Train crash passengers seek damages

SOLICITORS are seeking damages for a group of rail passengers who suffered injury or trauma after a terrifying crash on a level crossing.People told of how they feared for the lives when a train travelling from Lowestoft to Ipswich struck a lorry at an unmanned crossing in Little Glemham, near Saxmundham, at 10.

SOLICITORS are seeking damages for a group of rail passengers who suffered injury or trauma after a terrifying crash on a level crossing.

People told of how they feared for the lives when a train travelling from Lowestoft to Ipswich struck a lorry at an unmanned crossing in Little Glemham, near Saxmundham, at 10.10am on Monday, April 15.

Now, seven of the single carriage's 56 passengers are being represented by a firm specialising in claims arising from transport accidents. Solicitors are investigating the accident before deciding further action – and said litigation could target a number of parties.

James Smith, senior partner of the Lincoln-based James Smith Partnership, said the crash had inflicted injuries such as "black eyes and bloody noses" and cases of post-traumatic stress.

"Some people have been badly affected by this accident. Injuries may not at first seem that serious but other things do often emerge, such as flashbacks," he said. "It's easier to present the case as a group of passengers, but we are treating them as individuals."

Eleven people required hospital treatment following the collision at the Hoo Lane crossing. The train's driver said he had no time to react when the lorry attempted to cross the tracks and his engine collided with its trailer.

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Mr Smith said the owner of the vehicle in collision with the train was the "obvious target" for damages but said other options would be explored including the liability of highways chiefs – which could have repercussions for the future of crossings such as the one at Blaxhall, he added.

Medical evidence is currently being gathered and claims letters could be sent out next week, following which parties will have three months to agree terms or face litigation.

The partnership has dealt with three of four coach crashes and a further rail accident this year and Mr Smith said: "As a firm highly experienced in organising class actions we appreciate the importance of gathering essential evidence before memories dim and the truth and trail goes cold.

"We cannot emphasise enough the benefits of concise description from first-hand witnesses to the crash from passengers, by-standers or whoever else,"

He added: "It is in the best interests of all concerned for the precise circumstances of this unfortunate matter to be ascertained at the very earliest stage and any assistance would be most gratefully received."

People who might be able to assist in the firm's enquiries – or passengers who may wish to be added to the group – should contact freephone 0800 085 2413.

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