It has been announced that the cap on single-crash Amtrak train accident payouts will be limited to $200 million. This amount has to be spread among the families of the 8 who lost their lives and the more than 100 victims who were injured in the recent accident, many of them seriously.
This amount has been fixed by the federal government for some time, despite pressure by lawmakers to have the ceiling increased to $350 million. This means there will be some very aggressive campaigning by the attorneys representing clients who have been injured and the families of those who lost their lives.
In 2008 there was a similar rail crash in Los Angeles. Claims submitted by attorneys representing clients reached $350 million, but the final payouts ended up being half that amount because of the federally imposed cap.
Allegedly, the reason for the cap of $200 million is to relieve the burden on taxpayers who partially pay for such payouts, as Amtrak is to some extent subsidised by the federal government with a request for a subsidy in the current financial year of $2 billion.
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Caps like this are a blow to both victims and their families whether they were killed or seriously injured. In this recent train crash the financial cost of those injured is expected to be extremely high due to the nature of the injuries inflicted on those who survived. Serious injuries like amputations mean that the victims never fully recover and are unlikely to return to work in the same capacity as before the accident. This not only puts additional burden on the family of the victim through caregiving and adapting the home, but there is also the financial hardship of a breadwinner no longer being present to pay the bills.
Wrongful death claims are not the subject of everyday conversations, but families of the 8 killed in the train crash will be compensated for the loss of a loved one even though it will probably never match the true financial loss created by the absence of the victim or the emotional loss suffered by a spouse, children and other family members.
One of the victims, Rachel Jacobs, a CEO of a Philadelphia tech company and mother of a 2 year old, would in a normal wrongful death situation attract a high payout because of the financial loss to her family and the loss of love and affection to the 2 year old. In this situation, her family will need a convincing attorney if they are to be offered anything near the value of a wrongful death claim.
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If you are a victim of the Amtrak train crash and you have been injured or you have lost a family member in this devastating accident, don’t leave the method of distribution of compensation to Amtrak’s insurers. You will be offered far less than if you hire a determined personal injury attorney like New York and Long Island’s Richard S. Jaffe, Esq., who has years of successful experience in fighting on behalf of accident victims.
You can contact him for a free consultation at the Law Offices of Cohen & Jaffe LLP, 2001 Marcus Avenue, Suite W295, Lake Success, NY 11042. Phone: 516-358-6900 or toll free: 800-483-6149.