Millions of locals and tourists ride the subway systems in New York City and elsewhere daily. Overcrowding, wet and slippery walkways, and debris on the ground can cause devastating slip and fall injuries. While falls may only lead to scrapes and bruises, some individuals could see their entire lives turned upside down due to a severe fall in the subway. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the primary cause of injuries and deaths among older Americans.
If you or a loved one got hurt in a subway station, you could be entitled to damages, including loss of wages, healthcare expenses, and more. However, suing a public transit authority can be tricky. Injured passengers could face hurdles such as a limited time to file their lawsuit.
However, you don’t have to struggle with a personal injury claim alone. Morgan & Morgan’s subway slip and fall accident lawyers are ready to help you pursue what you deserve if you get injured on the subway. Contact us for a free case review to learn of your legal rights and options today.
Reasons for Subway Slips and Falls
Negligence of a local transport authority can result in devastating accidents and injuries for subway riders. Some common reasons for subway slip and fall accidents leading to personal injury lawsuits can include:
- Ice or snow-covered steps leading in and out of subway stations
- Poorly lit stations
- Uneven or broken steps
- Broken flooring
- Trash and other debris on station floors and platforms
- Lack of stairway handrails
- Slippery and wet floors lacking warning signs
- Cracks or potholes
- Unsafe conditions during construction and maintenance work
While the weather or other passenger’s mess is not the local transport authority’s fault, there should be a regular schedule of cleaning and maintenance addressing hazards at subway stations and on platforms. Cleaning crews should remove ice, snow, and trash from platforms, stairs, and walkways to reduce the possibility of passenger falls. Many falls could be avoided with adequate subway housekeeping and maintenance.
Do You Have a Case Against a Local Transport Authority?
According to premises liability law, public and private property owners have a duty to keep patrons and visitors safe from hazards. In most cases, this means either repairing an issue or warning the general public of dangers. Most subway stations have signs warning passengers to stay away from tracks and other potentially dangerous areas. However, there can be little or no warning of safety issues brought on by other passengers or inclement weather. If you get hurt due to a hazard in a station, you could have a legal case and seek damages.
Suing the MTA or Another Transport Authority
Suing the MTA and other public transport authorities can be tricky. First, you must prove that the injury happened due to the authority’s negligence. You and your attorney will have to show the following four elements of a personal injury lawsuit:
- The subway operator owed you a duty of care.
- They breached that duty by failing to fix a hazard or warn of a dangerous condition.
- The breach caused your slip and fall accident and injury.
- You suffered tangible damages such as medical bills, income losses, or others.
While suing a public transit authority is possible, filing a claim can be full of challenges and pitfalls. Most public transport agencies are government-owned, meaning the legal process can involve additional steps and shorter timelines than other personal injury lawsuits.
Government agencies, such as the MTA and others, are generally protected from lawsuits due to the legal doctrine of sovereign immunity. Some states have waived sovereign immunity so those who get hurt in a public transport accident can pursue compensation. However, there are still restrictions and hurdles for victims seeking justice. For example, if you intend to sue the MTA, you have to first file a Notice of Claim within 90 days of your slip and fall accident. Failing to do so could bar you from seeking compensation.
Consult With a Subway Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
If you are injured in a subway accident, acting quickly can be critical for preserving your legal rights. If you suffered severe injuries, consider seeking legal advice immediately. Our slip and fall attorneys know how to sue public transit authorities like the MTA and fight for what you deserve. Without the help of a seasoned lawyer, you could risk leaving money on the table by accepting a settlement without knowing what your case is truly worth. Morgan & Morgan never settles for less because we believe our clients deserve the true value of their claim.
Subway Slip and Fall Injuries
According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), falls lead to more than 8 million emergency room visits annually. Slips and falls can lead to significant and debilitating injuries, requiring extensive medical care and rehabilitation therapies. In the worst cases, fall victims die or could be permanently disabled, needing round-the-clock care. The CDC says that older individuals can be so severely impacted by a fall that they may never be able to live independently again.
Injuries in a subway slip and fall accident can include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other head and neck injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Pelvic fractures and other broken bones
- Back injuries such as fractured vertebrae and slipped discs
- Spinal cord damage and paralysis
Slips and falls are not only damaging to a victim’s health but could also cause financial turmoil for them and their families due to loss of wages and astronomical medical bills. However, if you or a loved one slipped and fell in a subway station, you could qualify for compensation. An experienced subway slip and fall accidents lawyer can assess your claim, explain your options, and fight for what you deserve.
Your Next Best Steps After a Subway Slip and Fall
Knowing what to do after a subway slip and fall can be critical for protecting your legal rights. Your best next steps can include:
- Identify witnesses and ask for their contact details
- Take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries
- See a doctor to treat and record your injuries
- File an accident report with the subway authority
- Collect receipts for any out-of-pocket expenses
- Call a slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible
Seeing a doctor and getting legal advice can be your most important actions when you get injured in the subway.