Maryland personal injury lawyers are sometimes tasked with making the best of a tragic situation. Every year, thousands of people are killed by the negligence of other citizens, defective product designs, and negligent maintenance of private or public fixtures. When these tragedies happen, these same lawyers are forced to wear a different hat. They become wrongful death lawyers.
One such tragedy brought this regrettable task back into focus. This week, two teen girls were crushed to death when a train derailment sent tons of coal spilling onto the track area and onto Main Street Ellicott City below. Elizabeth Nass, a student at the University of Delaware, and her friend Rose Mayr, a student at James Madison University in Virginia, were home in the Ellicott City area finishing their summer break. They decided to spend their evening in downtown Ellicott City, where they climbed atop a railway bridge overlooking Main Street to one side and the Patapsco River to the other side. Eerily, the girls posted pictures of their view atop the bridge shortly before the train came through town.
When it did, the train derailed for reasons not yet ascertained by the Nation Transportation Safety Board. The train carried primarily a cargo of coal from West Virginia. As the cars began to tip off the tracks, the girls were unable to flee from the spilling coal. Autopsies revealed that the cause of death was compressional asphyxia; they were crushed to death.
Flash forward to the weeks and months from now, where the cleanup will continue and official reports will be generated as to the cause of the derailment. Some have speculated that the train could not have derailed unless its operators were exceeding the posts railway speed limit of twenty-five miles per hour. Others have speculated that the rails were in such disrepair that their faulty maintenance was the cause of the crash. No matter the actual cause, the families of the victims are likely going to want some form of closure.
Although there is no indication of criminal activity in this case, the law allows for civil remedies in the form of money damages to compensate the victims’ survivors for their loss. That is, of course, provided that the families want to pursue such remedies, and that their Maryland wrongful death attorney has the skill and expertise to prove in a court of law that the fate these girls suffered was as a result of the negligence of others.
If your loved one has passed away and you believe that the cause of their death was the negligence of others, consult a Maryland wrongful death law firm for a consultation. Your attorney can evaluate the facts and circumstances of your claim and advise you of your legal rights, including the likelihood that you will be able to prove your claim and whether you may be entitled to financial compensation for your loss. Nothing can bring back your loved one, but the right attorney can make sure the person responsible is held accountable.
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