New York Train Accident Lawyers
In New York City, people depend on trains. With limited parking and traffic always a problem, the subway is the fastest way to get around town. The MTA estimates that almost 2,000,000 people ride their cars every day. Even more, people ride trains to the city as far away as Connecticut and Washington D.C.
All those riders depend on the trains to be fast and safe. Unfortunately, accidents are more common than we want them to be.
Although major collisions are rare, minor accidents are common due to malfunctioning doors, badly maintained stations and platforms, and falls on stairs and walkways.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault on a train or at the station, you should contact an attorney who knows how to get you the compensation you deserve. Call Harris Keenan & Goldfarb at 800-724-6529 for a consultation about your accident and claim.
Causes of Train Accidents
Hundreds of tons of steel hurtling down a narrow track at 50 miles per hour may seem like a recipe for disaster. The remarkable thing is how few accidents happen despite the number of trains and passengers on the rails every day. Train accidents have a limited number of causes.
Types of Train Accident Injuries
Train collisions and accidents cause the same injuries as any bad accident. Because of the train’s size and weight and the impact speed, a collision may result in far more casualties than even the worst of motor vehicle accidents on the road.
Along with the usual injuries that occur in accidents, some injuries are unique to trains and stations.
No matter what type of injury you have suffered, if it was due to negligence by the New York City Transit Authority or other government agency responsible for the train and tracks, you may have a claim against them for your injuries.
If you have been injured due to the New York City Transit Authority’s negligence or that of any train operator, you should hire an attorney right away. A few things about filing a suit against the New York City Transit Authority make it challenging for the layperson.
Filing of A Notice of Claim and A Lawsuit
If you were injured in a New York City train accident, a Notice of Claim must be filed within 90 days of the accident date. Although there are exceptions for “excusable delay,” failing to make this deadline can mean your case is barred from proceeding.
You have a year and ninety days to bring a personal injury case against the New York City Transit Authority before your action is time-barred. If you were injured by a train operated by a different legal entity, contact your personal injury attorney to determine how much time you have to file a lawsuit.
Making certain that all deadlines are met, and responses are sent to the correct places is something that your attorney and the legal team can handle.
Vicarious Liability and Accidents
Just because an accident happened on or near a train does not automatically mean the New York City Transit Authority is responsible. Sometimes accidents happen that are the fault of a third party.
When determining fault in a New York City Transit Authority or other train accident, your attorney will look at all possibilities for where the original fault might be. For the New York City Transit Authority to be liable, some elements must be proven.
An employer may be responsible for the actions of an employee under certain conditions.
This is known as “vicarious liability”
Why This Matters
New York courts follow a legal theory called “pure comparative negligence.” This means you can still recover when involved in an accident, even if you are partially at fault. New York State Statute section 1411 says that an injured party may collect compensation for their injuries and losses caused by someone else, but any compensation they are eligible to obtain will be reduced by the percentage of fault the injured party bears for their own injuries.
How pure comparative negligence works
If you are found to be 25 percent at fault in causing your accident or injury, you may still recover up to 75 percent of whatever compensation is determined for your case. For instance, suppose your leg was caught in the slow-closing door of a subway. The cost of repairing your broken leg is $100,000. If it is determined that you were 25 percent at fault for the accident because you were trying to get off the subway just as the door closed, you could still receive $75,000 from the train company.
If an accident involves several people, this formula still works. Suppose you are 25 percent responsible for your $100,000 broken leg, and the person that tripped over you in the doorway and broke your leg again is ten percent responsible. In that case, you can recover 65 percent of your damages from the train company and ten percent from the person who stepped on you. You may not recover the entire amount of your losses if you were to any degree at fault for your injury.
After an Accident
If you have been involved in a train accident, you should do a few things immediately, assuming the accident was not so bad that EMS took you out. You should ensure your accident is properly documented and recorded if you can.
The first thing you should always do is seek medical attention. If you have any injuries, they should be treated. Even if you feel fine, you should be examined. Some injuries can take time to develop, and proving they were caused by the accident can be difficult unless a doctor sees you immediately.
If you cannot do this yourself, ask someone you can trust to collect this information. For instance, if EMS insists you must go to the emergency room, have a friend or family member try to obtain this information while they are still at the scene.
After the Accident
If you were hurt in a serious accident on a train, chances are it will make the news. Never speak to anyone about the accident once you have decided to file a claim. Avoid putting anything on your social media about your accident. And never talk to anyone who purports to be from the media. Some other dos and don’ts:
Finally, know that you can speak to an attorney before signing anything. Unscrupulous insurance agents may get you to agree to a quick settlement without telling you about any hidden strings. The offer should never contain wording like “must be signed by this date or all offers are rescinded.” You should not feel pressured to settle after an accident.
When It’s Time to Call Us
If you’ve been involved in an accident on a train, you should seek legal advice right away. As noted, you have a very narrow window to file a Notice of Claim. Even if you’re not sure about filing a lawsuit Contact Harris Keenan & Goldfarb at 800-724-6529 and let us review your case or fill out our intake form, and a member of our team will call you. We want to see you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call us today.
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