Subway accidents

Subway accidents

New York Subway Accident Lawyer 

It’s estimated that approximately 4 million residents in New York use the subway system every day, 350,000 use the Long Island Railroad, and 300,000 use MetroNorth. Of these passengers, hundreds will be injured or killed on New York’s subway/light rail systems each year. What makes this reality particularly unsettling is the fact that almost all of these injuries and deaths can be prevented if the proper safety and maintenance measures are taken. Our New York City personal injury attorneys have been working in the legal field for more than seven decades, collectively. In fact, some of our attorneys teach other attorneys how to sue the NYCTA, MetroNorth, and LIRR. As such, we know that many subway/train accidents are cause for legal action.

Subway/train operators and the companies they work for are professionally obligated to ensure that their passengers are transported safely. When they fail to live up to this duty, thus causing an accident, legal action needs to be taken.

Who Can Be Sued for a Subway Accident?

A subway accident in New York can result in injuries or damages to passengers, employees, or bystanders. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, different parties may be sued for negligence or other causes of action.

Here are some examples of parties who can potentially be sued for a subway accident in New York:

  • Transit companies operating in New York: In New York there are a few transit companies operating. The MTA is responsible for operating the subway system in New York City.

If the accident was caused by negligence on the part of the MTA, such as failure to properly maintain the subway tracks or train equipment, the MTA may be held liable. However, other companies, such as Amtrak, NJ Transit and LIRR can also be sued depending on the specific circumstances of your accident.

  • The subway operator: If the accident was caused by the subway operator’s negligence, such as running a red signal or driving recklessly, the operator can be considered an at-fault party.
  • Manufacturers of defective equipment: Defective subway equipment may cause subway accidents. Faulty brakes or doors are common examples of faulty equipment that may lead to subway accidents. If a manufacturer was negligent you may file a product liability lawsuit.
  • Contractors or subcontractors: Some accidents can be caused by negligence on the part of a contractor or subcontractor responsible for maintaining or repairing the subway system. If that is the case, they may be sued.
  • Other parties: Depending on the circumstances of the accident, other parties such as the City of New York, property owners, or other individuals may be sued for negligence or other causes of action.

Keep in mind that every accident is unique and determining who is liable for your injuries is not always easy. For that reason it is very advisable to seek an expert subway accident attorney.

The Importance of Hiring an Experienced New York Subway Accident Attorney

If you have been involved in a New York subway accident, it is critical that you hire a competent attorney to defend your rights and receive compensation for your injuries and losses. An expert attorney will be familiar with subway accident laws and regulations and will be able to perform a full investigation of the accident, gather evidence, and interview witnesses in order to create a solid case on your side.  They will also be able to ascertain who is responsible for the accident and will work relentlessly to negotiate a reasonable payment or defend you in court if required. A receptive lawyer will also offer you assistance and support throughout the legal process, answering your concerns and guiding you through the difficulties of recuperating from a subway accident. Working with a skilled New York subway accident lawyer might make a major difference in the result of your case.

When Do I Need a Subway Accident Lawyer?

Working with a subway accident lawyer is highly advisable in most circumstances. Nonetheless, there are certain scenarios in which having the support of an attorney can make a huge difference.

  • You have suffered serious injuries: If you have suffered serious injuries, such as broken bones, head trauma, or spinal cord injuries, you may need a lawyer to help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
  • Liability is disputed: If there is a disagreement over who is to blame for the accident, you may need the assistance of a lawyer to prove culpability and get the compensation you deserve.
  • The insurance company is offering a low settlement: If the insurance company is offering a settlement that does not fully compensate you for your injuries and damages, you may need a lawyer to negotiate a higher settlement or take the case to court.
  • You are running out of time: Time is a very important factor to take into account, especially in subway accident cases. If your case involves suing a public entity you need to act quickly. Most government entities have different time frames to file a lawsuit against them and there are certain procedures that do not exist when suing a private company or individual. A skilled subway accident attorney knows exactly what to do to meet all deadlines.
  • You are unsure about your legal rights and options: If you are unsure about your legal rights and options, or you need guidance on how to proceed with your case, a lawyer can provide you with the information and support you need to make informed decisions.

Types of Subway Accident in NY

There are thousands of reported injuries or deaths on NY subways/trains each year. That means that accidents occur on a near-daily basis. Though the number of people that board subways and other NY public transit is high, the number of incidents is far too many.

There were nearly 900 incidents in 2018 in which someone was reported on the tracks or getting too close to the tracks while on the platform. There are several reasons why people get on or too close to the tracks, and very few of them have to do with suicide attempts. Most are not the fault of the person who was struck.

