Public Transit Accidents
New York City residents and tourists are known to avoid relying on personal vehicles to navigate the city's busy streets and avenues. NYC has one of the world's largest and busiest public transportation systems, including buses, subways, and trains operated by public transportation agencies like the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The network is so efficient that 54% of households in NYC don't own a car.
NYC relies heavily on public transit, but this kind of transportation can prove extremely dangerous when operated negligently or recklessly. Transit passengers are at risk of being wounded. Essentially, you're at the hands of the public employees who drive and maintain the trains, subways, and buses.
New York City Mass Transit Lawyers
Unfortunately, public transit accidents in NYC happen every day. Victims are entitled to compensation for expenses associated with the injury. If you were hurt in an accident, speak to a NY accident lawyer today. At The Ward Law Group, our MTA accident attorneys fight for victims of public transit accidents. We are here to help. Contact us for your free case evaluation.
Common Types & Causes of Public Transportation Accidents
Millions of passengers use the MTA every year. The NYC Transit Authority, PATH, and Metro-North Rail also host millions of riders. New Yorkers depend on public transit for their everyday commute, while millions of tourists use buses and subways to explore the city.
Even with safety measures to minimize the risk of accidents, like regular maintenance of vehicles and tracks, safety training for employees, and technology to monitor and control operations, accidents still happen.
Subway Accidents: NYC subway accidents are usually caused by subway derailments, sudden stops, insufficient maintenance, or equipment installation. Injuries can also result from falling on the subway platform, assault, or entrapment between subway doors. MTA records show nearly 50 people were struck and killed by subway trains or found dead on the tracks during the first eight months of 2021.
Bus Accidents: New York bus accidents can happen with the bus collides with another vehicle or standing object. Inclement weather, improper maintenance, or failure to replace faulty parts may also cause bus accidents.
Train Accidents: Most NY train accidents happen when a train collides with another train or vehicle. These accidents commonly result from driver negligence, operator fatigue, or mechanical failures.
Who is Responsible for a Public Transit Accident?
If someone else's negligence causes your wounds, you have the right to get compensation for your injuries. However, the liable party in a public transit accident will depend on the unique circumstances of the accident.
Parties that could be held responsible for a public transit accident in NYC include:
- The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The MTA operates NYC's subway, bus, and commuter rail systems. If the carelessness of an MTA employee causes an accident, the agency may be held responsible.
- Private companies operate some public transportation vehicles. These companies may be held responsible for accidents caused by their employees.
- If a vehicle defect causes an accident, the manufacturer of the vehicle or parts may be liable.
- Other drivers can cause public transit accidents. For example, if a car causes a bus crash, the driver could be responsible for the resulting injuries and damages.
How Can a NY Public Transit Accident Attorney Help?
The Ward Law Group offers legal representation for victims injured on subways and other forms of mass transit. We specialize in helping injured parties receive the compensation they deserve after an accident. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will:
- Assess your case to ensure it's valued correctly.
- Investigate the cause of your public transportation accident. We look at surveillance footage, get eyewitness testimony, and photos or videos taken by other passengers.
- Correctly identify the parties responsible for your accident.
- Negotiate with insurance companies and defense attorneys who will try to decrease your claim's value.
- Prepare a strong case on your behalf so we can fight for you at trial if needed. We have extensive experience settling in and outside of the courtroom.
Common Injuries Caused by Public Transportation in New York
Accidents on public transport can cause injuries from minor abrasions to life-threatening injuries. Below are common injuries that can occur in public transportation accidents.
- Broken or fractured bones
- Head injuries, including concussions, traumatic brain injuries, or other head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries, including sprains or other soft tissue injuries in the neck, back, or limbs.
- Cuts and lacerations
- Internal injuries
- Burns or some inhalation from a fire
- Permanent disability
- Limb amputation
- Wrongful death
- Nerve damage
- Vision or hearing loss
Damages can have extreme and long-lasting consequences, including staggering medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our public transportation accident lawyers in NYC handle all kinds of accidents. We're here to help you defend your legal rights and options for seeking compensation for your injuries.
What Should You Do After a NYC Public Transportation Accident?
Getting into an accident is a terrifying situation. However, knowing what to do after an accident can help protect your health, safety, and legal rights.
- Always seek medical attention if you have been harmed in any NYC public transit accident. Even if you can walk away from the scene, visit a doctor as soon as possible. Some severe and life-threatening injuries like head injuries or internal bleeding are not always immediately apparent.
- Report the accident to the appropriate authorities. This could be with the MTA, The Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH), or the bus or train operator.
- Get in touch with a New York transit injury lawyer.
- Keep track of your expenses related to your accident, like medical bills, property damage, or lost wages. These records will help you build your case.
Note: Insurance companies almost always put up a fight. Don't speak to insurance adjusters or sign documents until you have talked to a NY accident lawyer. Insurance companies may try to settle for less than you deserve, and an attorney will help you negotiate a fair settlement.
What Kind of Compensation Can You Get?
NYC public transit accident victims are entitled to compensation for expenses associated with the injury.
Some examples of damages include:
- Compensation for past and future medical bills. These fees include emergency room costs, prescription medication, follow-up visits, physical therapy, or surgery bills.
- Long-term health care or assistance. Some victims may require life-long care, including in-home health care.
- You may be entitled to childcare costs if you have children and cannot care for them during your recovery.
- You can recover compensation for lost wages due to your injuries. Lost wages also include potential salaries and the loss of your ability to earn a living in the future.
- If your personal property was damaged or destroyed in an accident that wasn't your fault, you might qualify for compensation.
- Diminished quality of life. Quality of life claims are designed to compensate people for the reduced enjoyment of life caused by an accident.
- You might be able to seek damages for pain and suffering if your injuries caused extreme emotional distress directly related to the accident.
- If you're the family or loved ones of a victim who lost their life in a NY transit accident, you may be entitled to damages for wrongful death.
What Happens if You're Partially at Fault for the Accident?
You can still receive compensation even if you were somewhat at fault for the accident. This is because New York uses a comparative negligence fault model, meaning each party is responsible for their percentage of fault. So, for example, you could be 99% at fault and recover compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.
Statute of Limitations for Public Transportation Accidents in NY
If you're filing a personal injury claim, the statute of limitations in New York is generally three years from the date of your accident. However, exceptions exist if you're filing a lawsuit against a government agency, like the MTA. For example, time constraints for filing an NYC subway accident claim are limited.
In most public transit accident cases, you must file a claim within 90 days of the accident. Time limits cannot be extended even if your damages are severe. Therefore, it's always best to seek legal assistance as quickly as possible after an accident to ensure you are not barred by law from taking legal action. If you have been involved in a public transportation accident in NYC, speak with a New York transit accident attorney to understand your legal rights and options. Your attorney can help to ensure that all deadlines and requirements are met and assist in pursuing compensation for injuries or damages.
Talk to a New York Transit Accident Lawyer Today
The NY public transit accident lawyers at The Ward Law Group help victims of all kinds of public transit accidents. Our personal injury lawyers offer free consultations to help you determine your eligibility for a claim.
If you were hurt in a public transit accident, get help today by calling an experienced NYC accident lawyer. The Ward Law Group proudly serves accident victims in the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.