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Who is Liable if I Slip and Fall in The Subway?

Determining Liability After a Slip-and-Fall Incident in the Subway
New York Subway accident

New York City has one of the biggest subway systems in the world and biggest in the United States. Millions of people use the subway everyday to move around the city. In a system so big and busy, it is inevitable that accidents occur. One of the most common incidents in subways are slip and falls accidents.  The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) may or may not be held accountable for your injuries, depending on the circumstances of the accident. If the MTA could have avoided your damage by doing what they were required to do, they could be held liable for your accident. You must keep in mind that if you decide to initiate a lawsuit against the MTA, you should get legal advice from an experienced lawyer because it will not be an easy task. 

Common Causes of NYC Subway Accidents

Slip and fall accidents can occur due to a variety of causes. Here are some of the most common:

  • Poor illumination: The subway system in New York is primarily underground. As a result, subway stations do not receive natural light and must rely primarily on electrical lighting. It is not unusual to see lightbulbs that are not working in the subway system due to the enormous number of stations. However, the lack of proper illumination can cause someone to trip with an obstacle they were not able to see leading to a slip and fall accident.
  • Slippery floors: Slippery floors are very dangerous, especially in very crowded areas or where people usually walk fast, like subway stations. Slippery floors may be caused by the rain, a leak or simply the floor was recently mopped and it is still wet. Regardless of the cause, slippery floors have to be properly marked or blocked in order to prevent people from walking on them and potentially getting injured.
  • Ice or snow: During winter, the MTA has to be especially careful with snow and ice. When the steps that lead to the station are covered in snow or ice, it is very likely that someone may slip and fall. These kinds of accidents can result in very serious injuries. The authorities must ensure that snow and ice are regularly removed during winter time. 
  • Cracked or uneven flooring: When the floor or steps are fractured or have bulges that make the surface uneven, the danger of a slip and fall accident increases. These surface abnormalities must be identified or covered with something to prevent people from walking over them.
  • Damaged or absent handrails: Handrails are essential for maintaining balance when traveling down or up stairs. If the handrails are not correctly attached to the wall, someone may lose their balance and fall. Furthermore, in certain cases, the railing may not be present at all, posing a significant risk to persons with coordination issues or the elderly.
  • Defective repairs: Subway stations are always being repaired or upgraded. The majority of repairs and modifications to the stations are performed by specialists who usually do an excellent job. However, it is possible that a repair will be defective or it was not tested before allowing people to have access to the area, causing someone to fall and sustain a fall injury.

Who Controls The NYC Subway?

The subway system in New York City is controlled by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA). This entity is a public benefit corporation that is in charge of public transportation in the New York City metropolitan area. The MTA network includes the largest bus fleet in the country as well as more subway and commuter rail cars than all other U.S. transit systems combined.

MTA’s Role in Subway Stations

The MTA is responsible for the administration and development of the New York City subway. As the subway system’s managers and administrators, the MTA is responsible for keeping subway stations in good condition and making any necessary repairs to ensure the safety of subway users. The MTA cannot be held liable for every slip and fall accident that occurs on subway property. However, if the accident was caused by a lack of maintenance or noncompliance with MTA’s duty, they may be held accountable.

What Is The Statute of Limitations Filing a Slip and Fall Lawsuit against the NYC Subway?

If you were involved in an accident on MTA property and you believe they are liable for your injuries, you can initiate a lawsuit against the MTA. However, due to the fact that they are not a private company, there are some steps that you must follow. The first thing you need to do is to submit a notice of claim against the MTA within 90 from the date of the accident. This notice of claims is used to let MTA know that you plan on suing them. Once they receive this document, the MTA has 30 days to review it; you cannot file a lawsuit if these 30 days have not passed. In some cases the MTA will try to offer compensation to settle the case before going to court. If 30 days have passed since you submitted the notice of claim and you did not reach a settlement with the MTA, you can initiate a personal injury lawsuit against the MTA. Keep in mind that you have one year and 90 days to file a lawsuit. 

What Compensation Can a Subway Slip and Fall Victim Claim?

If you and your lawyer manage to demonstrate that the MTA is responsible for your injuries, you can recover the following damages:

  • Actual medical bills
  • Future medical bills
  • Costs of therapy
  • Modifications needed at the victim’s house to provide mobility
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering

How Can I Successfully Sue The MTA For a Subway Slip and Fall Injury?

To be able to file a lawsuit against the MTA, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced attorney. To successfully sue the MTA, you and your lawyer will have to work together to build a strong case. It is crucial to demonstrate that your injuries were caused by negligence from the MTA. For example, if there was a lightbulb that had not been working for weeks and the MTA was informed about that issue but it was never fixed, and then someone falls due to poor illumination, it is very likely that the MTA will be held liable for the injuries of that person. However, it is not always easy to demonstrate that the MTA was negligent. 

To increase your chances of succeeding at court, it is important to have the best representation possible. At Greenberg & Stein P.C. you will find some of the best attorneys in New York. Our legal team has handled numerous cases and we have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. If you have been a victim of a slip and fall accident in the subway, do not hesitate in contacting us. Call us at 212-969-8753 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys for a case review.