New Yorkers joke about how crowded and unreliable the New York subway system can be. What’s not a joking matter is how often NYC subway accidents and injuries occur.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) operates subways 24 hours a day in four New York City boroughs and transports some 1.73 billion riders a year. In its 2017 annual report, the MTA says it had a customer injury rate for subways of 2.82 per million riders—a rate that was 12.4 percent above the transit authority’s target rate.
If you are injured or a loved one of yours is seriously injured or killed while using the New York City subway system, the MTA may in some cases be legally liable. But filing a claim against the MTA is complicated because the MTA is a government agency. At David Resnick & Associates, P.C., we have experience representing NYC residents, workers and tourists who have been injured in city subway accidents.
Most Likely Ways to be Injured on the New York Subway
Accidents that include subway train derailments or a passenger being struck by a train make headlines. But New York City subway riders are regularly injured aboard trains, while boarding and exiting trains, while standing on platforms waiting for trains, and while entering and exiting subway stations. Many subway accidents occur without being reported beyond the victims’ doctors, families, friends and co-workers.
Subway accidents can lead to injuries such as broken bones, head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal bleeding, torn ligaments, lacerations and contusions.
New York subway riders are most often injured in accidental falls. A fall can be caused by:
- Subway trains lurching due to operator error
- Slippery subway platforms
- Wet and slippery station stairs, ramps, floors
- Obstructed or dark walkway
- Malfunctioning escalators and elevators.
Other common subway accidents and injuries include:
- Crush injuries from train doors closing too quickly
- “Stabbing” injuries from malfunctioning turnstiles
- Burns and smoke inhalation from subway fires
- Electrical shocks from malfunctions on trains or in stations
- Assault and battery allowed by inadequate security and/or poor lighting.
In 2016, the New York Post’s Andrea Peyser said “Some 150 people are struck by trains each year, 50 or more fatally. Many subway injuries are caused by lack of maintenance and hazardous conditions in subway stations and on subway trains. It may be possible to seek compensation from the MTA after a subway injury. But you will need to act quickly.
What to Do after a Subway Accident and Injury
After being injured in a subway accident, you may be assisted by MTA police or staff, or other NYC law enforcement. Always cooperate with law enforcement. If you are seriously injured, let emergency responders take care of you and seek medical attention.
As you deal with MTA officials or other authorities, it is important to protect your rights to a potential legal claim. Such a claim may result in a payment to help you with the costs of medical care, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other expenses related to your injury. You can help or hurt your claim after an accident.
Here are some steps you should take, as you are able:
- Don’t blame anyone. Do not say anything about whether you or anyone else caused your accident. Just stick with what happened if asked: I fell, the doors slammed shut on me, I was knocked down. Do not accept blame for your accident. Don’t sign anything regarding the accident unless you have talked to a lawyer about it.
- Photograph what happened. If you are able to do so, take photos of the accident site, the train, station platform, and anything that contributed to your accident. Take photos of your injuries also. Get the names and contact information of anyone at the subway station or on the train who witnessed your accident.
- See a doctor. If you did not need emergency care, you still need to see a doctor within 24 to 48 hours of an accident. A medical exam will officially document the fact that you were injured and could identify a serious injury that has not yet caused symptoms to alert you to a medical problem.
- Write down what happened. After you are settled at home or admitted to the hospital, make notes about what happened while your memory is still fresh. Write out where and when you got to the station and/or on the train, where you were going, what you were carrying, where you sat or stood. Write down your best recollection of what happened to you.
- Don’t publicize your accident. Do not put any details of your injuries, your impending claim against the MTA, your expectations for compensation or anything about the accident on social media. You could easily damage a potential claim and not be able to obtain compensation you deserve to have.
Talk to a Subway Injury Lawyer in New York ASAP
After being injured in a NYC subway accident, you have 90 days to file a notice of claim with the MTA. This is a narrow window of time to act. If you miss that deadline, any claim you make will automatically be dismissed. That’s why it is crucial to contact a knowledgeable New York subway accident lawyer as soon as possible following your accident.
If you’ve been hurt in a New York subway accident, you can rely on the New York City law firm of David Resnick & Associates, P.C., for professional and compassionate representation. We’ll investigate your claim fully and collect the evidence and testimony necessary to build a strong case on your behalf. Call 917-382-8135 today or fill out our online form for a case review at no cost to you.