If you were injured in a subway, train, or commuter rail accident, this page contains will provide some information on your legal rights. NYC is home to the largest public transportation system in America. Every day, over 4,600,000 people use mass transit in our city. That’s 1.7 billion trips per year. And while many of us think nothing of boarding a subway car or train, accidents happen all the time. According to the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis, the first five months of 2014 saw 4,884 train-related accidents.
America’s governmental agencies have long recognized railway work as one of our country’s most dangerous industries. In fact, employees of railroad companies are compensated for their injuries under an entirely separate system, rather than Workers’ Compensation. But more surprising than that? In general, it isn’t railroad workers being injured, or dying, in accidents. It’s passengers.
Subway, Train, And Commuter Rail Accidents In New York City: The Size Of The Problem
If you were hurt on one of New York’s many subway lines, or taking the commuter train, you know how devastating train accidents can be. Trains are huge, and fast, and structurally complex. But for too long, this nation has done little to make them safer. Last year, Manhattan’s Borough President Scott Stringer made a startling announcement: train-related accidents were on the rise, and climbing fast. You can read his comments in full here. In 2013, New York City saw more than 100 deaths in subway accidents. Even more surprising than Stringer’s announcement? None of it was true.
In fact, New York City’s subway accidents have remained steady over the last five years. As one reporter noted:
- In 2009, 136 people were struck by trains, and 49 died.
- In 2010, 127 people were hit, and 51 died as a result of their injuries.
- In 2011, 146 people were struck, and 47 killed.
- In 2012, 141 people were hit by subway cars, and 55 were killed.
The problem is obvious, and astounding. But does it have to be like this? Just because subways and commuter trains are huge, moving objects does not mean that their use must threaten passengers’ lives.
Is There A Prevention In Place?
Most trains operating in New York are owned by the government. And like all governmental agencies, these companies enjoy numerous legal protections that individuals do not. The large number of train companies operating in NYC only adds to the problem. Your accident may have occurred on a train or in a station owned by one of the following:
- Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)
- MTA Long Island Rail Road
- MTA Metro-North Railroad
- Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH)
- AirTrain JFK
- New Jersey Transit
But when engineers, maintenance workers, and their managers act negligently, with disregard for the safety of others, they can and should be held accountable. If you were hurt, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help.
Common Subway & Train Accidents
Despite the numerous federal and state regulations instituted to keep us safe, train accidents can, and do, happen for many reasons. Did your accident involve:
- A car struck by a commuter train?
- Hit crossing train tracks?
- Subway or train car derailment, coming off the track?
- Electrocuted on a train track?
- Fall off the platform onto train tracks?
- Hurt by broken turnstile?
- Slip and fall in a subway station?
- Assaulted or robbed because of insufficient security?
These accidents can be prevented, and many are the direct result of negligence.
What Should I Do After An Accident?
The attorneys at Banville Law fully understand how hard it may be for you and your family. You may face significant medical expenses, time away from work, and a range of difficult emotions. We offer compassionate, thorough legal counsel for anyone injured in a New York subway or train accident, state-wide. Our mission is to make you feel comfortable, ensure that you know about your rights, and hold any and all guilty parties responsible. You deserve compensation for your injuries, and we want to help.
Banville Law is based in Manhattan, but we assist clients bring claims against train and commuter companies all over the state of New York.
If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact us today. You can schedule a free consultation.
Latest Amtrak & New York Train Accidents
By Laurence Banville
January 4, 2017: Over 100 Injured in Long Island Railroad Train Accident in Brooklyn, NY
The new year got off to a terrible start for over 100 passengers riding on board an LIRR train in Brooklyn NY, when it crashed into a bumping block. Mayor Bill de Blasio stated that all injuries were minor, with the worst being a broken leg. Attorney Laurence Banville commented that: “We are lucky that nobody suffered serious injuries today, however it is too soon to know the extent of more latent injuries such as potential internal bleeding, and head injuries”. News outlets such as ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News noted in their coverage that injured passengers were removed by stretchers to a triage area nearby before being transferred to hospitals for further treatment. The New York Daily News reported that the train was traveling between 10 and 15 miles per hour when the accident occurred. As investigations get underway, attention is turning to the LIRR engineer driving the train and whether a medical condition or some other form of negligence contributed to the cause of the accident.
April 3, 2016: 2 Killed In Amtrak Palmetto Train 89 Derailment in Chester, PA En Route To Savannah, GA From New York
An Amtrak train which left New York, headed for Savannah Georgia, struck a backhoe on the tracks in Delaware County, Pennsylvania leaving 2 dead and around 30 injured. The train had 341 passengers and the lead engine derailed on impact. The two dead were not train passengers according to local news outlets. It is still unclear why the backhoe was on the tracks and why the train did not receive advance notice of such works.
New York Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/amtrak-crash-south-philadelphia-leaves-2-dead-article-1.2586840
May 13, 2015: Amtrak Train Derails In Philadelphia En Route To New York
In one of Amtrak’s most tragic accidents, speed appears to have been the cause. The train derailed outside of Philadelphia en route to New York. Eight people were killed in the accident and over 150 injured. Lawsuits are being filed and we expect the formation of a federal MDL to be announced. Banville Law is offering free legal consultations to the Amtrak accident victims.
Source: NBC News: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/amtrak-crash
February 3, 2015: SUV hit by Metro North Train in Valhalla New York
An SUV was caught between the crossing gate of the tracks and was hit by the MTA train in Valhalla, New York. Tragically six people lost their lives in the accident and news channels reported 15 injured.
Source: Wikipedia Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valhalla_train_crash
December 2013: Derailment Of Train In The Bronx
An engineer on a Metro North train fell asleep while operating the train and entered a curve in the Bronx 52 mph faster than the designate safe speed to take the curve. The tragic result to this negligence was the death of four and injuries sustained by 75 passengers.
Source: The New York Daily Times: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/metro-north-derailment-data-recorder-found-article-1.1534730
May 2013: Metro North Train Collision in Connecticut
Two trains collided in Fairfield, Connecticut. One of the trains was New York City bound. Thankfully there were no fatalities in this accident, however 60 people were reported to have suffered injuries. The accident was blamed on a broken part of the rail that had been repaired a month prior to the accident.
Source: NBC Connecticut: http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Metro-North-Trains-Collide–207941921.html