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What To Do If You’re Injured in a New York Transportation Accident

What To Do If You’re Injured In A New York Transportation Accident

You rely on the New York City public transportation system to get around town because of its convenience, affordability, and efficiency. However, even though the subways and buses are comparatively safer than other forms of travel, a transportation accident can and does still happen with alarming frequency. According to the 2018 Annual Report prepared by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the customer injury rate on subways was 2.97 per million riders; the same statistic for buses was 1.51 per million riders. Considering the fact that overall ridership was 2.56 billion that year, the date reveals that almost 11,500 people were hurt in transportation accidents.

While you may be aware that you have rights as a victim, you may not realize that MTA accident claims are far more complicated than other personal injury cases. Any time you’re dealing with a government body, there are separate rules and regulations – in addition to those that apply in traditional injury maters. As such, it’s essential to work with a New York transportation accident attorney who has specific experience in these claims. You might also benefit from reviewing some of the basic legal concepts.

Common Causes of MTA Accidents:

You may read about subway derailments and collisions between trains in the news, but there are many other types of incidents involving public transportation. Accidents frequently occur on platforms, stations, stairs, depots, and the surrounding areas, such as:

  1. Falls due to broken railings;

  2. Slippery subway platforms;

  3. Burn injuries from fires or explosions;

  4. Crashes between an MTA bus and other vehicle;

  5. Pedestrians or bicyclists getting hit by a bus;

  6. Trips because of poor lighting;

  7. Injuries from defective escalators and elevators;

  8. Electrocution from subway tracks, which have 600 volts of electricity coursing through them;

  9. Falls from broken stairs and debris on floor surfaces;

  10. Crushing from closing subway or bus doors;

  11. Trauma from subway trains stopping too quickly;

  12. Getting caught in defective turnstiles;

  13. Attacks and other intentional criminal acts that occur because of inadequate security; and,

  14. Many more.

Legal Basis for Transportation Injury Liability:

The vast majority of public transit accidents are preventable. They only happen because MTA officials, employees, train and bus manufacturers, and related parties failed to exercise reasonable care. As a victim, you do have rights under the same legal concepts that apply to other personal injury claims. To recover compensation, you need to prove the essential elements of negligence:

  1. The MTA owed you a duty of care to prove safe transportation;

  2. An employee, official, or associated entity breached this legal duty of care through careless acts or the failure to act;

  3. The breach was a direct cause of the subway or bus accident in which you were hurt; and,

  4. You suffered losses as a result of your injuries.

In addition, though it’s not an element, there are strict time deadlines that you need to comply with to preserve your claim. You might expect that the New York’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases provides you with three years to file a lawsuit, but this is NOT the case. The reason is that you’re pursuing the MTA, a government body, when you seek monetary damages for your losses. Under the legal doctrine of sovereign immunity, you can only sue a government entity in limited, designated situations. If you do have a qualifying claim for personal injuries from a public transportation accident, you need to comply with a specific set of regulations – including a different statute of limitations. As such, when you’re seeking compensation from the MTA, you must file the proper forms within 90 days after the accident.

Monetary Damages for Public Transportation Injuries:

When you file a qualifying claim and establish your right to compensation, you may be able to recover for a wide range of losses for your injuries. Depending on your specific circumstances, compensation may be available for:

  1. Your medical bills for treatment, including emergency care, surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy, wheelchairs and other assistive devices, treatment from specialists, and related costs;

  2. Lost wages, if you missed work because of your injuries;

  3. Lost future earning capacity, where you’re unable to return to your chose occupation;

  4. Pain and suffering;

  5. Scarring and disfigurement;

  6. Diminished quality of life; and,

  7. Losses that affect your personal relationships with your spouse, children, and other loved ones.

Contact an Experienced New York Transportation Accident Lawyer Regarding Your Claim

If you were hurt in an MTA accident, you need an experienced legal advocate who focuses on cases involving public transportation entities. Our team at The Mandel Law Firm is prepared to take on the challenges, but time is of the essence in getting started on an effective strategy. Please contact us today to set up a free case evaluation with one of our skilled personal injury attorneys. You can reach our Manhattan office at (646) 770-3868 or visit us online to learn more about our legal services.

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