought in the name of the deceased’s estate. Many inexperienced lawyers get their cases dismissed because they simply file the lawsuit in the name of the next of kin. Therefore, prior to commencing a lawsuit, the next of kin,must apply for letters of administration in the Surrogates Court, prior to filing a lawsuit. Our White Plains lawyers have successfully handled many wrongful death case and know the ins and outs of handling these cases. We now how to fight these big companies and make sure our clients receive what they are entitled to.
Likewise, the crew of the train also can bring lawsuits against the MTA, unlike most employees who are barred by the New York State Workers Compensation Law. Under the Federal Employers Liability Act, an employee of a railroad can sue their employer for negligence which causes any injury or death.Railway workers are also entitled to Railroad disability benefits.