Recent deaths and injuries on commuter trains and subway systems have exposed the dangers to commuters through design flaws, equipment failure, or operator error.
High-speed public transportation has been touted as the answer to climate change and overcrowded roads. There has been a growing movement to transfer the transportation infrastructure spending away from highway building and into public transportation projects. How can the public be protected from a public transportation system that may sacrifice safety for speed of expansion?
How can public transportation be kept safe for commuters?
Ordinarily, government regulators are assigned to keep our public transportation systems safe. However, in the deeply polarized political climate we have at the present time, regulators are hampered by both sides of the political divide, The political left is adamant about slowing climate change through the rapid acceleration of high-speed rail, while the political right has sought to diminish the power and scope of federal government regulations. This leaves regulators with less financial and political assets to oversee a growing public transportation system.
The power of civil litigation to affect policy changes
When government bureaucracies can't or won't act quickly enough to protect citizens, civil litigation is often the catalyst for change. Personal injury attorneys will represent those injured or killed in public transportation accidents and obtain substantial financial settlements for clients or their families.
Personal injury attorneys will first seek to determine the cause of an accident, and if negligence was involved. This may involve consulting with experts in railway design, safety features such as railway crossings and warning systems, and operator training and disciplinary procedures. This is often a costly and time consuming process, but if fault can be found and proven, multi-million dollar settlements can be the result.
It is through these huge settlements for the victims of these incidents that change can be hastened. When it becomes more cost effective to avoid these horrific accidents than to pay compensation to the victims, both private industry and government agencies will have extra incentive to implement and strengthen regulations that protect the public.
Of course, no business or government agency wants anyone to be hurt or killed, but sometimes a large entity moves slowly, and a personal injury attorney, such as Rinke-Noonan, can provide the necessary and timely kick to the wallet to ensure that the public' s right to a safe and effective ride home to their families is protected.
If you are unable to work because of an illness or injury, you may qualify for social security disability payments. This money comes from a fund you have probably contributed to during your time in the work force, and it is likely that you have the right to disability payments using this money. As an attorney specializing in social security disability, I have a great deal of experience in helping clients determine if they qualify for disability payments. I hope that this blog will help people who have been injured understand what it means to qualify for social security disability benefits and how to go about getting that help.