New York has a lot of trains. From the subways in New York City to the commuter rails in other parts of the state, all those trains add up to a lot of tracks – and a lot of opportunities for accidents and injuries to occur.
If you are injured in a New York train accident, what can you do? How do you establish who is responsible for the accident so you can get the compensation you deserve? These are good questions, and there are clear answers to them.
Here is what you need to know about New York train accidents and injuries, including how you can establish who may have been negligent in a way that led to your injuries.
Train Accidents in New York
Train accidents have several components to them, some mechanical and some human. That can make lawsuits related to them incredibly complex.
The most common types of accidents that occur involving trains in New York include:
- Train derailment
- Unsanitary conditions resulting in infection or illness
- Falling and slipping on the train or the tracks
- Trains colliding with other trains
- Collisions at railroad crossings
These types of accidents are often attributed to issues such as:
- Unreliable and outdated infrastructure and tracks
- Elevated tracks
- Negligent hiring practices
- Train operators who are distracted
- Signal failure
- Train operators under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failure to inspect and maintain equipment and trains
- Mechanical failure
Due to the size and speed of trains, their accidents can often lead to catastrophic injuries that can impact a person for their entire life.
Common Injuries Involving Trains in New York
Many of the accidents involving trains that lead to injury are preventable. The most common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Knee injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Who Is Responsible for Your Injuries?
The companies that own the trains, the companies that run them, and those who operate them have a responsibility to their passengers. They need to ensure that they take all precautions to keep passengers safe.
They are considered “common carriers” under the law, which means they owe what is called a “duty of care.” If they are negligent in some way that causes you to be injured, then you may be able to recover compensation if you can show they violated their duty of care to you.
In accidents that involve other parties, you may be able to show their negligence, too, and include them in the lawsuit. This can include government agencies with oversight and the responsibility of track management or even motorists on the roads who may have caused an accident at a train crossing.
What Damages Can Be Sued For?
If you can show that someone’s negligence led to your injuries, then you can ask for compensation that includes things such as:
- The cost of your hospitalization
- The cost of your expenses and medical bills
- Wages that may have been lost to you
- Your reduced earning capacity due to the injuries
- Any temporary or permanent disability from which you may suffer
- Loss of your enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
An experienced attorney can work with you to help you get the compensation you deserve if you’re injured in a train accident.
Is There a Statute of Limitations?
In most personal injury cases in New York, you have three years to file a lawsuit from the date of the accident. However, if you are filing a lawsuit against a government entity, then the statute of limitations can be different. That’s why it’s important to consult an attorney as soon as you can after a train accident.
How to Stay Safe
You can do your part to try to avoid injury when utilizing trains in New York by remembering a few simple safety tips, such as:
- Staying back from the platform edges while waiting for the train
- Never leaning over the track to try to see if a train is coming – you never know which direction it may be coming from
- Waiting until the train is fully stopped and the doors open before you step forward to enter
- Do not step on the tracks for any reason – if you happen to drop something, then ask a police officer or train employee to help
- Walk on the train platform – never run
- Make sure your clothes or bags make it completely through the doors of the train so they don’t get trapped