Train And Subway Accidents in New York
Thousands of New Yorker’s have been killed or injured over the years on NYC Metro Transit Authority (MTA) subways, trains and buses due to a variety of hazards. Some of the causes were: large gaps between train doors and platforms; hazards on platforms themselves; improperly closing doors; unsafe speeds or braking; and failure to repair or properly maintain equipment, station facilities, and an infrastructure the New York Times calls “dilapidated.”
At least 135 were injured in two separate rail accidents in 2017: one on the Long Island Railroad at Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal, and the other on the F train in upper-Manhattan. Fortunately, virtually all of the injuries were minor.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates most MTA accidents. But at times, other agencies (including the MTA itself) manage their own investigations.
You Must Investigate Your Accident Immediately, Because the MTA Is
In New York, a claim against a train or subway operator or carrier must be investigated and brought within 90 days of the date of the accident; otherwise, the claim is barred as a matter of law. Injured victims of MTA train and subway accidents need their own attorney who is familiar with MTA accidents and can investigate the circumstances surrounding their injury. If you’ve been hurt, you need an aggressive attorney looking out for your best interests. People throughout New York regularly hire Kaplan Lawyers PC. We have years of experience, are well-seasoned in New York’s transportation laws and consistently deliver results.
The MTA is a self-regulating and self-insured public corporation responsible for overseeing various forms of public transportation in the greater New York City area. The MTA oversees the following rail systems in New York:
- New York City subways
- The Long Island Railroad
- The Metro-North Railroad.
MTA accidents happen for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common involve:
- Operator error – Fatigued, distracted, and inexperienced drivers may cause bus, train and subway accidents.
- Excessive speed – Trains and subway cars traveling too fast may crash into other vehicles or pedestrians, resulting in severe injuries and fatalities.
- Poor maintenance and mechanical defects – Improperly maintained trains and buses are a common cause of serious accidents, as are defective parts.
- Lax security – Sometimes there’s just not a transit cop when you need one, such as when you’ve been assaulted on a subway, or station platform, or somewhere else on MTA-owned property.
As you can understand, an accident involving public transportation is a serious personal injury matter which should be handled only by an experienced injury lawyer. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we understand all of the factors that make up individual transit injury claims.
A Cornucopia of Serious Injuries can Happen to MTA Riders
When riders (or other victims) are injured in an accident involving a train or on MTA property, the authority can be held liable for its cause. But the challenge to injured victims is that the Transit Authority is self-regulated and conducts its own investigations. The advantage of having an experienced and independent lawyer is the ability to conduct a separate investigation into the cause of the accident and determine whether the MTA is liable for damages. These could include payment of medical bills and compensation for pain and suffering, disability and even wrongful death.
Slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents consistently occur on MTA property. Causes can range from inoperative (or faulty) elevators, to substandard waiting area maintenance, to stairways in need of repair or clearing. Security issues can include attacks on rail patrons; some have even been pushed onto the tracks. Riders can experience “crush” injuries in an accident, or if a door suddenly closes on hands, arms or legs, causing injuries that can range from broken bones to damaged ligaments and cartilage. Drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol can also contribute to a subway, bus or train accident.
Top Five Mistakes Made After an MTA Train, Bus or Subway Accident
People make mistakes all the time. But these five can quash your attempt to collect compensation for injuries after an NYC MTA accident injures you:
- Failure to file an accident report
- Failure to obtain pictures of the location of the incident
- Refusal of medical attention
- Speaking directly with anyone at the MTA or their insurance company without a lawyer
- Not hiring an experienced attorney who will complete all filings to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the fair and full compensation you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need an attorney to handle my claim?
No. However, the insurance company employs an army of attorneys, claims specialists, and experts to win the case, so in order to get the compensation that you are entitled to you will need to hire an attorney that specializes in this type of law. Our legal team has decades of experience and a proven track record of maximizing settlements and we are in the best position to guarantee that you get everything that you are entitled to.
How long do I have to bring a claim?
The statute of limitations (or time in which a claim must be brought from the date of the accident) is 3 years for a personal injury claim. If a claim is being brought for wrongful death the claim must be brought within 2 years from the date of death. If the claim is being brought against a municipality the time to bring a claim is significantly shorter depending on who the claim is against so you should consult with an attorney immediately.
Do I have to pay any legal fees if I lose my case?
No. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee which states that if you don’t win your case we don’t get paid.
How much is my case worth?
If any attorney tells you that they know how much your case is worth before reviewing all of the documentation then they are lying or incompetent. However, our legal team has decades of experience and will maximize the value of your case.
How long will it take to settle my case?
Every case is different but our legal team utilizes the most advanced technology and aggressive legal strategy to expedite our client’s cases, generally resolving cases years faster than any other firm.
How will my medical bills get paid?
If you have private health insurance, your medical bills will be paid by your insurer. If you do not have health insurance your medical bills will be submitted as an item of special damages as part of your claim against the liable party.
What do we have to prove to win the case?
Train and subway accident cases are very fact specific so it is imperative to hire the train and subway accident attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC so that we can investigate, preserve evidence, retain experts, and prove liability so that you can receive the compensation that you are entitled to.
Does it help if I have pictures of the location where the accident happened?
Yes. Very often pictures can prove to be the most significant evidence in proving the case so if you have photographs be careful to safeguard them.
Does it make a difference if someone else was injured due to the same condition?
Yes. A prior incident can help to prove that the owner knew of the dangerous condition and failed to correct the problem.
Is it OK that I gave a statement at the time of the incident?
Yes. An incident report can serve as proof that the accident happened where you claim and how you claim it happened. However, we do not recommend giving any statements directly to the insurance company.
Contact Our New York Train Accident Lawyers
The Kaplan Lawyers PC team has the experts on retainer to investigate, preserve evidence, and prove your case. But time is of the essence. If you or a family member has been injured on a train or at the station, contact our attorneys immediately or call us at (516) 399-2364 and harness our decades of experience to work for you. The consultation is free; we charge you nothing unless we win your case.