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Yesterday, there was a tragic incident in the Washington, D.C. Metro area.

Norfolk InjuryBoard Article, by Rick Shapiro

By now, most people have heard that two Metro area trains collided killing at least six individuals and hurting 60 more. I have followed this story with great interest because I will be riding these trains soon when I am in the D.C. area. My questions about this event have been numerous, but the first, and main question, is WHY?

View the Video Here:

NBC Chopper Video

One of the first things the investigation team will do is piece together the facts of this story. Where did they collide? What was the speed? Who was operating them? Who were the passengers? Were there any mechanical defects? Did the operators of the trains do anything wrong? Were proper procedures followed? These are questions which are asked to determine if the collision was preventable.

And why do we care if it was preventable? We want to know if we can prevent incidents like this in the future. We want to prevent death. We want to prevent injury. We don’t want this to happen to us, and we don’t want this to happen to our family members and friends. AND, we want to punish anyone who might have been reckless and wanton in their actions, i.e.: if one of the operators was under the influence of alcohol (I AM NOT SUGGESTING THEY WERE – JUST AN EXAMPLE).

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will handle this, but attorneys for the families will get involved too. The families have lost loved ones – maybe the bread winner of the home. Some of the injuries will be devastating, and the people will need constant care. Who will pay for all of this and take care of these individuals? Should it be our health insurance companies and money out of their own pocket, or should the people who were negligent or reckless foot the bill through their insurance carriers. I would obviously suggest the latter, but what do you think?

Most individuals don’t understand that the tort system is essentially a cost shifting mechanism to assign financial responsibility to those at fault. And isn’t that the way it should be?

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