Filing a Claim After My Train Accident
Train collisions are not as common as car collisions, but they are far more common than you might think. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, nearly 2000 train accidents occur in the United States each year. Every year, approximately ten people are killed. In New York, around 6 million people use the New York City subways every day.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the majority of train accident victims are not passengers, but rather pedestrians on tracks or people inside a vehicle struck by a train. If you have been involved in a train accident and you were injured as a result, you can pursue compensation for your injuries. However, trains and subways are mostly operated by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA).
It is more difficult to seek compensation from a government institution than from a private entity, but it is not impossible. It is critical to work with an experienced train accident lawyer if you intend to file a claim against a government entity. A lawyer will guide you through the claim process and ensure that you meet all deadlines.
A variety of factors can contribute to train accidents. These are some of the most common causes of train accidents:
- Driver or Train Operator Negligence or Error
Many accidents are caused by the carelessness of a car driver trying to cross the tracks, a train operator, or both. When a train collides with a vehicle crossing the tracks, the passengers of the car are usually the ones who suffer the most.
- Faulty or Malfunctioning Equipment
Trains are typically a secure mode of transportation. Nonetheless, trains, like any other machine, are susceptible to malfunctioning equipment. Brake failure can provoke very serious accidents. Passengers can get hurt with malfunctioning doors or broken handrails. Tracks can also be defective or poorly maintained. Faulty tracks can lead to derailments.
- Weather Conditions
Poor weather conditions can decrease visibility and that may affect the train operator. Additionally, people waiting for their train on the platform can slip and fall on the tracks.
- Signal Malfunction or Error
There are several warning lights, alarms, signals, and other safety signs at train stations. The failure of these signs can result in accidents at the train station. There are also signs and signals along the tracks that alert the train operator to obstacles or dangerous conditions. If the signs fail, the train operator may be unable to prevent an accident.
- Failure to Abide by Safety Laws
Passengers on the train must comply with the safety regulations. Similarly, individuals on the platform need to be careful and respect the safety laws. Improper behavior at the train station can cause someone to get injured.
What Are the Responsibilities of a Train Company?
Train companies owe a duty of care to their passengers. They must ensure that their premises and trains are safe for all the people occupying their transportation services. The subway or train station must be safe for everyone. That means that they need to remove any hazardous conditions like slippery surfaces.
A poorly illuminated area can cause someone to trip and get injured. Cracked concrete on the platform can also be a tripping hazard and can cause someone to fall on the tracks. The train company must fix or remove any dangerous condition within a reasonable amount of time. Trains must also be safe for the occupants and be in good conditions. All units must have handrails, lights, alarms and other safety equipment.
What damage can I get back after a train accident?
After a train accident you can seek compensation from the train company. Your compensation must cover your medical expenses and other economic and non economic expenses. Here are some of the damages that you can recover after a train accident:
- Property damage
- Present and future medical bills
- Lost income from the time you were unable to work
- Diminished earning capacity, in case your injuries prevent you from doing things that you used to do before the accident
- Personal losses like your pain, suffering, emotional distress, reduced quality of life, and mental anguish
How long do I have to file after a train accident?
Obtaining compensation from a government agency is not an easy task. One of the primary distinctions between suing a private company and suing a government entity is the time required to initiate the claim process. The state of New York requires anyone who wants to sue a government institution to file a “Notice of Claim” within 90 days of the accident.
The notice of claim must include all accident details, the person seeking compensation’s personal information, and the amount sought. You will be unable to sue the institution if the notice of claim is not served within 90 days. Following the filing of the notice of claim, the government entity may convene a hearing to negotiate with the plaintiff. From the date of the accident, the accident victim has one year and ninety days to file a lawsuit. If you miss this second deadline, your case will be dismissed.
Get Help from a Train Accident Lawyer
If you have recently been involved in a train accident, you probably do not know what to do to seek compensation for your injuries. We understand that an injury can cause a lot of problems and depending on the severity of your injuries, a huge financial burden. Greenberg & Stein P.C. is a prestigious law firm in New York. Our lawyers have vast experience handling train accident cases.
Our attorneys will help you build a solid case with the evidence necessary. We will also handle all communication and negotiations on your behalf and we will make sure that all deadlines are met. Having an experienced attorney by your side will significantly increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. Call us at 888-716-3843 to schedule a free consultation to review your case.