People all across Illinois have likely read about the terrifying accident that occurred recently at O'Hare International Airport when a train derailed. Details of the accident are still being investigated, but the information that is available paints a frightening picture. According to reports, the combination of human error and potential equipment failure led to the crash that injured 32 people. Thankfully, no one was killed.
This one accident brings up several critical topics related to personal safety, including negligence, work accidents and defective products.
To begin with, the crash occurred at 3 a.m. when many of the passengers were heading to or from work at the airport. The operator of the train was also on the job when she apparently dozed off, which may invite questions related to whether she was violating work requirements or if her employer permitted or encouraged her to work too many hours. When people are injured on the job or while traveling to or from a job in Illinois, they may be eligible to pursue workers' compensation for accidents that happen during the course of their employment.
There is also the issue regarding negligence. When operators of any motor vehicle are fatigued or fall asleep behind the wheel, they pose a serious threat to the safety of others. Regardless of whether a person is on the job or not, those who make the decision to drive while drowsy are putting everyone else's life in danger.
Finally, there may have been a defective or malfunctioning product that contributed to this accident. Investigators believe that an emergency brake system that should have slowed down or stopped the train before it derailed proved to be ineffective. Although the brake system was activated, investigators do not know if it was activated in time or if was functioning properly at the time of the crash.
In just one accident, we can see that there can be many factors that must be explored in order to determine what happened, who may be at fault and what kind of compensation may be available to victims. The injuries suffered in a serious accident can be debilitating and affect a person's life long after an accident, which is why it may be wise to speak with an attorney and explore options for legal action and the potential for compensation.
Source: NBC Chicago, "Woman Files Lawsuit, Describes CTA Train Crash," Natalie Martinez, March 25, 2014