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Clifford Law Offices and its Experts Examining Latest Revelations from NTSB on Amtrak Derailment near Tacoma, Washington

Clifford Law Offices, on behalf of several victims of the recent Amtrak derailment near Tacoma, Washington, who have retained the firm, has hired experts who are looking into early reports released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The NTSB has a go-to team that is dispatched to review the scene and those involved in an effort to determine the probable cause of the tragic incident that occurred Monday (Dec. 18, 2017). Its office has said it could take up to two years to conclude its investigation.

But in the meantime, NTSB investigators have released to the media some details that indicate that the engineer of the Amtrak train may have been distracted on the Cascade 501 heading from Seattle, Washington, to Portland, Oregon, on its maiden passenger voyage. The train was reported to be traveling about 80 miles per hour as it entered a curve on the route that mandated a 30 mile-per-hour speed limit there. The cars of the train plummeted to Interstate 5 below, crushing cars and trucks on the road.

Federal investigators are examining the actions and attention of the engineer as well as a conductor in training on that train that left three people dead and at least 70 people injured. Clifford Law Offices also has hired experts who are examining media reports and will be looking further into possible distractions of those in charge of the train. NTSB Board Member Bella Dinh-Zarr said following the derailment that the engineer did not manually activate the emergency brake, but instead it went off automatically when the train derailed.

Michael S. Krzak, partner at Clifford Law Offices who has handled a number of significant rail crash cases, spoke to several members of the press in Washington, Oregon, Chicago and nationally and was quoted on the concerns regarding these issues and others including safety protocol and training as well as the use of Positive Train Control, a technology that was in place on this route but not in use that can automatically slow or stop a speeding train.

Krzak told the press that numerous victims who were injured contacted Clifford Law Offices because Amtrak representatives were pursuing them in the hospital and asking them to sign papers. They didn't understand what they were or why Amtrak wanted them to sign them. Amtrak representatives did not leave the papers with them.

If you are a victim of a train crash or have questions regarding what you can do, contact Clifford Law Offices at 312-899-9090 or 1-800-899-0410. 

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