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Who is At Fault When a Train Derails and Injures Passengers?

While the New York City Transit Authority insists that train derailments are rare, a number of recent train accidents are calling that assumption into question.

Train derailments frequently occur as a result of poorly maintained trains and tracks. Unfortunately, NYC is besieged with a railway system that is seriously outdated and in need of repair. While the fight for updates in the train system continues, those injured in a train accident should be aware that they may be eligible for compensation.

When a train derails from its tracks, damage can be major or minor. For example, a train can drag along with a portion of the car off the rails. This kind of derailment may result in none or just a few minor injuries. However, major derailments can cause trains to collide or flip, which can result in many serious injuries, including deaths.

Those injured in a train derailment, as well as their loved ones, should speak with an NYC train accident attorney as soon as possible. You have the opportunity to hold responsible parties accountable and receive financial compensation for your injuries and pain and suffering.

Operator or Train Conductor

Train conductors are responsible for most of what takes place on a train. The conductor coordinates with a control center to monitor all the systems in place to make sure all parts are operating optimally. If a part malfunctions or an unusual situation arises (such as people on the tracks), it is the conductor’s responsibility to take manual control of the train.

Because of the critical role that a conductor plays, they must demonstrate adequate knowledge before assuming the position. They must also avoid any kind of substances that could impair their judgment, such as drugs, alcohol, or prescriptions.

Many train derailments occur as a result of negligence on the part of the conductor. If they were not paying attention to unsafe conditions on the train or rails, then injured passengers can hold that train conductor accountable in a personal injury suit.

New York City Transit Authority (MTA)

The New York MTA and the New York City Transit Authority oversee all mass transit in the city, so they are responsible for operator training, train and railway maintenance, and more.

Most importantly, if passengers are injured in an accident such as a train derailment, the MTA and/or the NYCTA are potentially responsible for whatever caused the derailment. 

Operational Staff

There are countless staff members that assist the control center or the train conductor. Poorly trained or irresponsible staff members can result in a number of dangerous accidents, so it is not uncommon for operational staff to be at fault for passenger injuries.

How to File a Claim

In NYC, injured passengers do not have much time to file a personal injury claim in the case of a train accident, so you must be aware of your rights in case you or someone you love is injured.

Those who intend to hold New York MTA, Transit Authority or any of their many subsidiaries and their staff members accountable for their injuries must submit a Notice of Claim  within 90 days from the date of the accident. While there are some exceptions to this statute of limitations, they are rare.

If you or someone you love is injured in a train accident, it is important that you speak with an experienced train accident attorney as soon as possible. They will be able to help you meet deadlines and build your case while you focus on recovery.

For more information about how an NYC accident attorney can help you with your train injury case, contact Greenberg and Stein at 888-411-3966, or visit our website.