NEWS ALERT: Munley Law Investigates Impact of Norfolk Southern Train Derailment on PA Residents
Fighting for Your Rights Against the Railroads Since 1959
Due to the sheer size and speed of locomotives, train accidents almost always result in massive destruction and loss. These cases may involve multiple responsible parties and require in-depth investigations. It is important that you have a knowledgeable and experienced train derailment accident lawyer on your side to preserve evidence, consult with industry experts, and ensure that your rights are protected.
If you have suffered an injury or lost a loved one because of a train derailment in the United States, the train accident lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys are here to help. Since 1959, Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys has been the go-to law firm for seriously injured victims and their families nationwide. Unlike other personal injury firms, we have spent decades developing a special focus in cases involving trains, buses, trucks, and other major transportation accidents. We have been named among the Best Law Firms and Best Lawyers in America by Best Lawyers and U.S. News and World Report. Our board-certified civil trial advocates have consistently earned the title of Super Lawyers, and have received the highest peer and client ratings from Martindale-Hubbell.
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Whether you were a passenger on the train, a railroad employee, or a driver or passenger in a motor vehicle involved in the crash, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and/or the death of your loved one. We welcome your inquiries and will answer your questions free of charge. Chat live, email, or call us to schedule a free consultation. We will make things right.
How Did the Norfolk Southern Train Derailment Impact Pennsylvania Citizens?
Munley Law is currently investigating injury claims on behalf of Pennsylvania residents who were affected by the Norfolk Southern train derailment. The train had derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, on February 3, just a quarter mile from the Pennsylvania border. Five cars were carrying vinyl chloride and the other cars that derailed were carrying combustible liquids.
Three days after the incident, the train company, Norfolk Southern, had a controlled release of the remaining chemicals in the train cars. The Environment Protection Agency is currently working to remove any contaminants from the waterways.
Although the derailment occurred in Ohio, the derailment had a significant impact on the lives of those who live in Beaver County. Those who lived and worked near the border were forced to evacuate after the accident to avoid breathing in the toxic fumes from the controlled release.
On February 14, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro sent a letter to Norfolk Southern, expressing his concerns about how the train company had handled the situation that had put Pennsylvanian lives at risk. Both the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection nor the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency was not immediately informed of the environmental impact and have now begun monitoring the impact the train derailment had on the residents, businesses, and the environment of Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania governor further accused Norfolk Southern of providing inaccurate information about the impact of the controlled release and its unwillingness to explore an alternative course.
What is Vinyl Chloride?
According to the National Cancer Institute, vinyl chloride is a colorless gas that is used primarily to make polyvinyl chloride, more commonly known as PVC, a hard resin that is used to make a variety of plastic products such as pipes and cable coatings. It is also known to be used as a combustion product in tobacco smoke. The primary method of vinyl chloride exposure is inhalation.
Toxic exposure to vinyl chloride is associated with an increased risk of liver, brain, and lung cancers, as well as lymphoma and leukemia.
If you become ill after exposure to vinyl chloride from the East Palestine, OH train derailment, our toxic exposure attorneys would like to speak with you. Contact Munley Law today to schedule a free consultation.
Train Derailments Are Becoming More Commonplace Each Year
Train crashes and derailments are not as common as other types of motor vehicle crashes. But, when they do occur, the results can be devastating. In 2021, fatal train accidents reached a ten-year high with 902 fatalities reported by the Federal Railroad Administration.
In recent years, a number of high-profile and deadly train accidents occurred in the United States, including the one in East Palenstine. These accidents include:
- On February 3, 2015, six people died in Metro North’s deadliest crash to date.
- A few months later, eight people were killed and hundreds more were seriously injured when Amtrak Train 188 derailed in Philadelphia. The train was traveling at more than double the speed limit. Robert Munley represented victims in the Amtrak 188 derailment which resulted in a multi-million dollar settlement.
- In September 2016, a commuter train derailed in Hoboken, NJ, leaving one person dead.
- In 2017, an Amtrak train derailed in Washington state, leaving three people dead and dozens more injured.
- In September 2021, three people were killed when an Amtrak train derailed in Montana.
Several major rail companies have come under scrutiny for their safety policies. Unfortunately, it often takes a tragedy such as those above to prompt these kinds of investigations. Federal investigations of deadly train derailments found that, in many cases, the accidents could have been avoided with proper safety measures. Technology like Positive Train Control (PTC) can stop or slow a speeding train before it derails. Mandatory sleep apnea screenings can help identify illnesses that cause conductors to become drowsy or doze off while working.
What Causes Train Accidents?
According to recent data from the Federal Railroad Administration, there have been over 8,000 accidents involving trains in the past year. Most of these involve a collision with a car, another train or vehicle, a derailment, or a pedestrian at a railroad crossing. The Federal Railroad Administration has found the most common cause of railroad accidents nationwide is “human factors.” Other common causes of railroad accidents include:
- Mechanical failure. For example, in the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment, inspectors found that a wheel bearing had failed on the train, causing it to derail and spill toxic materials.
