Manhattan Train Accident Attorneys
With many conveniently located subway stops and the way they zip through past, and under, the congested city streets, it’s no wonder that trains have become so deeply embedded into the fabric of Manhattan life. There’s even an air of romance associated with them—think of Duke Ellington’s jazz classic, “Take the A Train.”
Yet too many involved preventable, unintended injuries and fatalities take place as a result of the negligent operation of Manhattan’s trains.
About Our Firm
For nearly five decades, the personal injury lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP have represented New Yorkers in legal actions seeking compensation for harm caused by someone else’s careless, reckless, or intentional conduct. Manhattan residents, workers, and visitors who suffer injuries and tragedies in train accidents, including those involving the subway, LIRR, Metro North, New Jersey Transit, and Amtrak, trust us to handle their legal claims with skill, determination, and compassion.
Over the years, our team has recovered millions of dollars from individuals, businesses, insurance companies, and government agencies on behalf of injured and grieving New Yorkers. Of course, we cannot guarantee that a client will receive compensation through our efforts. However, we can promise to deliver personalized, sophisticated legal services to each-and-every client designed to achieve the best possible outcome for the client’s circumstances.
How Manhattan Train Accidents Happen
A two-year-old boy died after being hit by a subway train in lower Manhattan. The accident occurred in Fulton Station, one of MTA’s busiest, during evening rush hour. Authorities reported that the child apparently became separated from his mother in the crowded station and somehow ended up in the path of a No. 2 train. He was transported to New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital in critical condition and was later pronounced dead.
This tragic accident represents one of a growing number of incidents that have seriously injured or killed people on or around subway and commuter trains in Manhattan in recent years. In the most recent year for which data is available, nearly 900 injuries and fatalities occurred as a result of individuals getting too close to trains or falling onto train tracks in New York City.
These train-related injuries and fatalities can happen in a variety of ways—and most of them involve negligence.
In Manhattan, many of these incidents involve a train striking or running over the victim. A study of several years’ worth of New York City subway data suggests that intentional acts of self-harm were the most common cause of train-related death and injury in those cases. However, between one-third and one-half of deaths and injuries resulted from an unintentional act, such as falling from the platform, during that period. A small portion of train-related injuries and fatalities happened in connection with a crime, such as a person being pushed onto the tracks.
No matter how a Manhattan train accident occurs, the team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP has the skill and resources to fight to make sure victims receive the compensation they deserve.
Injuries Associated With Manhattan Train Incidents
The injuries suffered when a victim gets hit or run over by a train, or injured on train tracks, are generally catastrophic and often fatal.
Among the most common injuries associated with Manhattan struck-by-train incidents are:
- Blunt trauma is a broad term used to describe injuries caused by the body being struck by a blunt object or surface, such as a train. This is the cause of death listed for nearly every train accident fatality that involves someone getting struck by the train. Common results of blunt trauma include lacerations to major blood vessels or the aorta, lacerated or crushed organs, a crushed or severed spinal cord, or a skull fracture. Each of these injuries is significant enough to cause death. If several of these conditions are present, the death is generally described as blunt trauma.
- Below-the-knee amputation occurs when a train cuts or crushes a victim’s leg. The amputation may occur during the accident itself, or may result from emergency medical treatment aimed at saving the accident victim’s life. This is a physically challenging type of injury to suffer, complete with the pain of the injury itself, as well as weeks or months of rehabilitation to gain strength in the upper body, maintaining muscle tone in the remaining limb, while allowing the residual limb to heal and preparing it for a prosthetic. Complications, such as infections in the site of the wound, are common and often result in repeat surgeries and other medical interventions. In addition, this type of injury often comes with a steep psychological price, and amputees may need counseling to deal with the dramatic changes the injury has on all parts of their life.
- Electrocutions and burns: A 30-year-old avid skateboarder died after being electrocuted by the third rail as he walked along the subway tracks in Brooklyn. The third rail of the subway train contains 625 volts of electricity; enough to kill a human. A friend who was with the man when the electrocution occurred attempted to assist him in getting away from the current and was also injured by the electricity. Electric shocks result not only in severe burns, but other serious conditions such as loss of consciousness, muscle spasms, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, and seizures.
Other Types of Incidents Involving New York Trains
Approximately 5.5 million people utilize the Metropolitan Transit Authority subway system each weekday. Nearly 6,700 subway cars transport Manhattan residents, workers, and visitors each day via 472 separate stations. The Fulton Street Station, where the accident discussed above occurred, is the fifth busiest in the City. 28 million passengers pass through it every year. The busiest station in the system is Times Square/42 Street, which sees more than 65 million riders in a year.
And that’s just the subway. Three commuter rail lines—the LIRR, Metro North, and New Jersey Transit—carry commuters and regional travelers to and from stations in Manhattan. Amtrak trains also make regular stops at 125th Street Station and Penn Station.
With trains serving as a major form of transport for so many people in the New York City metro region, many incidents involving trains can inflict injuries and fatalities.
- Derailments, in which a train leaves the tracks, which can lead to injuries to train passengers and bystanders.
- Falls on or from train platforms that do not involve the victim being struck by a train.
- Injuries resulting from snow and ice buildup on subway stairs and platforms.
