New York City is home to the oldest public transit system in the world. Since its inception in 1904, the subway has been critical in connecting millions of people between cities and is a catalyst for creating thousands of jobs under the New York City Transit Authority and the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

A twenty-four hour, seven days a week franchise, the subway carries commuters throughout the four boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, to nearly 500 stations spanning over 230 miles.

While stringent safety standards exist to culminate any incidents, accidents still occur in the subway, and are most always very serious leading to grievous injuries or death.  An ordinary day in New York can unexpectedly turn anyone’s mundane life upside down when a reliable system become entirely dangerous.

Types of Subway Accidents

If you become a victim of a New York City subway accident, you will need strong representation in order to be granted compensation. You should seek counsel from an experienced train accident lawyer if you’ve been involved in any of the following incidents:

  • Collisions
  • Trip, slip and falls in the stations, or inside subway cars
  • Injury or death when personal property gets caught on the gate
  • Transit work accidents
  • Car mishaps
  • Hit by trains pulling up
  • Tripping and falling into track trenches
  • Subway assaults and pushes
  • Caught in doors of cars
  • Injuries sustained during sudden stops

These accidents are preventable, and a lack of funding for critical infrastructure is responsible for most tragedies. The unions have enacted contracts upon transit workers burdened with concessions and givebacks that lower their livelihoods and lead to dangerous working conditions that historically cause death and permanent injuries.

It is the bankruptcy of the system for which train maintenance and subway stations receive poor treatment. Most causalities result from individuals falling into the trenches and tracks while embarking or disembarking from a subway car.

The MTA asserts that subway deaths have held constant over the past decade, and that it is aggressively launching action plans to raise awareness and promote safety. Currently, the agency is experimenting with intrusion detectors, which would identify if someone has entered the track bed.

Derailments, while rare, harm hundreds at once since most passengers are standing during travel. A train may move violently from side to side, straphangers flung, lights flicker and passengers scream in terror.

Trips and falls on staircases or platforms are common accidents related to the New York subway. Your location and reason for the fall are the two most important factors when seeking to file a complaint for an injury sustained. The Transit Police can aid in identifying the precise staircase, landing or platform, as they are numbered for categorical purposes. If you do suffer a fall, it is best to stay in the location (unless it presents imminent danger) until emergency teams respond.

Accidents and derailments could lead to:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Permanent head injuries
  • Fractures
  • Asphyxiation

In the rare occurrence of a derailment, until emergency teams arrive for help, the waiting period could be a nightmare. It’s often hours that victims are stranded underground in darkness as power is usually cut to avoid the risk of fires. When rescue workers arrive, able bodied passengers are guided through the tunnels to the nearest evacuation routes where they may have to climb ladders or pass through grates. It is all the more difficult to transport extremely injured passengers from accident sites inside the tunnels.

New York subway accident attorneys are exceptionally skillful in handling the rules and regulations of the MTA, and possess concrete command over the legal implications of all situational coincidences.

How to File a Claim

Injury claims against governmental entities in New York have notice of claim requirements that must be met before you can suitably succeed in a personal injury lawsuit. If you fail to properly and timely file a notice of claim, your claim will be dismissed with no chance of refiling. A notice of claim must be filed in writing.

In the case of the MTA, a Notice of Claim needs to be filed within 90 days from the date and time of the accident.

The statute of limitations applicable to a municipality such as the City of New York is shorter than the normal statute of limitations that applies to other types negligence claims such as medical malpractice. The statute of limitations is 1 year from the accrual of injury when filing a Notice of Claim against the MTA.

The New York City Comptroller’s Office is responsible for overseeing the resolution and settlement of claims filed against or on behalf of the City of New York. After a claim is received, the Comptroller’s Office will investigate the claim. The Comptroller’s Office may extend an offer to settle the claim based on the results of the investigation, however undergoing the process alone can be daunting, time consuming and frustrating. Trust a New York subway accident attorney with a history of winning claims against the MTA to ensure you get the justice you deserve.

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