Your life in Brooklyn will never be the same once you become aware of the many types of accidents that take place on its streets. Surely, you were not as aware of the risk that everyday actions such as riding public transportation could entail. Accidents on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's public transportation services are one of those events that are very difficult to deal with due to the seriousness of the consequences and the number of human lives that may be involved.
Normally, these services are massive. This involves a high flow of passengers constantly making use of them. When we refer to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, we are not talking exclusively about buses but also about train systems, and the Subway, among other public options that are made available to citizens in the city of Brooklyn and the State of New York.
For the purpose of connecting its numerous diverse neighborhoods and communities, Brooklyn, one of New York City's thriving boroughs, heavily relies on the MTA's transportation services. Brooklyn residents frequently use the MTA buses and subways for transportation, whether they are going to work, school, or exploring the borough's cultural attractions.
However, collisions involving MTA vehicles can cause hardships in terms of one's health, finances, and emotional stability. A dedicated MTA accident lawyer is essential if you want to safeguard your rights and obtain the compensation you are due.
To illustrate these types of events a bit, our MTA bus accident Brooklyn's experts have reviewed their notes and files from the past, and we have found some examples of the most striking accidents in recent years involving the MTA in New York:
- December 1, 2013 - Metro-North Hudson Line Derailment: A Metro-North Hudson Line train derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station in the Bronx, resulting in four fatalities and numerous injuries—the accident was attributed to excessive speed.
- March 11, 2014 - Gas Explosion in East Harlem: An explosion caused by a gas leak destroyed two buildings in East Harlem, affecting the Metro-North Harlem Line's nearby tracks. Eight people lost their lives, and dozens were injured.
- January 4, 2017 - Long Island Rail Road Derailment: A Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) train derailed at the Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn, injuring more than 100 passengers. The accident was caused by operator error.
- March 27, 2017 - LIRR Train Crash at Atlantic Terminal: Another incident at the Atlantic Terminal occurred when an LIRR train struck a bumping block, injuring over 100 people. The cause was reported as an operator error.
- April 5, 2018 - MTA Bus and Tour Bus Collision: An MTA bus collided with a tour bus in Flushing, Queens, resulting in multiple fatalities and injuries. The accident was attributed to driver distraction.
- June 10, 2019 - Subway Conductor Assault: A subway conductor was assaulted while on duty in Brooklyn, highlighting concerns about the safety of MTA employees.
- January 15, 2020 - Subway Fare Evasion Incident: Video footage of a man being shoved onto the subway tracks during an argument raised safety concerns within the transit system.
- February 20, 2020 - MTA Bus Collision: Two MTA buses collided in Flushing, Queens, injuring several passengers. The MTA bus Brooklyn's accident was attributed to icy road conditions.
- June 22, 2020 - MTA Worker Killed by Falling Debris: A subway track worker was tragically killed when debris fell from an elevated track in Manhattan.
- October 17, 2020 - Subway Train Derailment: A subway train derailed in Brooklyn, resulting in no reported injuries, but it raised questions about subway infrastructure and maintenance.
As we can see, accidents are no stranger to MTA services. However, this is not a reason to simply criticize the public transportation alternatives provided by the city government for its citizens, but rather to find possible shortcomings that would help to rethink safety plans, as well as to understand how to improve as a city and as a State.
If you have been involved in an accident while using some of the services provided by the public transportation services, an MTA accident attorney from our team will be your best ally to face the challenges that such a lawsuit could generate. You need to identify the best strategy to avoid wasting time in front of a judge who may minimize your story if your strategy is not well thought out.
It is not easy to sue state entities. Do you believe that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has any legal responsibility for the accident you suffered? That has to be determined with factual facts, not with assumptions or abstract ideas. We are experts in going by the facts, and with the expertise of our experts, we can find aggravating elements that may favor your petition. Do not give up the game for loss before starting the contest.
Let's learn a little more about these particular cases. Join us to discover them.
Common Causes of MTA Accidents
The causes of accidents of this magnitude can be diverse; everything cannot be reduced to a single fact. Although sometimes there may be a single person who bears much of the responsibility for the events, it is not enough to have reductionist positions. Normally, these cases are multi-causal in nature. There is almost always more than one trigger.
The causes are usually connected; they can range from technical aspects to human errors. Or from human errors to climate catastrophes. Anyway. The cocktail of events that lead to a fatality of this type often involves aspects that are beyond the control of the authorities. They are chaotic elements that inevitably arise, but against which it is always better to be prepared. It is always best to have a plan to recover easily from events like the ones we are developing in this post.
Some of the most common causes that our experts have identified are the following:
• Operator Error: Mistakes made by train or bus operators, such as speeding, disregarding signals, or failing to follow safety protocols.
• Mechanical Failures: Malfunctions or failures of train or bus components due to inadequate maintenance or manufacturing defects.
• Signal Problems: Failures in the signaling systems that control train movements, which can lead to accidents.
• Track or Infrastructure Issues: Problems with the tracks, switches, or infrastructure, including obstructions on the tracks.
• Weather-Related Incidents: Adverse weather conditions like heavy snow, rain, or ice that can impact train and bus operations.
• Passenger Behavior: Disruptive or unsafe behavior by passengers, such as blocking doors, fighting, or attempting to access restricted areas.
