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NYC Subway Accidents

Many people rely on the New York City subway system because it’s convenient, efficient, and reasonably priced. However, it’s not as safe as you’d think. According to the 2017 Annual Report prepared by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the customer injury rate on subways was 2.82 for every 1 million riders. Ridership that year reached 1.73 billion, which means that thousands of people incurred injuries in subway accidents. That figure may seem small compared to the rate of car accidents, but that’s no consolation if you’re one of the injured victims. Under such circumstances, you need an experienced New York subway accident lawyer to represent your interests.

Causes of NY Subway Accidents

Catastrophic subway derailments, head-on collisions, and victims struck by a train may make headlines, but there are many other factors behind accidents on NYC subways. Some of the most common types of injuries on subway platforms, stations, stairs, and associated areas include:

  • Accidental falls due to faulty or broken railings
  • Slippery or wet subway platforms
  • Burns from fires or explosions
  • Tripping as a result of poor or non-existent lighting
  • Defective escalators and elevators
  • Electric shock from defective or loose wiring
  • Failure to post warning signs about construction hazards
  • Wet, slick stairs and floor surfaces
  • Crushing due to operator error in closing subway doors
  • Falls from subway trains stopping too quickly

These incidents are traumatic for victims who suffer head trauma, broken bones, spinal cord damage, amputations, and other serious injuries. Even minor bodily harm, such as cuts, abrasions, bruises, whiplash, and other soft tissue injuries can result in considerable losses.

What to Do After a Subway Accident

At the scene of the accident, you may receive assistance from first responders and officials from the MTA, New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA), or other law enforcement.

Consult a subway accident lawyer.

As soon as you’re physically able, reach out to an attorney who focuses on New York subway accidents and passenger injuries. There are additional tasks to handle, and your lawyer can take the lead by:

  • Conducting a thorough investigation of the causes and contributing factors behind the accident
  • Researching potential parties that may be liable for your injuries
  • Reaching out to potential witnesses that can corroborate your version of events
  • Working with medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, and other professionals that support your claim for compensation
  • Filing a claim with NYCTA, MTA, or other potential parties
  • Advising you on the next steps of your case
  • Take your case to trial, if necessary

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Liability in Subway Accidents

Many of the scenarios listed above can be avoided if subway officials, employees, equipment manufacturers, and other responsible parties exercise reasonable care. Fortunately, New York law does provide you with rights as an injury victim, and a subway accident lawyer can explain relevant statutes in more detail. Some familiar concepts of personal injury law apply to such claims, so you may be able to recover compensation for your losses if you can prove the essential elements of a negligence case:

  • A person or entity associated with subway operations owed you a duty of care to provide a safe riding experience
  • That party breached the legal duty of care through a careless act or failure to act
  • The breach directly caused the accident in which you were hurt
  • You suffered losses as a result of incurring these injuries

However, beyond these elements, some legal issues are unique to New York subway accidents. For one, the MTA and NYCTA are government-affiliated bodies, and there are strict rules regarding personal injury claims. According to the New York City Comptroller’s Office, such a claim must be filed directly with the relevant authority. In addition, the deadlines for these claims are much shorter than the statutes of limitations that apply to most personal injury cases. You must file a notice of claim with 90 days after you’re injured in a subway accident. For these and many other reasons, retaining an MTA accident lawyer is essential.

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Trust HKD With Your Subway Claim

As the victim of an MTA accident, you need a skilled legal advocate to fight for your right to compensation for your considerable losses. Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. will tackle the legal challenges involved with filing a claim so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.

To schedule a free consultation of your case, contact us today at (212) 490-5700.

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