The Stages of Accidents: Speculation, then Litigation

Brooks Schuelke, a personal injury attorney in Austin, Texas, writing at the trial lawyers’ blogging consortium, Injury, “Washington, DC Train/Rail Disaster Kills At Least Seven & Injures More. What Does It Mean For Austin?

I’ve been emailing my friend Rick Shapiro, a Northern Virginia/DC personal injury lawyer, who happens to be one of the top railroad injury lawyers in the country. Rick’s a former head of the American Association for Justice Railroad Law section (and now one of Rick’s partners currently holds that post), and he’s written extensively on railroad safety. It’s really too early to tell what’s going on with this particular Metro crash, but Rick tells me that one of the things that concerns him is that the Metro was working on the tracks near the incident. This work could have likely caused some type of problem. As far as the operator’s failure goes, Rick says that he’s had previous cases involving Metro train wrecks where the Metro drivers were so overworked that fatigue played a big part in the wreck. I also saw a note that the operator of the train involved was one of the most inexperienced in the Metro system.

Well, those are reasonable observations. It IS too early to tell what’s going on, and there ARE reasons for concern. But surely as night follows day…

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