- Conductor negligence such as distraction, drowsiness, or speeding.
- Improper training, leading to conductor error
- Malfunctioning or absent lights, signals, or gates at crossings
- Improper maintenance of train tracks
- Collision with a car, truck, or bus stopped on, or attempting to cross train tracks
- Collision with another train
Whatever the cause, if any form of negligence contributed to your accident, the responsible parties must be held accountable. A train accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can maximize your ability to collect fair, full compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses.
Don’t Wait, Contact Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys Now for a Free Consultation
Choosing the right railroad accident lawyer can make a dramatic difference in the outcome of your case.
After something as frightening as a train accident, you may want nothing more than to recover and move on. However, you may find yourself facing massive medical bills, time away from work, and physical and emotional suffering. You should not have to bear these burdens alone. The personal injury team at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys is here to help you rebuild your life. A train accident lawyer will help ensure that your costs are covered, so you can move on with true peace of mind.
The company responsible for your accident will have aggressive representation working to minimize the settlement owed to injured victims in the event of a lawsuit. Without legal representation, you risk losing your chance at justice. The attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys are familiar with the complexities involved in large-scale railroad accidents, and we have decades of experience dealing with big transportation companies. Our attorneys know how important it is to act quickly and preserve evidence in order to prove liability. We have a network of top industry experts and resources at our disposal to achieve the best possible results for you.
Furthermore, we are sensitive to your financial concerns at this difficult time. We charge on a contingent-fee basis, which means that we only collect a fee if we win your case. If we are unable to produce results for you, you will owe us nothing. And, our initial consultation is free, so don’t hesitate to come and speak with a train accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys about your case. Contact us via phone, email, or through our online chat. We are available to answer your calls 24/7.
Frequently Asked Questions About Train Accidents
Q: If I have been in a train accident, or hurt at a railroad crossing, can I sue?
A: If you have been hurt in a train accident due to negligence on the part of the train’s engineer, transportation company, or another involved party, you may be eligible for compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have lost a loved one, you may be able to file a wrongful death suit on their behalf in order to provide future security for your family. Contact a train accident lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys to learn more about your legal rights. Every case is different, so the best way to determine the next steps to take is to speak with an experienced attorney. At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, that initial consultation is free.
Q: What should I do immediately after a train wreck?
A: If you or your loved one have been injured in a train wreck, there are some important steps you can take to protect yourself and to help support your case later on.
- First and foremost, seek medical treatment immediately, even if your injuries do not seem severe.
- If you are able, take photographs of the scene of the accident. Take photos of any visible injuries as well.
- Write down the names and phone numbers of any witnesses at the scene. You will also want to get the name of the train company.
- Go to the doctor and learn more about your injuries.
In the days and weeks following a train wreck or railroad crossing accident:
- Be sure to keep track of your medical treatment. Keep a journal of any pain you experience, as well as all doctor visits, medical treatments, physical therapy sessions, and test results.
- Keep a record of any days missed from work, and any other financial expenses you may incur.
- Preserve any video evidence you may have recovered at the scene of the train accident
Q: How much will it cost to hire a train accident lawyer?
A: At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, we operate on a contingent fee basis. This means that we do not collect a fee (a portion of the settlement or verdict) unless we win your case. You will not have to pay anything up front or out of your own pocket. This way, everyone has access to the best possible legal representation in the event of a catastrophic event like a train wreck or railroad crossing accident. The contingent fee protects you from financial risk in pursuing legal action after a train accident. As your lawyers, we take on all of the risk associated with pursuing your case, and if we are not able to recover compensation for you, you owe us nothing.
Q: What kind of compensation will I receive after a train accident?
A: The amount of compensation you receive will depend upon a number of factors, including the extent of your injuries. Train accident victims who file a lawsuit with the help of an experienced train accident lawyer can pursue compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include things like your medical bills, the cost of future medical treatment or therapy, lost wages for time missed from work, and lost earning capacity. Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and diminished quality of life as a result of the crash.
Q: What is a “common carrier”?
A: A common carrier is a person or company responsible for transporting people or goods for a fee. Their services are offered to the general public under the supervision of a regulatory body. Examples of common carriers include commercial airlines, tour buses, cruise ships, and railroads. As a common carrier, railroad companies have a duty to adhere to federal regulations designed to protect passengers from harm, and to exercise reasonable care in order to keep passengers safe. Common carriers, including railroad companies, can be held liable for injuries and losses sustained by their passengers.
Our Train Derailment Lawyers Are Ready to Help
If you were injured after a train derailment or another type of train accident, you have the right to sue for your injuries. Munley Law has been handling these types of matters for more than 60 years. We know what needs to be done and will aggressively go after those responsible for you injuries. Don’t wait, contact our train accident lawyers today to schedule a free consultation.