Child falls in gap between train and platform

Date:Jul 05, 2019

Footage has recently emerged of a child slipping in the gap between a train and the platform at a Sydney train station, sparking a conversation about train safety.

Shocking footage shows fall

The footage, captured in February, depicts a four-year-old waiting to board a train with his mother at the Sydenham station, who has a baby in her arms and pushing a pram. Bystanders react in shock when the child misses the step between the train and platform, disappearing into the darkness of the track. Those disembarking the train begin their frantic attempt to pull the child back onto the platform, while others signal the driver to ensure the train does not move. 

Fortunately, the child was uninjured by the ordeal. The revelation of this incident, however, has opened a conversation about train safety, and how children in particular can be kept safe on platforms. Key safety tips include:

  • Standing back to allow passengers to disembark before you attempt to board a train.
  • Keep small children close, either in prams, held, or holding their hand.
  • If you're waiting at a platform, ensure pram brakes are on, with the pram positioned parallel to the tracks to reduce the risk of it rolling forward and off the platform.
  • Children should never be left unattended on trains, or the platform.

What compensation could I seek for a train related injury?

If the child had sustained injuries or was fatally harmed as the result of the fall, the family could have sought compensation. In order for the claim of compensation to be successful, however, it would need to be proven that the party in question (in this case Sydney Trains) was negligent in their duty of care to their passengers. This is governed under the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW).

To establish a claim of negligence, a Court needs to rule that:

  • There was a duty of care owed from one party to another.
  • The duty of care was breached.
  • Injury resulted from this breach of the duty of care.

In the case of the child on the platform, it could be argued that Sydney Trains were negligent in having a large gap between the train and platform, or not having an automatic ramp to bridge the gap. However, the defence may argue that the mother should have been watching the child, or that the child perhaps knew of the risk. 

If a claim of negligence is successful, a victim may be able to receive the following:

  • Compensation for medical expenses, including physiotherapy and rehabilitation.
  • A payment to cover economic loss, including missed wages and superannuation.
  • Compensation for trauma, pain, and suffering.
  • Cover for any required home modifications post-injury, including wheelchair ramps.

For assistance with your slip, trip, or fall claim, get in touch with the expert legal team at Gerard Malouf & Partners Lawyers.

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