MTA Train Accident Lawyer
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, also known as the MTA, has played an extremely important role in helping New York residents and visitors travel the city via bus, subway, and railroad. Although these forms of transportation prevent damage to the environment, save customers money on gas and car insurance, and reduce traffic, they also put users at risk of serious injury, as common carrier accidents, especially those involving trains, tend to have particularly devastating consequences for passengers. Fortunately, it is possible for injured passengers, employees, and bystanders to collect damages to cover the cost of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, filing a claim can be a difficult endeavor, especially for those who don’t have legal representation, as the MTA is a large and well-funded corporation that is adept at avoiding liability. For this reason, visitors to and residents of New York who are injured in an MTA accident are encouraged to speak with an MTA train accident lawyer who has the resources and experience to ensure that their rights and interests are protected.
What is the MTA?
The MTA is a public company that oversees a number of different types of public transportation in New York, namely subways, buses, and trains, in addition to bridges, railroads, and tunnels. While the MTA takes steps to keep passengers safe from harm, accidents can and do occur. Train accidents, in particular, are notorious for causing the most amount of damage, both to property and to passengers, employees, and bystanders.
What Causes MTA Accidents?
Like any other type of train accident, MTA accidents occur for a wide range of reasons, although the most common include:
- Operator error, which is often the result of driver fatigue or distraction, or a lack of training or supervision;
- Speeding or improper train handling;
- Mechanical defects, which includes problems with train engines or other parts caused by defective manufacturing or design;
- A failure to properly maintain trains, tracks, or platforms;
- A failure to maintain equipment, such as lighting and signals; and
- Improper security.
This type of conduct can lead to serious accidents, such as collisions between two trains, collisions between a train and a vehicle or a pedestrian, and derailments. Whatever the type of accident, the results of MTA train collisions are often severe, making it especially important for injured parties to seek compensation from those who were responsible for the crash.
Filing a Claim
Filing a suit after an MTA train accident can be complicated, as it is often difficult to discern who was at fault, especially when multiple parties were involved. To help determine the cause of these types of accidents, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducts investigations into all MTA train accidents, although other government agencies, in addition to the MTA itself and local or state police officers, may also conduct independent investigations. In most cases, the results of these investigations will reveal the cause of an accident and the responsible parties. However, these investigations are not always conducted extensively or in good faith, so it is still important for accident victims to retain an attorney who can also closely investigate the cause of the accident. Responsible parties could include one or more of the following individuals or entities:
- The MTA;
- A specific train crew;
- A train’s operator;
- Negligent drivers or pedestrians;
- Train equipment manufacturers; or
- The agency responsible for designing or maintaining the tracks.
However, it is not uncommon for more than one party to be held responsible for damages, as many train accidents can be attributed to more than one person or entity. For instance, a few years ago, a woman lost her life when she drove her SUV onto the tracks in the path of an oncoming train. Five other passengers were also tragically killed. Although investigators were unable to determine why the woman continued to drive forward even after a crossing arm came down, they did find that the severity of the accident could also be attributed to the state of the track itself, as the electrified rail was constructed in such a manner that it actually ripped away and tore through the train on impact. Further investigations by the driver’s widower revealed that the signs painted on the road pavement warning drivers that a crossing was ahead were most likely hidden by vehicles traveling above.
Regardless of who was at fault, injured parties who are thinking about filing a lawsuit against the MTA should be aware that they only have a limited time, 90 days from the date of the accident, in which they can file a notice of claim. Plaintiffs who miss this deadline will most likely have their claims denied outright.
Compensation for MTA Train Accidents
Successful plaintiffs who are able to demonstrate that the MTA or another person or entity was responsible for a train accident are eligible to recover significant damages, including compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Property damage;
- Loss of future income;
- The cost of maintaining a household during recovery;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of companionship;
- Decreased enjoyment of life;
- Disability or disfigurement; and
- Funeral or burial costs.
It’s also important for accident victims to note that federal law limits the amount that injured railway passengers can collect to $200 million total. This is true regardless of the number of individuals harmed in the accident or the degree of the MTA’s negligence. This threshold is all-encompassing and so applies equally to punitive damages, which are usually awarded in cases of especially egregious negligence and are intended to deter similar behavior in the future.
Call Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Dedicated MTA Train Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one were involved in a train accident in New York, you could be eligible for damages. To learn more about your legal rights and obligations, please contact one of the experienced MTA train accident attorneys at Pottroff & Karlin, LLC by calling 785-539-4656 or by sending us an online message today. A member of our legal team is standing by and eager to begin working on your case.