- Criminal acts, such as assault, occurring at a train station or on a train car.
The team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP has years of experience representing New Yorkers in virtually every type of train incident imaginable. Contact us to learn more.
Legal Liability For Manhattan Train Accidents
Victims of Manhattan train accidents may have the right to recover compensation for their injuries and losses from anyone whose unreasonably dangerous decisions or actions contributed to causing the accident.
Under New York Law, legal liability for train accident injuries generally may exist if:
- A party owed the victim a duty of care not to put the victim at risk of harm;
- The party breached the duty of care by making a dangerous decision or taking a dangerous action that put the victim in harm’s way; and
- The victim suffered injuries as a result of that breach.
As a general proposition, anyone whose decisions or actions fall within the three requirements above could owe compensation to a Manhattan train accident victim. Who might have that kind of liability?
Here are a few of the potential parties Jacoby & Meyers, LLP may investigate for liability in a Manhattan train incident:
- Government or quasi-governmental agencies that operate trains throughout Manhattan and certain train stations, which include the MTA (operating the subway, LIRR, and Metro North), the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (operating PATH trains), the New Jersey Transit Corporation, and Amtrak.
- Private companies or individuals that own or operate (or used to own or operate) train tracks, train stations, rail cars, rail equipment, or other railroad-related businesses in and around Manhattan.
- Private individuals and entities that design, construct, manufacture, and maintain railroads and railroad equipment in and around Manhattan.
- Manhattan rail passengers and visitors to Manhattan rail stations.
Piecing together who may have legal liability for a Manhattan train accident is rarely a straightforward or simple process. Attorneys for victims often must untangle complicated commercial relationships, bureaucracies, chains-of-title, and insurance coverages to determine who should pay compensation to a train accident victim.
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, our nearly-five-decades of serving clients in Manhattan gives us the depth of knowledge and know-how to tackle even the most complicated train accident scenarios. Contact us today to learn more.
Taking Legal Action for Manhattan Train Accident Injuries
Identifying parties with legal liability for a Manhattan train accident is one thing. Obtaining compensation from them is quite another. It takes the skill and experience of a seasoned New York train accident lawyer to secure the money victims of train accidents deserve for their injuries and losses. Jacoby & Meyers, LLP is up to the task.
Seeking compensation for Manhattan train accident injuries can involve multiple, complicated legal proceedings. For any given incident, securing a fair payment from the party with legal liability could require taking legal action against one or more city, state, or federal government entities, private businesses, or individuals.
Legal actions against government agencies, in particular, can challenge all but the most experienced lawyers.
For example, a claim against the MTA or a similar city agency typically requires sending a Notice of Claim to the agency within 90 days of when the accident occurred, which triggers an administrative process in which the City agency has the right to:
- Question the claimant under oath,
- Request that the claimant undergo a physical examination by a physician of the agency’s choosing, and
- Negotiate a settlement,
It gets to do all of this before the victim’s lawyer can file a lawsuit in New York court.
A claim against a federal entity like Amtrak, meanwhile, is subject to federal laws that can limit the amount of money a claimant might recover, and which may require a claim to be filed in federal, rather than state, court. The process becomes even more complicated when both public and private entities share liability.
In other words, seeking compensation for a train accident injury is never a simple or straightforward proposition. The skill, experience, and resources of the attorney the victim hires can have a significant impact on the victim’s chances of recovering compensation. Only trust a seasoned, knowledgeable law firm like Jacoby & Meyers, LLP with your Manhattan train accident injury claim.
Possible Compensation for Train Accident Injuries
As in any personal injury case, there is no guarantee of a successful outcome in a Manhattan train accident injury claim. Every case has unique facts and circumstances that affect its probability of success.
However, as a general matter, victims of Manhattan train accidents may have the right to seek compensation for:
- The cost of medical treatment, including emergency treatment at the scene and in the emergency department, transport to the hospital by ambulance or air, diagnostic testing, physician and surgical services, hospitalization, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
- Non-medical expenses related to living with or adapting to the injury, including the cost of home modifications to accommodate a disability and services to assist with daily activities like childcare or transportation.
- Current and future lost income, resulting from being temporarily or permanently unable to work.
- Pain, suffering, and diminished quality of life and relationships caused by the trauma of the Manhattan train accident and injuries; and
- In rare cases involving extreme and outrageous conduct by the person who caused the injury, punitive (or exemplary) damages.
Close family members of victims killed in train accidents may have legal rights to seek compensation through a lawsuit known as a survival and wrongful death action. In addition to the types of damages listed above, those family members may have the right to seek compensation for financial losses resulting from the tragedy, including loss of monetary support and costs associated with a funeral and burial.
Experienced Manhattan Train Accident Injury Lawyers
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one to a Manhattan train accident, you may have the right to receive substantial compensation. Contact the experienced lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP today for a free case evaluation. You can reach us anytime via live chat, our online email form, or by calling (212) 445-7000.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“David was always there for me to guide me through this difficult car accident. He helped me get better, was always there to listen to me and fought to get me an amazing settlement. I am very pleased with this beyond expectations result and his professional handling. If you need a lawyer, David and his team is the one to go to!”
Review by: Qing L.
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