Train accidents happen less frequently than car accidents, but when they occur, victims can sustain catastrophic or fatal injuries. In New York City, 48 people were struck and killed by subways in a recent year, as reported in a Downtown article. This figure actually represents the lowest struck-by-subway death toll in five years. The leading causes of death in subway accidents are blunt force trauma and electrocution.
Types of Train Accidents in New York
There are several types of trains in New York City, and accidents are not uncommon:
- Trains hitting pedestrians on platforms or tracks
- Trains colliding with other trains
- Trains derailing
Leading causes of train accidents in New York include:
- Engineer or operator errors: Operators and engineers who are intoxicated, distracted, speeding, or who fail to brake properly can cause deadly train crashes.
- Mechanical failure: Trains and subway cars may not be properly inspected and maintained to ensure their complete safety of operation.
- Track malfunction: Mass transit infrastructure may be defective or improperly maintained, leading to a derailment and catastrophic train accidents.
Train Accident Injuries
Whether a train crash involves a railroad or the subway, victims are likely to sustain serious injuries, such as:
Concussions, open head wounds, and traumatic brain injury
- Amputation and loss of limb
- Spinal cord injury, nerve damage, and paralysis
- Fractured bones and crush injuries
- Severe lacerations and abrasions
- Burns, scarring, and disfigurement
Researchers examined the records of 41 patients admitted to Bellevue Hospital over a five-year period for amputations resulting from subway accidents, as published in the American Journal of Surgery. The most common amputations were below the knee, for which patients had to undergo an average of three surgeries. The amputation wound infection rate was 32%, and the mortality rate among these train accident victims was 5%.
Who is Liable for Train Accident Injuries?
Train and subway operators and their parent companies have a responsibility to ensure their passengers are transported to their destinations safely. When a train operator’s negligence causes injury to passengers, pedestrians, or occupants of other vehicles, the operator and the company may be found liable.
Why You Need a Lawyer
If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a train accident, you need sound legal guidance. Train accidents are complex cases, involving federal transportation law and various regulatory agencies, such as the Federal Transit Administration. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate the accident to determine how it occurred and who was at fault. Having an experienced NYC train accident lawyer on your side can help ensure evidence is collected and preserved to support your claim.
After liability is determined in the NTSB investigation, the train company and its insurer will want to pay out as little as possible in damages. Our team can negotiate skillfully with insurance companies on your behalf and fight for your rights in court, when necessary.
Why Choose Us?
The Case Handler team at Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP provides effective, client-centered legal representation for victims of train accidents, and family members of victims killed in mass transit accidents. Catastrophic injuries can mean extensive medical bills, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and loss of future earnings, in addition to pain and suffering and emotional anguish.
We are dedicated to helping you recover full and fair compensation so that you can focus on healing. Call us at 212-608-3734 to find out how we can help.