Blog > Uncategorized > When the Ride Goes Wrong: Legal Recourse for Victims of Subway Accidents in NY

When the Ride Goes Wrong: Legal Recourse for Victims of Subway Accidents in NY

Every day, millions of residents and visitors rely on New York City’s crowded subway system. Unfortunately, accidents can occur. Victims of a train accident may get major injuries, incur medical bills, and experience mental stress. It is critical to understand what steps to take immediately to safeguard your health and your rights to reimbursement for your injuries. Victims of train accidents should also be aware of their legal alternatives in the aftermath of such a calamity. This blog post aims to clarify and provide useful information about subway accidents.

Subway Accidents in NY

What are the most common causes of subway accidents in New York?

Subway accidents in New York can occur due to various factors, including:

  • Train Collisions: Subway train crashes can occur for a variety of reasons, including human error, equipment failure, or track faults. Operators failing to obey signals or speed limits, defective brakes, and inadequate track maintenance can all contribute to these collisions.
  • Slip and Falls: Slip and fall accidents are common in subway stations due to variables such as wet floors from spills or cleaning, uneven surfaces, and trash on the platforms. These mishaps might occur as a result of inadequate maintenance or a failure to address hazards in a timely manner.
  • Doors Malfunction: Malfunctioning subway doors pose significant risks to passengers. Doors closing too quickly or unexpectedly, or failing to open properly, can result in passengers getting caught or trapped, leading to injuries. Issues with door sensors, mechanisms, or maintenance can contribute to door malfunctions.
  • Derailments: Mechanical faults, such as problems with the wheels, brakes, or propulsion systems, as well as track or switch defects, can cause subway trains to derail. Poor maintenance procedures, inadequate inspections, and old infrastructure can all contribute to derailments.
  • Electrocutions: The electrified third rail that powers subway trains is a severe electrocution risk. Contact with the third rail from falls onto the tracks or unlawful access might result in serious injuries or fatalities. Faulty wiring, inadequate insulation, or a lack of proper safety precautions can all contribute to electrocution incidents.
  • Assaults: Unfortunately, subway stations can become targets for criminal activity such as assaults, robberies, and harassment. Inadequate security measures, poorly illuminated locations, or congested platforms can all contribute to criminal conduct, putting passengers’ safety at risk.

While these may not cover the full variety of causes of subway accidents in New York, they are certainly the most common. 

What should you do immediately following a subway accident in NY?

After a subway accident, victims should follow a series of steps to ensure their safety and protect their rights to pursue compensation. These are the steps you should take after a subway accident in New York:

  1. Seek Medical Attention: It is critical to prioritize your health and safety. Seek medical attention for any injuries, no matter how minor they appear at first. Immediate medical intervention can help prevent complications and ensure that injuries are properly documented.
  2. Report the Incident: Inform subway personnel or emergency services about the mishap as soon as possible. Reporting the issue ensures that appropriate assistance is provided immediately and begins the incident documentation procedure.
  3. Document Evidence: Take photographs or videos of the accident scene, including any dangerous situations, injuries, or property damage. Collecting evidence can help determine the cause of the accident and support your possible compensation claim.
  4. Collect Witness Information: Obtain contact information from any witnesses to the accident. Witness testimony can provide valuable insight into the circumstances surrounding the incident and corroborate your account of events.
  5. Preserve Evidence: Preserve any physical evidence related to the accident, such as torn clothing, damaged belongings, or medical records. These pieces of evidence can strengthen your case and support your claim for compensation.
  6. Contact an Attorney: Seeking expert legal representation following a subway accident may increase your chances of receiving the money you deserve. The sooner you contact an attorney, the better, so they can begin working on your case as quickly as possible.

What types of injuries are commonly reported in subway accidents?

