Millions of Chicago area residents rely on Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) trains for transportation in and around the city. In fact, according to the CTA, its trains make more than 2,000 trips each day and serve 145 stations.
Two weeks ago, on September 30, two CTA trains on the Blue line slammed into one another, injuring several dozen passengers. While investigators are still trying to determine just how the accident happened, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a report last week saying that the unoccupied train that was travelling in the wrong direction and made its way through five stop mechanisms because a “master lever on the operator console had been left in a setting that allowed the train car brakes to recover and reset.” Accordingly, the train started rolling over and over again until it crashed into an occupied train.
Although the NTSB is technically closed due to the federal government shutdown, the NTSB sent a letter to CTA President Forrest Claypool with a list of “urgent safety recommendations” that stemmed from the NTSB’s investigation into the Blue line accident. Among the NTSB’s recommendations is that the CTA “address the need for redundant protection to prevent unintended train movements on the CTA system.” The agency recommended that CTA review its operating and maintenance procedures for stored unoccupied cars to ensure that propulsion and brake systems do not allow for unintended movement.
What Causes Train Accidents?
The Chicago CTA blue line train accident appears to have occurred as a result of defective equipment, but other common causes of train accidents include:
- Train derailments
- Collisions with other trains
- Railroad crossing accidents
- Collisions with cars or trucks
- Collisions with pedestrians
- Inexperienced train operators and employees
What Happens If I Am Injured in a CTA or Metra Train Accident?
If you were injured in a CTA or Metra train accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. While the amount of compensation that you could receive depends on the extent of the injuries and the cause of the accident, victims of personal injury accidents may be entitled to compensatory damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages (past and future)
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of normal life
What Should I Do If I Was Injured in a Train Accident?
If you were injured in a train accident on a CTA train, a Metra train, or other train, you should promptly contact a skilled Chicago train accident lawyer like those at Cogan & Power, P.C. Our Chicago accident and injury attorneys at Cogan & Power focus on complex personal injury lawsuits, including train accidents, aviation accidents, and bus accidents. As such, we are able to handle the complex legal and factual issues involved with train accident lawsuits. Our comprehensive legal representation, extensive litigation experience, and considerable accident and injury knowledge has resulted in numerous substantial verdicts and settlements for our clients.