Traveling on Amtrak in Pennsylvania is thought to be more than 26 times safer than traveling by car. Sure, the risk of getting injured while riding on an Amtrak train cannot compare to the risk of injury in a car accident, yet in no way does it mean that Amtrak accidents are non-existent.


If the December 2017 derailment of an Amtrak train near Dupont, Washington, was any indication, traveling on Amtrak is not as safe as we thought. An investigation by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) showed that the Amtrak train was traveling at 80 miles per hour in 30-mph zones before the tragic derailment that killed three passengers and injured 62 others.

This was not an isolated case, as there have been numerous other Amtrak accidents resulting in fatalities and injuries over the years. In 2015, eight people died in an Amtrak crash in Philadelphia, where speeding was also the primary cause of the accident. As you can imagine, recovering damages after an Amtrak crash is not as straightforward as seeking compensation after a car accident, which is why you may want to speak to a Pittsburgh Amtrak train accident attorney from Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman.


Just because Amtrak is part of the public transit system does not mean that it has no legal duty to exercise the highest degree of care to protect its passengers. Unfortunately, the common carrier has been blamed for many accidents over the past years, which prompted Pennsylvania commuters to question the safety of Amtrak travel.

Our experienced Amtrak accident attorney Pittsburgh clarifies that speeding is not the only cause of Amtrak train accidents in Pennsylvania. Other causes include but are not limited to:

  • Amtrak train is not properly inspected and maintained (faulty brakes, broken train wheels, etc…)
  • Malfunction of warning lights, sounds, and gates
  • The Amtrak train operator was negligent and failed to exercise a high standard of care
  • Speeding (traveling at speeds that exceed the state limits to get from point A to point B faster, sacrificing the safety of all passengers onboard)
  • Railroad tracks not properly maintained and operated
  • Other types of human error (for example, conductor or engineer negligence)
  • Improper switching of rail tracks
  • Leaving train cars in a location where other cars are functioning on the same or adjacent tracks
  • Lack of a sufficient system safety program in place
  • Lack of communication between Amtrak personnel or faulty communication equipment
  • Defective or damaged handrails on Amtrak trains and
  • The use of foreign-made trains in the U.S. (typically, foreign-made trains are adjusted to European rail systems, which differ from American rail systems)

Causes of Amtrak accidents vary from one case to another, which is why it is important to hire a Pittsburgh Amtrak train accident lawyer to determine fault in your particular case. After all, determining liability will play a major role in the amount of money you can recover as well as the outcome of your case. Consult with our personal injury attorneys at Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman by calling at 888-98-TWINS(89467) and receive a free case evaluation today.

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