Two passenger trains collided into each other a few days ago. Leaving three dead and countless others injured.
The circumstances of the incident are yet to be investigated.
There will be an internal investigation which will be conducted by the PRASA officials directly as well as a police investigation. In addition, there may well be private investigations conducted in order to ascertain the cause of the incident.
“Should it be found that the incident was caused as a result of the negligence either of the driving of either of the two trains, alternatively the operating of the two trains, then each of the persons injured and the survivors of the deceased may well have a claim against PRASA, “Says Tzvi Brivik of Malcolm Lyons and Brivik Inc, specialists Attorneys in Personal Injury and Labour Law.
In order to establish whether or not there was conduct on the part of PRASA which led to or caused the incident alternatively whether the incident was caused as a result of failure to maintain the rails or equipment, there would have to be a comprehensive investigation.
“Should such a claim exist, then each of the survivors would be able to recover all of their past medical and hospital expenses as well as a contribution to their future medical and hospital expenses, and if for some reason as a result of the injuries sustained these innocent passengers suffered a loss of earnings, in other words, they were not able to return to work or even to continue with their work, they would be able to recover those loss of earnings. Each injured passenger would also be able to claim general damages for pain and suffering “Says Tzvi Brivik”.
In addition, if any person had seen the collision or was on the train and now suffers from emotional shock, which is a psychiatric diagnosis, he or she too would have a claim as against the PRASA provided that negligence could be established.
Previously in a similar type of incident with many injuries and fatalities, PRASA had immediately made an offer to try and resolve the claims and set aside a lump sum award for each of the passengers and survivors of the deceased.
In some of these instances the amount set aside was sufficient to cover the harm or loss which was suffered, but in others, it fell woefully short.
The main benefit to such a payment made by PRASA was that it avoided the necessity of a finding of negligence as against it and the early payment was attractive to potential claimants as it was made swiftly and avoided lengthy and risky litigation.
“Prior to each potential claimant accepting such an offer, it is strongly advisable that they seek private assistance and advice. “Says Tzvi Brivik”.
“With such a tragic and catastrophic event such as this, “says Tzvi Brivik “It is possible to also to explore a class action as against PRASA on the basis that there are multiple claims arising out of the same incident”.
“This avoids a multiplicity of claims that need to be brought in court with a potential of different outcomes or damages awards being made”.