Limit on Accident Claim Payouts Per Train Crash

The Amtrak crash in Philadelphia earlier this week was a tragedy. And for victims of the crash and their families, many have questions about compensation for their injuries and losses. Despite how deadly the crash was—killing eight people and injuring more than 200—there is a cap on Amtrak’s payout amount: $200 million. However, Amtrak isn’t to blame for the limit.

Why the $200 million cap?

There’s a reason that Amtrak will only be liable for $200 million. In 1997, a federal law placed a limit on the amount of damages that Amtrak—and other railroad companies—could be liable for in a single railroad accident. Since that time, there have been conversations in Congress about increasing the amount to $500 million.

Many believe that the cap is very much outdated and does not account for current costs of inflation. However, no changes have yet been made, and the cap remains at $200 million. Amtrak victims will have to share the $200 million damages.

In the case of the Amtrak crash, there were multiple people on board who died that had young families in addition to large projected earning capacity. Loss of future earning capacity is part of the survival benefits available after a loved one’s death.

These instances increase the actual cost of the Amtrak crash.

  • Abid Gilani: senior vice president of Wells Fargo
  • Jim Gaines: video software specialist at the Associated Press
  • Rachel Jacobs: CEO of a Philadelphia technology company

Are there any exceptions to the cap?

The $200 million liability cap is for passengers or bystanders who are injured in a railroad crash. The limit does not apply to railroad workers. Instead, the 1908 Federal Employers’ Liability Act covers these workers.

What should I do if I’ve been injured?

If you or a family member suffers a train accident, you will want to hire a train crash attorney to ensure you receive a fair payout. An attorney can help you learn how to recover damages from a company like Amtrak’s compensation fund, or how to file a personal injury lawsuit for compensation. All claims in Pennsylvania must be filed within two years’ time, so it’s imperative that you act quickly.

At Cordisco & Saile LLC, our attorneys want to meet with you. To schedule a free case consultation, you can call our offices at 215-642-2335 or contact us online. To get help now, get in touch with one of our attorneys today. We’ll work hard for you!