Brooklyn Subway Accident Lawyer
Call Us after a Brooklyn Subway Accident
New York’s subway system provides a vital service to the public, offering an inexpensive method of transportation that connects Brooklyn to the other boroughs. However, subway accidents are increasing in the news. Many of these stories highlight how dangerous the subway system has become over the past few years, with neglected facilities and dangerous attacks.
If you were injured in a subway accident, you need an attorney who understands the correct way to bring a claim. Suing the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) or the New York City Transit Authority is nothing like suing a driver when involved in a motor vehicle collision. The state makes it hard to sue the city or one of its agencies, but exceptions exist if you are injured due to negligence on the subway system. Contact a seasoned attorney at The O’Connor Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation to find out more.
Subway Slip and Falls
Falls in a subway station is a common accident. Many hazards can cause a hurried commuter to slip or trip and suffer serious injuries when they tumble down the stairs or hit the ground. Common hazards include:
- Spill liquids
- Ice and snow
- Loose tiles
- Poor lighting
- Poorly maintained steps, stairs, and subway platforms
A train ride should be smooth and safe. Unfortunately, sudden stops or acceleration can toss commuters around, where they collide with the seats or other passengers. Other defects on a train—such as a door that closes without warning—can catch a person’s arm or leg and drag them along the platform. Common causes of train accidents include insufficient maintenance and operator error.
Violent Attacks in the Subway or on a Train
The New York subway system has made the news recently for a string of violent attacks on unsuspecting commuters. Some have been pushed or thrown onto the tracks directly in front of oncoming trains. Others have been punched, kicked or even stabbed.
These attacks can cause devastating injuries. Many of the attackers are homeless people camping out in the subway, but other attackers are simply criminals looking for an opportunity to harm someone. Regardless, the Transit Authority must provide adequate security so that commuters are not attacked. When security is lacking, victims might have a negligent security claim for compensation following an assault.
Time Limits that Apply to Subway Accident Claims
If you suffered a subway injury, reach out to an attorney immediately. The state sets strict deadlines that victims must meet so they can protect their right to compensation. In a normal personal injury case, a victim has years to sue. But if you were injured on the subway system, then you only have 90 days to file a notice of claim with the relevant agency.
This is a strict deadline. Victims cannot sue until they go through the administrative process, which gives the agency an opportunity to investigate and possibly settle. Once you submit a claim, you still get only a year and 90 days to file a lawsuit in court—much shorter than if you were involved in a different type of personal injury case.
Most of our clients are busy rehabbing their injuries and visiting countless doctors and specialists. The 90-day deadline for reporting an accident can come and go very quickly. At The O’Connor Law Firm, we ensure that clients meet all deadlines and submit a notice of claim to the correct agency. If settlement negotiations stall, we can also file a lawsuit in the correct court before the time limit expires.
Damages for Brooklyn Subway Accidents
Any settlement should provide compensation for damages suffered by a commuter, such as:
- Medical bills for past, present, and future care
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost income or lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity for permanent injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Mental distress
Based on our decades of experience, the Transit Authority is not eager to fully compensate a person who is injured on a train or in the subway station. Instead, the MTA usually tries to get victims to accept a small settlement and sign away their right to get more in the future. Someone without a lawyer might be tempted to take the quick money because they are strapped for cash–but this is a big mistake.
Our law firm is dedicated to our client’s financial well-being following an accident. To that end, we can negotiate with the Transit Authority or, if necessary, file a lawsuit in court. We are not afraid to litigate a personal injury claim against the city or one of its agencies and use our experience to vindicate our client’s rights.
Steps to Take Following a Subway Accident
In addition to working with a seasoned attorney, you should take the following steps following an accident.
- Report Your Accident Immediately
Before leaving the station, notify the station agent or other transit employee of what happened. If you don’t, then the MTA or NYC Transit Authority probably will deny your claim. Of course, you could be in considerable pain after falling or being attacked, in which case you should ask a friend or bystander to report the accident for you. If possible, get the name of the employee you spoke to.
- Photograph the Accident Scene
Photographs help provide documentary evidence of the hazard that injured you. For example, you might have slipped on some trash on the stairs. Take out your phone and get a picture of the wrappers or other debris before a subway employee can remove it. Although the MTA has cameras recording inside stations, they often don’t catch everything, and video can sometimes go “missing.”
Again, if you are too hurt to move, ask someone else to get a picture. We have seen the Transit Authority deny that any hazard exists, so a picture is very helpful.
- Speak to Witnesses & Get Contact Information
Witnesses are very helpful for a case. For example, if someone punched you, then you can have the witness explain to the police what happened and provide a description of the assailant. If a train suddenly stopped, then a witness can back up your story. Ask witnesses for their names and phone number or email so you can contact them later.
- Call the Police for Violent Attacks
Notifying the police protects public safety. If you can be attacked, anyone else can be hurt as well. The police will investigate and ask the public to be on the lookout for the person who attacked you. Provide a full description of the attacker.
- Obtain Prompt Medical Attention
Many folks feel “fine” following an accident, such as a fall down a flight of stairs. Over the coming days, however, their pain intensifies, and many cannot even leave the house. For this reason, we always encourage commuters to go to the hospital following an accident. Your doctor can order tests to uncover any injuries and provide prescription drugs to promote recovery. If you delay getting treatment, then the Transit Authority might use this fact against you in settlement negotiations.
Speak with an Experienced Brooklyn Subway Accident Lawyer
The government owes its citizens a safe public transportation system. Sadly, New York’s public officials are failing us, and too many of our neighbors are injured as a result. Please contact The O’Connor Law Firm if you suffered a violent attack or accident inside a subway station. As mentioned above, tight deadlines apply so please avoid any delay. Our consultations are free and scheduled for a convenient time.