On Sept. 18, three people were killed and 16 were injured when two buses crashed in Queens at around 6:00 am.
One bus was a city bus, the other a tour bus. The city bus was driven by a long-term employee of the MTA. The city bus driver turned right and crashed with the tour bus. During the accident the buses spun, and authorities say that speed may have been a factor.
The three victims who died were a pedestrian, a city bus passenger, and the tour bus driver.
When people think of a NYC “public transportation accident,” this is the type of incident that typically comes to mind. A vehicle crash that involves injuries – and sometimes even deaths. People injured in a crash like this can file personal injury lawsuits claiming negligence and fight to receive compensation for what they had to endure.
However, there is another type of personal injury lawsuit that can be filed in relation to public transportation accidents. This one doesn’t has to involve a vehicle getting into a crash. A vehicle doesn’t even have to be involved at all. What are we talking about? Premises liability.
NYC Public Transportation Accidents and Premises Liability
If you’re not familiar with premises liability, this type of lawsuit charges the owner of the property where the injury occurred with negligence. The idea is that they have a responsibility to maintain their property and keep it safe for people who are using it.
Say, for example, that an individual falls down a flight of stairs in a subway station and gets seriously hurt. They can file a premises liability lawsuit arguing that the MTA was negligent in keeping the stairs safe to use.
Why might the MTA be negligent? Perhaps a light had burned out and the victim tripped because they couldn’t see. Or the stairs had been damaged. Or there was ice that hadn’t been cleared away.
Premises liability cases must prove three main elements:
- You can file a lawsuit only if you were lawfully on the property.
- You must also prove that the property owner should have had knowledge of the unsafe condition and failed to warn you or repair the problem.
- Finally, you must prove that the owner’s negligence was the direct cause of your injury.
Also note that your time to file a lawsuit is bound by a statute of limitations, so you must call an experienced New York injury attorney right away to file a valid claim.
Personal Injury Suits against Government Entities are Different
When filing a lawsuit against the government, it’s important to keep these tips in mind.
- You can sue the city for damages if their negligence is proven to have caused your injuries. Examples include failure to maintain roadways and road construction issues.
- Injuries occurring on government property or caused by government workers are eligible for protections under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
- You may be limited in the amount of damages you can recover in a public transportation lawsuit.
- The city may not respond to your claim even if you follow the filing rules. You need the expertise of a personal injury attorney who has worked with similar cases in the past. They will know how to get your message across.
In some cases, the government may be immune to charges of liability. For example, if your injury related to the city’s planning or discretionary decisions. The laws grant certain protections for the government in these gray areas. Additionally, the statute of limitations to file is very short compared to other personal injury lawsuits.
Government cases also require that you file a notice with the government first. They then have a set time period to conduct an investigation. After that term passes, you can proceed with filing a lawsuit.
The bottom line is that these types of cases are quite complicated and confusing. Your best bet at a positive outcome is to reach out to a skilled NYC public transportation injury lawyer who will understand how to proceed.