December 20, 2017
Our office has received numerous calls from victims of the December 18, 2017 Amtrak train derailment in Washington State. And several of the victims of this tragic railroad disaster have already hired Davis Law Group to protect their legal rights in this case.
Nearly all of those who have contacted our firm have indicated that officials representing Amtrak had already contacted them and had tried to get them to sign settlement agreements.
Some of the most seriously injured victims will remain hospitalized for weeks. The full extent of their injuries is still yet unknown. The time-to-recovery and cost of medical treatment is uncertain. And some may never be able to resume their normal working lives ever again. Therefore, it is impossible at this time to assign a fair and reasonable settlement amount to these injury claims.
Why is Amtrak already offering settlements to derailment victims?
After major catastrophic accidents the insurance company representing the at-fault corporation will often try to save money by very quickly offering premature settlements to victims who do not know any better and are not represented by an attorney. Typically, these premature settlements are much less than what the claim is actually worth and ultimately don’t cover all of the victim’s harms and losses.
Most victims don’t know or understand that once they sign a settlement agreement they cannot renegotiate should the ultimate cost of medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses exceed the settlement amount. And once you sign off on a settlement, you lose all right to further legal action—so you can’t file a lawsuit later.
What happens if Amtrak victims hire an attorney?
Victims of any serious accident or catastrophic event should strongly consider speaking with an attorney before entering into settlement negotiations with the at-fault company(s).
Once represented by an attorney victims cannot be contacted by officials, attorneys or investigators that represent Amtrak, WSDOT, BNSF Railway, Sound Transit, Talgo, Siemens Corp., or any other company that may be held liable for the Amtrak Cascades disaster. All communications would be channeled through the victim’s attorney(s).
For more detailed information about the disaster, read AMTRAK CASCADES DERAILMENT DISASTER: A Legal Guide For Accident Victims/Survivors by the Amtrak train accident attorney team at Davis Law Group.