Subway and Railroad Accidents
The operators of subways and rail lines (such as Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road) are obligated by law to safely transport passengers to their destinations, and have an enhanced legal duty and responsibility to keep them reasonably safe in their stations and environs. If the subway operator, such as the Metropolitan Transit Authority, (MTA) is negligent in the ownership and operation of the subway cars or the stations it maintains, they can be held liable for all injuries suffered by their riders and pedestrians in the stations and property they own, operate, maintain and control.
There are various federal and state transportation regulations which govern the operation of subways and railroads and building codes which mandate certain safety guidelines in stations. These include the Federal Employees Liability Act (FELA), which affords railroad workers the right to sue for an on the job injury (an exception to the usual preclusion from suing your employer under the Worker’s Compensation Statute). Attorneys who handle railroad cases must be fully familiar with the transportation law as promulgated in Title 49 of the United States Code, and the operation of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), an agency that is under the auspices of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT).
Subway and Railroad accidents and injuries occur with alarming frequency in a variety of ways, to pedestrians, riders, and employees, due to:
- Inadequate safety standards;
- Failure to utilize available safety equipment;
- Insufficient training;
- Health issues or the drug/alcohol abuse by train personnel
- Distracted operation of the train due to use of cell phone or other devices;
- Sub-standard maintenance of the trains;
- Dangerous subway platforms, tracks and stations;
- Improperly inspected or maintained equipment.
The Subway and Railroad Accident lawyers at the Law Office Of Mark A. Siesel, with offices in the Bronx, White Plains and Peekskill, New York handle cases involving Metro North; The N.Y.C. subways; the Metropolitan Transportation Authority; The Long Island Railroad; PATH trains; Amtrak, and a variety of commuter and freight train accidents. We recently successfully obtained a large settlement on behalf of a rider on the Metro-North train which derailed in December of 2014 near the Spuyten-Duyvil station. It was later determined that the train was travelling at 82 miles per hour in a 30 m.p.h. zone and that the engineer was diagnosed with sleep apnea.
The MTA, Metro North, and the Long Island Railroad utilize investigators when determining the causes of accidents involving their equipment and stations. It is vital that you hire attorneys who will:
- Conduct an independent investigation of your accident;
- Hire engineers and accident reconstruction experts to review the circumstances and causes of the accident;
- Obtain statements from all available witnesses to the accident, the injuries suffered and the equipment involved;
- Preserve evidence which can be lost or tampered with;
- Gather any and all radio logs between the train operators and dispatchers;
- Obtain photographs of the accident scene or instrumentality which caused your accident;
- Find any possible videotapes or other recordings of the accident when available; and
- Place those responsible for your accident and injuries on notice that you intend to pursue your legal rights to the fullest extent of the law, including filing an immediate notice of claim, which preserves the client’s rights to sue for pain and suffering, medical and hospital expenses, past and future and lost earnings and earnings potential.
If you are injured in a subway or railroad accident, contact our office online for your free initial consultation today. Our dedicated lawyers and staff will work tirelessly from inception of your case through trial or resolution by settlement to maximize compensation for your physical and emotional injuries; lost earnings and earnings potential; and medical expenses, past and future.