Railroad Accident Lawyers in New York

New York Attorneys are experts in helping victims of train or other railway accidents get the compensation necessary to get on with their lives.

Taking the train is a way of life for many New York commuters. The Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad had a combined ridership of 170.5 million passengers in 2014, making them the busiest commuter railroads in the nation. They run nearly 1,500 trains per day serving almost 250 stations in 15 counties. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) says its customers increasingly rely on the railroads for transportation beyond traditional Manhattan commutes.

New York City is also served by Amtrak, with thousands of trains moving through Penn Station to serve the northeast and points south.

Considering the amount of railroad activity in New York, it is not surprising that people sustain serious injuries every day on trains, platforms and tracks, and at train stations in New York. Amtrak and local railroads have a legal responsibility for the safety of passengers who use their trains and stations. People injured in railroad accidents, or the families of those who die in railroad fatalities, may have a right to compensation for their losses if negligence played a role in the accident.

New York City injury attorney from Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek can investigate the specifics of your railroad accident to determine the factors contributing to the accident. From there, we can help you to pursue legal action against the responsible party.

Common Causes of Railroad Accidents

There are numerous ways railroad and train accidents occur and cause serious and disabling injuries to the accident victim. They include:

  • Derailments
  • Collisions
  • Lurching (abruptly stopping and starting)
  • Electrical shocks and explosions, and fire
  • Railroad crossing accidents involving motor vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, etc.

Many railroad accidents are caused by falls due to negligence, including falls from a platform onto railroad tracks or a slip-and-fall accident on a train, a station stairway. A person may also slip and have their foot or leg become lodged in the gap between the platform and the train. Slip-and-fall accidents typically occur because someone has neglected to clean up a spill or wetness caused by inclement weather and a walking surface has become slippery.

Train accidents are frequently the culmination of a sequence of events. Train accident causes may include failures attributed to:

  • Train Operation/Human Factor

    • Train handling (conductor’s actions, inaction)
    • Railroad employee’s physical condition (i.e., impaired by alcohol, drugs, fatigue, illness)
    • Train speed
    • Use of brakes
    • Train makeup (number of cars). The total weight and length of a train has implications for speed, rounding corners, stopping, etc.
    • Signals and communication
    • Main track authority (i.e., was the train proceeding as authorized and was the authorization correct)
    • Improper loading.
  • Mechanical and Electrical Failures

    • Trailer or container on flatcar
    • Train car body
    • Coupler and draft system
    • Track components
    • Axles and journal bearings
    • Wheels
    • Locomotives
    • Doors
    • General mechanical electrical failure.
  • Track, Roadbed and Structure

    • Roadbed
    • Track geometry
    • Rail joint bar and rail anchoring
    • Frog, switches and track appliances
    • Highway-rail grade crossings
    • Other way and structure problems.

Additionally, railroad accidents may be caused by unusual operational situations or environmental conditions that could not be foreseen.

Compensation for Railroad Accident Victims

Multiple agencies including the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), New York’s MTA and local police may be involved in the investigation of a major railroad accident. Injuries involving individuals in a train station or on a platform may be analyzed quickly, but investigating a train derailment, collision or fire is a complex undertaking requiring specialized knowledge and painstaking work.

Meanwhile, recovering from injuries suffered in a railroad accident can be costly and time consuming. Not only is there physical pain and discomfort, there can be emotional damage as well as stress from the interruption to your life. In some cases, individuals with disabling injuries must learn to adapt to a whole new way of life.

At Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., we understand the effects such an accident can cause. We work to identify all the factors that contributed to your injury and connect your personal losses to the broader picture of a railroad accident and the findings of investigative agencies. For individual accidents, such as slip-and-fall cases, and assaults, we conduct independent investigations to ensure that all of the facts surrounding your losses are made evident. When necessary, we have a network of forensic specialists and accident reconstruction engineers whose expertise we call upon to analyze technical data associated with accidents that involve train operations and maintenance, track maintenance or design, communication systems, defective parts, and faulty electrical systems. They prepare analytical reports to support your case and serve as expert witnesses if your case goes to trial.

Whatever your circumstances, we are here to help. We will vigorously pursue compensation for your financial losses, including past, current and future medical costs, along with damages for the pain and suffering you have experienced. We have recovered more than $250 million for our clients and will always pursue the maximum cash award.

It is important to understand that because of the complexity of railroad accident cases, they are often time consuming. But New York’s statute of limitations requires personal injury victims to file claims within three years of the date of their accident or from the date that their injuries became evident. It is best to begin work in a timely manner to ensure you are on record with a legal claim and your rights are not denied due to the statute of limitations.

Contact Our New York Railroad Accident Attorneys

If you have been injured in an accident involving the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, Amtrak or another railway operating in New York, get the help of an experienced legal team that has the resources to ensure your case is pursued aggressively. Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. will respond to your needs promptly and handle your case on a contingency-fee basis. Our clients pay no fees up front and, if we do not obtain a settlement or court award, the client pays no legal fees at all.

Please contact Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. for a free, no obligation initial consultation about your case. The time to get started is today.


Metropolitan Transit Authority – Ridership Rises Again on MTA’s Railroads in 2014