Subway accidents can result in a variety of injuries, including minor scratches, serious injuries, and even death. The following are some of the most frequently reported injuries caused by train accidents:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): Head injuries resulting from falls, collisions, or flying debris can cause traumatic brain injuries ranging from concussions to more severe forms of brain trauma. Symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, cognitive impairment, or loss of consciousness.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Falls or collisions in subway incidents can cause spinal cord injuries, resulting in partial or total paralysis, loss of feeling, or reduced motor function. These injuries frequently necessitate substantial medical care and rehabilitation.
  • Fractures and Orthopedic Injuries: Fractures, sprains, strains, and dislocations of bones and joints are common injuries sustained in subway accidents. The arms, legs, wrists, and ankles are the most commonly affected locations. Treatment may involve casting, surgery, or physical therapy.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries: Common soft tissue injuries in subway accidents include whiplash, muscle strains, ligament tears, and contusions. These injuries can result in discomfort, edema, stiffness, or restricted mobility, affecting everyday activities and quality of life.
  • Psychological Trauma: The psychological impact of subway accidents can be significant, leading to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions. Flashbacks, nightmares, or avoidance behaviors may persist long after the physical injuries have healed.

While there are several more ailments that subway accident victims can sustain, these are the most typically recorded following such catastrophes.

What laws govern subway accidents and liability in New York?

In New York, subway accidents and liability follow state statutes, federal regulations, and common law. The New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) oversees safety. Negligence can hold NYCTA and others liable for accidents due to inadequate care in maintenance, operation, or security. Government regulations like those from the Transit Administration (FTA) aim to enhance safety. Victims seek compensation through personal injury claims based on negligence or premises liability.

However, it’s essential to note the concept of comparative negligence, which may affect the outcome of a case. Comparative negligence states that if the victim’s own conduct contributed to the accident, their compensation may be reduced proportionally to their level of fault. For example, if a passenger was preoccupied and walked into a hazard, their reimbursement may be lowered according to their percentage of fault.

Furthermore, filing a personal injury case against a government entity, such as the NYCTA, might be difficult because of sovereign immunity, which shields government bodies from certain lawsuits. However, New York law permits for limited exemptions of sovereign immunity in circumstances of carelessness. Navigating these legal complications needs expertise and experience, so victims should obtain representation from a qualified attorney. Hiring a lawyer is often critical for ensuring that victims of subway accidents in New York have the legal advice and assistance they require to effectively pursue their claims.

What kind of evidence is crucial in a subway accident case?

Photographs or videos of hazardous situations, injuries inflicted, or property damage are important evidence in a subway accident lawsuit. Eyewitness accounts from passengers or staff offer crucial details about the incident.

Furthermore, maintenance records, inspection reports, surveillance footage, and expert analysis of equipment or infrastructural flaws can aid in determining responsibility. Medical documents recording injuries and treatment are critical for determining damages and establishing the victim’s level of injury. Collecting and keeping this evidence is critical for constructing a strong case and supporting the victim’s claim for compensation.

What compensation can victims of subway accidents in NY seek?

New York subway accident victims can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, disability, and wrongful death. Medical costs cover emergency care, hospitalization, surgeries, rehab, and ongoing treatment. Lost wages compensate for work absences or reduced earning capacity. Pain and suffering damages address physical discomfort and mental distress. Disability or deformity compensation applies to severe injuries, and wrongful death damages are available for fatal incidents.

Why is it important to have a lawyer for a subway accident case in NY?

For a subway accident lawsuit in New York, a lawyer is crucial. They navigate complex legal proceedings, tackle liability challenges, and grasp regulations. Expert attorneys aid in evidence collection, negotiation, and securing rightful compensation. They safeguard rights, handle documentation, and represent clients in court, boosting chances of success.

How to Choose the Right Lawyer for a Subway Accident Case in New York?

Selecting a lawyer for a New York subway accident lawsuit? Consider their experience, success record, and client advocacy. Look for a personal injury lawyer or law firm with a track record of successfully resolving subway accident claims. Seek attorneys offering personalized attention, clear communication, and a commitment to optimal client outcomes.

For exemplary representation in subway accident cases, consider contacting Greenberg & Stein, P.C. With decades of experience, Greenbert & Stein P.C. offers dedicated legal representation, securing substantial settlements. Our skilled attorneys understand New York subway accident cases, tirelessly protecting your rights for rightful compensation. Contact us at 212-681-2535 to schedule a free consultation to review your case.

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