The subway is a part of life in New York and hard to avoid if you want to get around in the city. In 2020, on average, more than two million individuals rode the subway each day, according to the MTA. In pre-pandemic times, daily passenger figures were as high as 5.6 million. However, subways can also be dangerous places, with accidents that cause injury and sometimes death to passengers.
If you suffered harm while using the subway, whether in a train accident, slip and fall, or an assault, you could have legal options for recovering compensation. You could qualify for damages such as healthcare costs, pain and suffering, loss of wages, and others. However, you need to act fast as suing a government agency such as MTA has to be initiated within 90 days of your injury. If you are looking for an MTA subway accident lawyer, Morgan & Morgan’s experienced and determined attorneys are here for you. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case.
Reasons for NYC Subway Accidents
Although public transit is a relatively safe mode of transport, when subway accidents happen, they can be deadly. According to the New York Post, in the first half of 2021 alone, 73 persons were struck by subway trains. There can be various reasons for MTA subway accidents, such as:
The MTA must ensure thatequipment such as signals, train carriages, and tracks is maintained and serviced adequately. Failure of equipment or lack of maintenance can cause derailments, catastrophic injuries, and loss of life. Examples of subway equipment failure include:
- Faulty brakes
- Defective or obstructed rail tracks
- Malfunctioning gates or warning lights
- Faulty communication devices
- Malfunctioning subway doors
Human error can also be a factor in subway accidents. A subway train operator could be negligent and responsible for an accident, for example, due to intoxication, distraction, or failure to follow safety policies.
Types of Subway Accidents
Subway accidents in NYC can come in many forms ranging from tragic derailments impacting many passengers, to individuals slipping and falling on the platform. Examples of accidents that can occur due to the MTA’s negligence include:
- Collisions and derailments
- Passengers getting injured in sudden stops
- Defective doors trapping passengers
- People being struck by the train
- Falling when exiting or entering the train
- Malfunctioning turnstyles
- Slip and falls due to cracks in floors, debris, or slippery surfaces
- Attacks and criminal assaults due to lack of security
If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a subway accident, seek legal advice as soon as possible. You only have 90 days to file a notice of claim with the government, which will be crucial if you intend to file a lawsuit and pursue compensation for your injuries.
Common Injuries in NYC Subway Accidents
Common injuries in subway accidents can include:
- Bone fractures
- Traumatic brain injury
- Neck and back injury
- Severed limbs
- Internal bleeding and internal organ injury
- Muscle and tendon injuries
- Spinal cord damage and paralysis
Catastrophic injuries, while causing much pain and emotional distress, can also lead to financial chaos. However, even a minor injury such as a dislocation or small fracture could lead to several weeks of lost income and steep medical bills. If the MTA is responsible for your injury and expenses, the authority should pay for the damages and not you.
Compensation You Could Receive
If you can successfully hold the MTA or another responsible party accountable for your accident, you could qualify for a range of damages, including but not limited to:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Transportation costs
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of life quality
Wrongful Death Subway Accident Lawsuit
If your loved one died in a subway accident, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit and seek damages. However, to qualify for a wrongful death lawsuit, you will have to prove that your loved one’s death was caused by the negligence or misconduct of the MTA, its employees, or another liable party.
Damages Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Surviving family members could qualify for a range of damages, including but not limited to:
- Burial and funeral costs
- Healthcare costs before death
- Lost income and lost future income from the deceased
- Lost benefits such as health insurance
- The value of the deceased’s support and services
- Lost inheritance
Tips for Finding the Best MTA Subway Accident Attorney
Having a motivated and experienced advocate by your side can be essential for your case and peace of mind when you get hurt. Naturally, you will want to work with the best personal injury lawyers when standing up to a powerful government entity. While searching for a suitable attorney can seem stressful when you are still recovering, here are some tips that could help:
Ask Friends and Family for Help
You are probably not feeling your best after a subway accident. However, timely action is crucial when you are looking to hold the MTA to account. Therefore, tapping your network for help and advice can be a great first step. Your friends, family members, or coworkers may be able to recommend an attorney or firm they know personally.
Search for an MTA Subway Accident Attorney Online
The internet offers many resources for finding lawyers and law firms in your area. You could start by typing “subway accident lawyer near me” into the search bar. Some websites, such as Martindale Hubble or Avvo, offer information about attorneys, including their practice areas and credentials.
Meet Your Potential Attorneys Personally
The best next step, provided that you are well enough, can be scheduling a free consultation to get to know the law firm and attorney and get legal advice. If you are still recovering from your injuries, you could ask for a telephone consultation. Some lawyers are also happy to visit you in the hospital to discuss your case.
What to Look for in an MTA Subway Lawyer
Filing a lawsuit against the government is no easy feat and involves additional steps and considerations. Therefore, your prospective attorney should have experience in handling such cases, including trial experience. Other aspects you should consider before hiring an attorney include:
- Have they handled public transit injury cases?
- Do they work on a “no-win-no-fee” basis?
- Have they had success at trials?
- Are they experienced in negotiating out-of-court settlements?
Importantly, do not forget to listen to your gut feelings when choosing an attorney. You may be spending a great deal of time with them when filing a lawsuit, so make sure you feel comfortable with the person and firm you choose.