We’ve all felt a little shaky on the subway. There can be something unnerving about traveling underground. Moreover, as all New Yorkers know, subway accidents aren’t just in the movies. They do happen, and certain risk factors increase your chances of being caught in an unfortunate situation.
Because of this, it’s important to know the risk of hopping on the subway and what causes New York subway accidents. Over 5.7 million people ride our city subway system every day, and each person could be at risk of an accident due to the following reasons.
Subway cars that veer off-course have caused some of the biggest subway accidents in history. These accidents are often just that – accidents – but that does not mean that no one can be held responsible. Often, they are caused by inexperienced or nervous drivers.
Other historic subway accidents were caused by drunk drivers who purposely engaged in negligent behavior. A drunk subway driver in 1991 caused a crash that killed five people and injured 200 others. He was convicted of vehicular manslaughter.
Unfortunately, there is not much that subway passengers can do to prevent a negligent driver, but if you have been injured due to the negligence or carelessness of a subway driver or MTA operator, you can file a claim or even pursue criminal charges.
Refusal to Install Safety Features
The New York subway system is enormous, and adding any new safety features can cost the city millions of dollars. Because of this, government officials have been pushing back on safety updates for years – but is saving the money worth the high risk to passengers who could avoid traumatic and fatal injuries?
That is the question many officials have been asking recently after a Brazilian student was hit by a New York subway car and severely injured. She fainted near the tracks, was hit, and now is missing an arm and a leg. A simple barrier could have prevented her accident – and the death of more than 750 people who have been hit by subways over the past 15 years.
The demand to install safety features and improve the condition of the New York City subways is not new. For decades, New Yorkers have been tired of reading the news about subway accidents and failures that have left people stranded and late for work.
If you are concerned about safety features on your local line, reach out to a representative about issues that you have seen in your area. Keep a record of the communication you have with representatives and also MTA officials. If you are injured due to broken or missing safety features, this communication may be used as evidence in your case.
Sometimes, safety features have been put in place, but they just don’t work. Faulty infrastructure caused a recent derailment in the Harlem area.
You may have heard about this accident. It happened back in June 2017 and made headlines for weeks after. A replacement rail came loose after it had not been properly attached and bolted down to the rest of the tracks. After the accident caused injuries to 34 people, two MTA supervisors were suspended from work without pay.
Passenger Deaths or Intentional Damage
Not all subway accidents are due to the negligence of the MTA and its employees. Passengers can also cause subway accidents for a variety of reasons.
In 1994, a passenger created a homemade firebomb out of a jar of mayonnaise and injured over 40 people on a Lexington Avenue subway. Moreover, passenger suicide is the leading cause of straphanger (standing public transportation passenger) death on the New York City subways.
With every passenger suicide, the train is put at higher risk of derailment or other issues. Even if your subway accident was caused by a passenger, you can still pursue personal injury claims and get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
What to do If You Have Been the Victim of a NY Subway Accident
All of the above reasons could be the basis for a personal injury case. Faulty infrastructure and negligence can be prevented if MTA officials and employees properly fulfill the duties they have to passengers.
The refusal to install safety features puts the responsibility in the hands of passengers, but may also be considered negligence if it puts too many people in danger. Most likely, if you have suffered a subway accident in New York City, you could have a case on your hands.
Learn more with a free consultation with a New York personal injury lawyer. An experienced subway accident attorney can help you determine whether negligence was present in your injuries, and what you can do to get the compensation that you deserve.