• Subway Platform Accidents: Slip and fall accidents on subway platforms due to wet surfaces or inadequate maintenance.
• Pedestrian Accidents: Collisions between subway trains or buses and pedestrians, often at crosswalks or intersections.
• Bus-Related Accidents: Traffic accidents involving MTA buses and other vehicles, including collisions and pedestrian accidents.
• Maintenance Negligence: Inadequate maintenance and inspections of vehicles, tracks, and stations, leading to accidents.
• Derailments: Train cars leaving the tracks, often due to issues with rail integrity or track maintenance.
• Electrical Failures: Failures in the electrical systems that power trains and subway cars, leading to power outages or accidents.
• Security Concerns: Criminal activities within subway stations and on trains, including assaults, thefts, and vandalism.
• Emergency Braking: The improper use of emergency brakes by operators or sudden stops that result in passenger injuries.
• Communication Failures: Failures in communication systems that can impede emergency response or coordination during accidents.
Understanding Liability in MTA Accidents
As we mentioned before, the question regarding who should assume legal responsibilities when these types of events occur is very common among our lawyer colleagues. Regarding this, there are various positions. Some consider that the MTA bears much of the responsibility, while others are a little more conservative and do not rush to give a conclusion in a short time.
What we have concluded as a team is that it will always be important to carry out a thorough investigation. That is why, in our firm, we have specialists who are exclusively dedicated to investigating the details of the facts, collecting evidence, and thus being able to identify a legal path that helps reach the truth.
We have compiled some important points that can help the Over 6.5 million who are transported annually by the roughly 4,400 public buses run by the New York City Transit Authority to understand this aspect of legal responsibility, which can sometimes be immersed in a kind of legal terminology that is not understandable to everyone. However, we have tried to use simple language so that you can start handling these concepts without complications:
• MTA's Duty of Care: The MTA has a legal duty of care to ensure the safety of passengers and pedestrians. Under New York's premises liability law, property owners and operators, such as the MTA, are responsible for maintaining safe conditions on their premises, including subway stations and buses.
• Negligence Standard: Liability in MTA accidents often hinges on the concept of negligence. If it can be shown that the MTA or its employees breached their duty of care by acting negligently—such as failing to maintain subway tracks or operating a bus recklessly—they may be held liable for resulting injuries.
• Sovereign Immunity: New York law includes the doctrine of sovereign immunity, which generally provides immunity to government agencies like the MTA from certain types of lawsuits. However, there are exceptions, such as when the MTA's negligence leads to injuries, and claims are subject to the New York Court of Claims Act.
• Third-Party Liability: Liability in MTA accidents can also extend to third parties, such as contractors responsible for maintenance or other entities that contribute to accidents. The legal principle of vicarious liability may apply in some cases.
• Statute of Limitations: In Brooklyn, New York, personal injury claims, including those related to MTA accidents, are subject to statutes of limitations. Victims typically have a limited time frame to file a lawsuit, so seeking legal advice promptly is essential to protect their rights.
These ideas emphasize the significance of demonstrating negligence and abiding by specific legal requirements when pursuing a claim. They also help explain the legal framework surrounding liability in MTA accidents. To navigate these intricate legal issues, it is advisable to seek advice from an experienced lawyer.
Importance of Hiring an MTA Accident Lawyer
We will always emphasize the importance of a competent professional accompanying you during a process such as the one you wish to begin after being the victim of an accident on board one of the services provided by the MTA in New York.
Don't waste time navigating this process alone. It could create a David vs Goliath situation. Public entities have public defenders who also defend your interests, which is why it could take a lot of work to convince a judge that you deserve the corresponding compensation if you do not have a solid legal strategy.
In our offices, we have received several clients who, after seeing their attempts to handle their case on their own or with non-specialized lawyers frustrated, chose to delegate this type of case to true experts. That's where we come in. Once we communicate with you, you will notice the change in the process. Things will start to work in your favor.
Some important points in which our professionals can be of great help are the following:
• Legal Expertise: MTA accident lawyers are experienced in handling cases specific to public transportation accidents, possessing a deep understanding of relevant laws and regulations.
• Case Assessment: They can evaluate the strength of your case, helping you understand if you have a valid claim and the potential outcomes.
• Evidence Gathering: Lawyers have the resources and knowledge to gather crucial evidence, including surveillance footage, witness statements, and accident reports.
• Negotiation Skills: They are skilled negotiators who can engage with insurance companies or the MTA's legal team to seek fair settlements on your behalf.
• Legal Strategy: Crafting a solid legal strategy is vital. Lawyers can tailor an approach that maximizes your chances of success.
• Calculating Damages: MTA accident lawyers can accurately calculate your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, ensuring you seek fair compensation.
• Navigating Red Tape: Dealing with the MTA and government agencies can be complex. Lawyers can navigate bureaucracy efficiently to avoid delays.
• Statute of Limitations: They understand New York's statute of limitations, ensuring your claim is filed within the required time frame.
• No Upfront Costs: Many MTA accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay them only if they win your case, reducing financial stress.
• Get rid of unnecessary stress: Having legal representation provides peace of mind, knowing your rights are protected, and you have an advocate fighting for your best interests.
"For waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers." - Proverbs 24:6. Don't think about it too much. Your best advisors are in the offices of The Ward Law. Find us at 535 5th Ave Suite 910, New York, NY 10017.