Authorities with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department say a pedestrian was on the Expo Line platform of the 17th Street Station on Tuesday, Jan. 15, when he was struck and killed by a train. The early-morning accident resulted in the closure of the Expo Line in downtown Santa Monica to the 26th Street Station and prompted transportation authorities to establish a bus bridge to cover the closed line while investigators processed the scene. Camera footage from both the train and the station are expected to help authorities ascertain exactly how the man ended up on the platform to begin with.
Train versus pedestrian accidents are unusual along the Metro tracks, according to the L.A. Sheriff Transit Services Bureau. It is unclear what safeguards were taken by the Expo Line or the Transit Services Bureau to prevent pedestrian access to the platform in this case, which is still unfolding.
Accidents involving pedestrians can be among the most horrific, particularly when a train is involved, since it is a rapidly moving and very large vehicle. Anything standing in the train’s way is likely to experience severe damage or destruction.
Although the details in this case are still unknown, when train versus pedestrian, it is not always the fault of the pedestrian. In some or even many cases, the pedestrian may contribute to the accident but is not the sole cause of it. For example, pedestrians may trespass, walk on tracks, cross closed gates, fail to heed warnings, or even fall onto the track or platform, partly contributing to these horrible accidents. However, it is sometimes errors on the rail operator’s part for failing to safeguard the public from danger through a station design fault or by insufficient warnings or barriers. When pedestrian accidents involving the railway make it to court, the judge has the final say as to who’s responsible and to what degree each party contributed to the accident.
Pedestrians injured in California have a right to seek compensation for their injuries. Generally, medical costs, future medical care, lost wages, and future lost income or diminished capacity to earn a living factor into any monetary compensation provided for the victim. In addition, victims who are left disabled, either partially or totally, can qualify for enhanced payments that reflect their inability to support themselves going forward.
In the case of a pedestrian who dies as the result of a pedestrian accident, the family has a right to file a wrongful death claim. This type of claim, usually filed by a spouse, child or parent of the victim, looks to replace the financial contribution the decedent would have made, had he or she lived. Damages may also be awarded for loss of love, loss of consortium and community, and other non-economic losses.
If you or a loved one has been injured or died as a result of a pedestrian accident, contact our compassionate and knowledgeable Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney right away to discuss your case details.