The recent extremely cold weather pattern has forced countless people across Illinois to readjust their schedules and routines. For those who still have to find a way to get to work, taking the train appears to be a safer alternative than having to navigate the icy, snowy roads and risk getting into an auto accident. However, the trains may not be as safe as everyone thinks.
This was demonstrated earlier this week in a Metra train accident in downtown Chicago. Around 8:45am Monday morning, a Metra train on the Rock Island District line that arrived from Joliet was pulling into the LaSalle Street station when it struck what is known as a “bumping post” at the end of the platform. The barrier is put there so that more damage and injury doesn’t occur if the train travels too far. Nevertheless, about 14 passengers on the train reported injuries, and six of them were hurt seriously enough to be transported to nearby hospitals.
Metra officials are investigating the incident, but theyaren’t sure why the train hit the bumping post. It’s unclear whether a braking or mechanical problem occurred or whether the train slid into the post. One unnerving fact: it was the second time in about 2 1/2 hours that a train had made contact with a bumping post at the same station (although no one was hurt in the earlier crash).
Regardless of what the specific issue turns out to be, it’s likely that Metra will be held liable for the train accident and the injuries to the passengers. That means that those who were injured have grounds to file personal injury lawsuits against Metra. They could receive reimbursement for any medical bills they had to incur as a result of their injuries, and possible unearned wages due to work absenteeism as a result of the accident.