These are some of the most common types of subway accidents:

  • Train Derailments: A train derailment occurs when a subway train jumps off its tracks. This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as equipment failure, track defects, or human error. Train derailments can cause serious injuries and damage to passengers and subway employees.
  • Slip and Fall: Slip and fall accidents happen when a person loses their footing and falls on a wet, slippery, or uneven surface in a subway station or on a train. These accidents can be caused by spilled liquids, wet floors, uneven stairs, or other hazards.
  • Electrical Accidents: When passengers or subway personnel come into touch with live wires, malfunctioning electrical equipment, or exposed electrical components, electrical mishaps can occur. These accidents can result in severe burns, electrocution, or death.
  • Assaults and Robberies: Assaults and robberies can take place at subway stations, trains, and platforms. These events may be the result of lax security, insufficient illumination, or other circumstances.
  • Train Delays and Malfunctions: Train delays and malfunctions are possible for a number of causes, including equipment breakdowns, track faults, or bad weather. These events can be inconvenient and frustrating for passengers, and in extreme situations, they can result in catastrophic casualties.
  • Subway Train Collisions: When two subway trains meet, it might result in a subway train collision. Human mistake, equipment malfunction, or track problems can all contribute to these tragedies. Passengers and subway personnel can be seriously injured or killed in subway train crashes.
  • Platform Gaps: When there is a distance between the subway platform and the train car, this is referred to as a platform gap. These spaces can cause people to trip and fall, or they might trap them between the train car and the platform. Platform gaps can be created by train or rail design flaws.
  • Operator Errors: Subway operators that are inexperienced, distracted, or fatigued may contribute to accidents. Their negligence needs to be addressed.
  • Excessive Speed: Subways need to adhere to guidelines and regulations, just like any other potentially dangerous moving object. Excessive speeding on subways can lead to severe injuries or fatalities.

As you can see, there are a variety of factors for subway accidents. However, determining the cause of the accident is inextricably linked to determining who is liable. These two tasks are critical yet difficult. A subway accident lawyer is well-versed in determining these two variables.

What if I am at Fault?

Depending on how the incident occurred, you may find yourself partially at fault for the accident. This could affect your possibility of getting compensation. 

Comparative negligence is a legal concept in New York that relates to personal injury lawsuits, including subway accidents. If multiple parties are found to be at fault for an accident, their degree of fault is determined and damages are apportioned accordingly under comparative negligence.

For example, if a person is found to be 25% at fault for a subway accident and they are awarded $100,000 in damages, their award will be reduced by 25%, or $25,000, and they will receive a total of $75,000 in damages.

How Long Do I Have to File a Subway Accident Lawsuit in NY?

The statute of limitations in New York for filing a personal injury claim, including a subway accident case, is three years from the date of the accident. You have three years from the date of the metro accident to initiate a case in court. There are, however, certain exceptions to this general norm. For example, if a governmental organization, such as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), is involved in the subway accident, a notice of claim must be submitted within 90 days of the accident. Failure to file a claim notice within this deadline may result in the loss of the right to sue. After the 90 days have passed you have one year from the date of the accident to file the lawsuit.  If your case does not involve suing a public entity, you have three years to file a lawsuit that are dictated by the statute of limitations. 

How Much Can Someone Sue for a Subway Accident?

The amount that someone can claim for a New York subway accident relies on a number of criteria, including the severity of their injuries, the extent of their losses, and who is determined to be responsible for the accident.

Compensation in a subway accident claim may include both economic and non-economic damages, such as medical bills, lost earnings, and property damage, as well as pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.

There is no limit on the amount of non-economic damages that a plaintiff can receive in a personal injury claim in New York.

However, in order to receive fair compensation for your losses you will need to show proof of your economic losses. Therefore, if your injuries were severe and your medical expenditures were high, you can use receipts and other documentation that can prove your medical expenses.

How to Choose the Right Subway Accident Lawyer?

Choosing the appropriate subway accident lawyer is an important step in preserving your legal rights and maximizing your compensation following a New York subway accident. When searching for a subway accident lawyer, consider their experience, qualifications, and track record of success in similar cases. You should also search for a lawyer who is responsive and communicative, eager to answer your questions and explain the legal procedure to you.

You should also think about the lawyer’s costs and billing processes, and make sure you understand how and when you will be paid for their services. Finally, the best subway accident lawyer for you will be someone with whom you feel at ease and who has the skills and experience to assist you in achieving a good conclusion in your case.

Legal Counsel for New York City Transit System Accidents

Greenberg & Stein can represent you in accidents involving the New York City subways, Long Island Railroad, and Metro-North Railroad. Successful litigation of any type of subway/train accident must include an attorney’s thorough understanding of the law governing subways and trains. If you were injured in a subway accident, or you are mourning the loss of a loved one whose life was claimed in this type of accident, our New York City subway accident lawyers are here to help. We are committed to applying nothing less than the highest level of professionalism and integrity needed to yield favorable results for your case. Contact us today for a free consultation. Call us at 888-716-4088

Subway Accident Resources:

Who is Liable if I Sleep and Fall in The Subway

7 Facts You Should Know About Subway Accidents

How Long Do I Have to Report a Subway Accident

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